The AT&T Issue Brief Library

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Environmental Compliance

Materiality Assessment Topic: Hazardous waste reduction; E-waste | Global Reporting Initiative G4 Indicator: Material Topic DMA

Issue Summary

Protecting our current 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 environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, and to maintaining and improving management systems throughout the company to meet our compliance obligations.

Data Highlights


Our Action

We are committed to following the most stringent environmental compliance laws applicable to our operations. AT&T complies with the environmental laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which it operates.

Our operating companies had one significant environmental compliance-related enforcement action in 2014 (defined as those actions that resulted in sanctions equal to or exceeding $100,000). AT&T reached an agreement with the California Attorney General’s office and the Alameda County District Attorney’s office over improper disposal of hazardous waste in company dumpsters, for a monetary settlement of $23.8 million. We take environmental stewardship seriously, and we’ve cooperated closely with the state and Alameda County to resolve this issue in a way that is in the best interest of the environment, our customers and all Californians. The settlement recognizes the company for taking prompt action, dedicating significant additional resources toward environmental compliance, and improving our hazardous and universal waste management compliance programs.

Environment, Health & Safety

AT&T has a strong environment, health and safety management system – 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 & safety hazards, which will continually 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 for the purpose of implementing the six elements of the management system to ensure compliance with external and internal objectives:

  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, defining clear roles and responsibilities within the EH&S 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, such as the Executive Environmental Council, participates in regular reviews of AT&T’s EHS performance and programs. The council is a regular forum for senior leaders of AT&T business units to review their ongoing implementation of the AT&T environmental policy.

Our Code of Business Conduct 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 and understanding its provisions. In 2014, we accomplished an approximately 99.6 percent completion rate on our code training. We train all domestic employees on our EH&S plan, and we conduct specialized training based on job tasks and the hazards an employee is likely to encounter in his or her position.

Updated on: Sep 22, 2015

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