Footprints and Handprints: The Journey to Measure our Full Impact Begins

22 Sep 2016 | John Schulz

Tagged: Planet, Caring for the Planet,

One year ago this month, the United Nations adopted a new group of 17 global goals – the Sustainable Development Goals. To say that the goals are ambitious is an understatement. Goals like “no poverty,” “zero-hunger,” “ensure inclusive and quality education for all,” and “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts,” target some of the most significant challenges of our time.  

We know that global companies like ours play a role in achieving these goals. As a technology company, our products can empower customers to improve their impact: our “handprint.”  We must also continue to improve how we operate: our “footprint.” In fact, I’ve recently stepped into a new role focused on measuring these impacts.

The first impact we’ll look at is reducing carbon emissions, which is critical to addressing global climate change. One of the goals in our 2025 goals platform is to enable carbon savings 10x the footprint of our operations by enhancing the efficiency of our network and delivering sustainable customer solutions.

As a first step, we’ve teamed up with 2 trusted organizations with tons of experience in this space, Carbon Trust and BSR. Together, we’ll focus on:

  • Developing a methodology to estimate the carbon savings of our products using data, assumptions and calculations that are robust, credible and transparent
  • Turning complex technology solutions into real-world case studies that are easy to understand
  • Building these stories of how we engage customers into a movement that can scale up across industries, cities and communities

Now the fun begins. This is new territory, so I’m sure we will encounter challenges that we didn’t expect, but it’s all in the name of progress. We don’t want to sit on the sidelines, and we’re looking forward to sharing the journey with you. 

About the Author

John Schulz

Director, Sustainability Integration, AT&T


John Schulz is the Director of Sustainablity Integration at AT&T.