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Company Fleet and Transportation

Materiality Assessment Topics: Company fleet; Company GHG Emissions | Global Reporting Initiative G4 Indicators: EN15, EN19

Issue Summary

In the United States, transportation accounts for 28 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.1 Finding cleaner, more efficient methods of powering our vehicles is important for this country’s economy, security and environment. The challenges of transitioning away from petroleum are many – from infrastructure to cost – but they are crucial to solve.

Our Position

With one of the largest commercial fleets in the U.S., we know we need to be part of the solution. As of June 30, 2016, AT&T operated more than 115,000 fleet assets, which includes over 84,400 vehicles and over 30,800 “wheeled equipment units,” such as portable power units and utility trailers used for emergency conditions and transporting supplies and equipment.

Additionally, we offer wireless fleet management solutions for commercial truck and van fleets, which can lead to reduced idle time, better management of miles driven per day, improved route planning and reduced travel time and costs.

Data Highlights

Targets to our 2020/2025 Goals
In Progress
2016 Target: Deploy approximately 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles (AFVs) over a 10-year period through 1Q19
  • PROGRESS: As of end of year 2015, AT&T had deployed a total of 11,257 alternative-fuel vehicles to its fleet, including 3,231 hybrid-electric, all-electric and extended-range-electric vehicles, and 8,026 CNG service vehicles.

Our Action

Investing in Alternative-Fuel Technologies

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles

  • AT&T’s AFV commitment includes spending an estimated $350 million to purchase up to 8,000 CNG vehicles through the end of 2014. In May 2014, the company announced that we achieved this milestone.  AT&T’s CNG vehicles are manufactured by U.S. automakers, and are converted by domestic suppliers to operate using CNG instead of gasoline
  • CNG vehicles emit up to 25 percent fewer emissions than comparable vehicles powered by traditional gasoline engines.
  • The CNG vehicles are used to provide and maintain communications and entertainment services for AT&T customers.

Our AFVs allowed us to avoid the purchase of nearly 5.9 million gallons of unleaded gasoline in 2015 and the savings will continue each subsequent year the vehicles are in use.2 

Alternative-Fuel Model Passenger Cars

AT&T expects to spend approximately $146 million over a 10-year period through 1Q19 to replace passenger vehicles with alternative fuel models.

  • AT&T expects to replace more than 5,525 passenger vehicles through 1Q19. As of end of year 2015, we operated more than 3,200 hybrid electric passenger vehicles.
  • Hybrid electric vehicles typically achieve better fuel economy and have lower fuel costs than similar conventional vehicles.3

To meet AT&T’s 2009 commitment, our remaining AFV deployments will consist primarily of AFV passenger vehicles which may include hybrid electric or plug-in extended range electric models. These will offer a significant improvement in fuel economy, resulting in a reduction in tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions as compared to similar conventionally-fueled vehicles.

Daily Fleet Management

Optimizing our fleet operations is also a crucial component to making real changes. We use best practices to efficiently manage our fleet every day, and we continue to explore new ways to reduce fuel use and drive fewer miles. Our efforts include:

  • Encouraging our drivers to avoid fast acceleration and hard braking, to keep tires properly inflated by checking them frequently and to reduce the weight of loads carried.
  • Equipping more than 68,500 of our company vehicles with GPS/telematics capability. Use of this technology has provided increased visibility into business operations and allowed us to uncover opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Developed an idling reduction policy. Excessive and unnecessary idling wastes fuel, adversely affecting the environment and the company’s bottom line.

Fleet Management Solutions

AT&T is one of the largest U.S. wireless providers of fleet management solutions for commercial truck and van fleets. AT&T’s technician vehicles are equipped with similar solutions. For our company, these products provide:

  • Better management of miles driven per day by technicians
  • Improved processes for vehicle returns to work centers
  • Improved inventory management
  • Reduced drive time and costs with real-time dispatching

Read more about these solutions at our wireless and enterprise business sites.

U.S. EPA SmartWay program

AT&T strives to minimize the environmental impact of transportation by designing and optimizing our transportation and distribution network via route planning, consolidation and shipping full truckloads when possible. AT&T’s involvement in the SmartWay program requires us to benchmark and measure progress in our transport emissions management. This helps us further integrate energy efficiency, air quality and climate change initiatives into our transportation decision-making process. The program will also provide support to identify potential additional carbon reductions and cost savings opportunities in our distribution network.

Highlights include:

  • Dedicated distribution: AT&T uses a dedicated distribution network that covers 22 states with distribution centers. The Transportation Control Center works with suppliers to consolidate shipments on its dedicated fleet and uses EPA SmartWay carriers to reduce costs and carbon emissions. Dedicated transportation is used to move full truckloads in this network.
  • Transport optimization/better route planning: AT&T performs daily inbound planning through a transportation management system to select optimal transportation modes and consolidation opportunities for optimal routing. In 2014, AT&T’s Transportation Control Center managed shipments via the following modes: three percent truck load, 11 percent less than truck load, 51 percent AT&T distribution network, 34 percent parcel and one percent other (expedite, intermodal, air).
  • Consolidation: We analyze network field technician ordering frequency, resulting in moving most network field locations from daily to alternate day deliveries to consolidate demand and reduce unnecessary transport. In 2015, 61 percent of our inbound orders through the Transportation Control Center were consolidated.

In 2015, more than 99.8 percent of the miles covered for AT&T Transportation Control Center were done by carriers that participate in the EPA SmartWay program. We use SmartWay participation as a factor when evaluating potential carriers.

1EPA, "Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions", 2011.

2This number was calculated based on the 11,257 AFVs in service at the end of 2015.

3U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center.

Updated on: Jul 31, 2016