The AT&T Issue Brief Library

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Environment, Health & Safety

Materiality Assessment Topic: Hazardous solid waste; E-waste

Issue Summary

Protecting natural resources – and complying with laws that work to do so – is critical to ensuring that these resources will be around for future generations.

Our Position

We are committed to complying with all applicable environment, health and safety laws and regulations and to maintaining and improving management systems throughout the company to ensure environmental responsibility and employee safety.

Data Highlights

2016 Key Performance Indicators
  • Regulated waste
    • Waste managed by the AT&T Resource Recovery Center (including universal and hazardous waste): 34,541.63 tons
    • Quantity of such waste recycled: 29,824.72 tons
  • E-waste
    • Computers, monitors, servers and other equipment that were donated, recycled or reused: More than 252,700 pounds
  • Injury/Illness
    • AT&T’s OSHA total recordable occupational injury and illness rate (per 100 employees): 1.75

Our Action

We are committed to following stringent environment, health and safety (EHS) regulations applicable to our operations, providing products and services in an environmentally responsible manner and protecting the health and safety of our employees within the jurisdictions in which we operate.

Our operating companies had no significant environment, health or safety compliance-related enforcement actions in 2016 (defined as those actions that resulted in sanctions equal to or exceeding $100,000). We take our EHS stewardship seriously and we evaluate our EHS performance through regular reviews and audits. When issues are identified, we cooperate closely with federal, state and local agencies to reach resolutions that are in the best interest of the environment, our customers and the citizens of our communities.

In the event an accident occurs in the workplace, our policy is to respond swiftly, investigate contributing factors, determine the root cause and take appropriate corrective actions to protect our employees, neighboring communities and the environment. We require employees to report all alleged work-related injuries, illnesses and accidents. For U.S. operations in 2016, our OSHA total recordable occupational injury and illness rate was 1.75 per 100 employees. This rate is lower than the most recent (2015) average published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the telecommunications industry, which was 2.2 per 100 employees.i

Our Code of Business Conduct (CoBC) specifically includes a section on creating a safe and secure place to work. Each employee – from our part-time workers to our CEO – is responsible for reviewing the code annually and understanding its provisions. In 2016, approximately 98% of employees completed the annual COBC training.

We train all employees on our EHS system, and we conduct specialized training based on job tasks and the hazards an employee is likely to encounter in his or her position.

Environment, Health & Safety Management System

AT&T has a strong environment, health and safety management plan – and it starts with an Environment, Health & Safety Policy, signed by the AT&T Chairman and CEO.

AT&T has adopted an Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Management System based on the principles of International Standards Organization (ISO) 14001 and Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001. Please see our comparison table for alignment.

The EHS Management System provides a framework for AT&T to systematically manage its environmental risks and health and safety hazards, in an effort to improve our operations and performance, and maintain the highest levels of commitment to the health and safety of our employees and the protection of our environment.

This system is intended to be used by AT&T employees, customers and a range of other parties – to ensure compliance with external and internal objectives across the following 6 elements:

  1. General Requirements: As mentioned above, our EHS Management System is based on the principles of International Standards Organization (ISO) 14001 and Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001.
  2. Environment, Health & Safety Policy: The AT&T Environment Health and Safety Policy is communicated throughout the enterprise and commits us to achieving compliance with EHS laws and regulations, continually improving our management systems and achieving other non-regulatory-related EHS goals.
  3. Planning: We identify the potential hazards, risks and impacts on the environment associated with our operations. Then, we design and prioritize programs and processes to prevent or mitigate potential hazards and risks. Our planning involves establishing objectives and targets for evaluating potential EHS performance. We manage compliance by conducting job hazard analyses and occupational risk assessments; implementing a Management of Change (MOC) process; implementing business unit EHS plans; and analyzing audit and assessment data.
  4. Implementation and Operation: We implement these plans by assigning clear responsibility and accountability for EHS performance and defining clear roles and responsibilities within the EHS organization. We train AT&T employees and communicate EHS expectations to our vendors and contractors, providing EHS information both within and outside the enterprise.
  5. Checking: AT&T routinely checks on our EHS performance by analyzing key performance measures and metrics covering aspects of EHS performance, and by reviewing business operations that impact EHS. When incidents or nonconformities with laws or company standards are identified, we have formal systems established to identify corrective actions and track these actions until they are completed.
  6. Management Review: Senior leadership, participates in regular reviews of AT&T’s EHS performance and programs.

See our Waste Management issue brief for more information our operational waste reduction efforts.


Updated on: Feb 8, 2018