When Social Good Trumps Competition

20 Feb 2014 | John Schulz

Tagged: Planet,

I’m a pretty serious hockey fan. I fashioned my own aluminum foil Cup when my team won it all in 1999, I’ve stuck with them through the recent lean years, and like all true fans, I believe this year will be the year we win it all.  And I’ll be the first to admit that my rabid fandom has resulted in some substantial distaste for some of my favorite team’s rivals.  Let’s just say that there are just some teams that I really want to beat.

While Verizon and AT&T compete on many fronts, issues like water scarcity are common challenges we all face.

Surely this competitive nature is even more amplified when professional athletes face off, which makes the scene from the hockey games in Sochi last weekend so notable. There they were, professional hockey players, from arch-rival teams united on their national team (GO USA!), dismissing that deep-seeded competitive urge to pummel each other in order to reach a larger, more important goal - national pride. 

There are some objectives that can eclipse even the strongest of competitive juices. For Verizon, they didn’t let their role as a marketplace competitor get in the way of their commitment to conserve national resources. That’s why we applaud their announcement to use the Water MAPP toolkit that AT&T developed with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Just consider it: one of our fiercest competitors saw enough value in the toolkit that they are planning to use it to reduce water usage in their own buildings!  We were honored by the move and delighted that others have found value in the toolkit.

While Verizon and AT&T compete on many fronts, issues like water scarcity are common challenges we all face. Rather than let business competition get in the way of taking action that helps their community, they cast those issues aside, proving that when it comes to social and environmental good, competitors can see eye-to-eye.  We have made a commitment with EDF to get the word out about the toolkit. The more companies and cities that use the toolkit to increase water efficiency, the more water that is saved, and everyone wins.  After all, issues like water stress and environmental responsibility impact all of us, regardless of which team we play for.

About the Author

John Schulz

AVP of Sustainability Operations


John Schulz is AVP of Sustainability Operations at AT&T, and is focused on embedding sustainability into AT&T’s operations, products and services while positioning Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as an important sustainability solution.

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