AT&T Issue Briefs

Our issue briefs provide additional details on topics identified as most important by our stakeholders. View all the issue briefs on the Reporting Library for a comprehensive overview or choose an issue in the drop-down menu.

 


Global Reporting Initiative Standard Disclosures
Climate change & GHG emissions MA; 305-1; 305-2;
305-3; 305-4; 305-5


Global Reporting Initiative Standard Disclosures
Climate change & GHG emissions MA; 305-1; 305-2;
305-3; 305-4; 305-5


ESG Material Issues
Climate change & GHG emissions

ESG Material Issues
Climate change & GHG emissions

 

 

Our Position

 

AT&T is committed to measuring and reducing our GHG emissions.

 


Key Performance Indicators¹
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
U.S. carbon footprint (Scopes 1, 2 & 3 in metric tons [MT] CO₂ equivalent [CO₂e])²
201710,716,169
201811,081,005
20199,387,488
20207,932,357
20216,736,954
Global carbon footprint (Scopes 1, 2 & 3 in MT CO₂e)²
201711,639,219
201812,035,873
201910,419,308
20208,614,713
20217,380,987
Greenhouse gas emissions intensity (Scopes 1 & 2 in MT CO₂e/$ billion of revenue)
201749,956
201845,383
201936,012
202033,700
202132,846
Greenhouse gas emissions intensity (Scopes 1 & 2 in MT CO₂e/1,000 subscribers)³
201736.61
201838.21
201930.59
202025.39
202122.45

 

All 2021 data is inclusive of all AT&T operations (including DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia). Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft.

Carbon footprint does not include supplier emissions.

Intensity metrics relative to our total number of subscribers include North America wireless, wireline voice and domestic broadband subscribers, as identified in our fiscal year 2021 Form 10-K.

 

 

 

 

 

Our Goals

 

TOPIC: GHG Emissions

2030 GOAL:  Reduce our absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 4 4 Scope 1 emissions include direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company (such as the fleet). Scope 2 emissions include indirect emissions that result from the generation of purchased energy. 63% (2015 base year) – aligning with a 1.5°C pathway.

(Approved by the Science Based Targets initiative in 2021.)
PROGRESS: Reduction of 37.2% 1 1 All 2021 data is inclusive of all AT&T operations (including DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia). Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft.
2021 Scope 1 and 2 emissions were 5,547,709 metric tons of CO2e. This represents a 37.17% reduction from our 2015 base year (8,829,258 metric tons of CO2e) - 59.0% attainment toward our Scope 1 and 2 science-based target. 1 1 All 2021 data is inclusive of all AT&T operations (including DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia). Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft.

 

 

TOPIC: Carbon Neutrality

 

2035 GOAL:  Achieve carbon neutrality (net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions 4 4 Scope 1 emissions include direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company (such as the fleet). Scope 2 emissions include indirect emissions that result from the generation of purchased energy. ).

 

 

PROGRESS: Reduction of 3,281,549 metric tons of CO2e 1 1 All 2021 data is inclusive of all AT&T operations (including DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia). Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft..
2021 Scope 1 and 2 emissions were 5,547,709 metric tons of CO2e. This represents a reduction of 3,281,549 metric tons from our 2015 base year (8,829,258 metric tons of CO2e) – 37.2% attainment toward our net zero target. 1 1 All 2021 data is inclusive of all AT&T operations (including DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia). Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft.

 

 

TOPIC: Customer Emissions Reduction Enablement

 

2035 GOAL: Deliver connectivity solutions that enable business customers to reduce a gigaton (1 billion metric tons) of GHG emissions between 2018 and 2035.

 

PROGRESS: Enabled 110.3 million metric tons of customer emissions savings
AT&T-enabled customer GHG emissions reductions measured between 2018 and 2021 totaled 110.3 million metric tons of CO2e – approximately 11% attainment toward our Gigaton Goal. 5 5 Data does not include DIRECTV or Vrio.

 

 

 

Our Action

AT&T has been measuring and disclosing our GHG emissions annually since 2008. In 2020, we committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2035 across our entire global operations. We will achieve net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions 4 4 Scope 1 emissions include direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company (such as the fleet). Scope 2 emissions include indirect emissions that result from the generation of purchased energy. through steps such as scaling our renewable energy use, accelerating network optimization and energy efficiency projects, and transitioning our fleet to electric vehicles (EVs). For more information, please see our Climate Strategy & Transition Plan

In 2021, AT&T joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) – a joint effort of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), World Wide Fund for Nature, United Nations Global Compact and World Resources Institute to reduce our GHG emissions in line with international consensus on limiting global temperature increases to 1.5°C. AT&T’s SBTi-approved goals are to:

  • Reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 63% by 2030 (2015 base year). Between 2015 and 2021, we reduced Scope 1 and 2 emissions 37.2% and are currently ahead of our timeline to achieve our target by 2030. 1 1 All 2021 data is inclusive of all AT&T operations (including DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia). Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft..
  • Work to ensure 50% of our suppliers (covering purchased goods and services, capital goods and downstream leased assets as a portion of spend) set their own science-based Scope 1 and Scope 2 targets by 2024. Through the end of 2021, 47% of our suppliers by spend have set such targets.

Since most of our emissions are tied to energy use, we aim to meet these targets by optimizing energy use in our facilities and networks, purchasing renewable energy and engaging our key suppliers to encourage emissions reductions upstream. Read more in our Energy Management issue brief.

The AT&T Implementation, Provisioning and Optimization organization oversees numerous aspects of our business that impact GHG emissions, including energy efficiency and energy conservation measures, decommissioning activities, and renewable energy programs and purchases. Other measures affecting our emissions – such as our fleet, employee travel and expense policies – are managed within distinct departments in accordance with organizational directives and procedures.

We evolve our GHG emissions management program and reporting tools to keep pace with the changing landscape and scope of our company, as well as with relevant standards, protocols and best practices. We work with an integrated energy services provider to compile, analyze and produce annual reports related to our GHG emissions. The content and methods related to data calculation, estimation and aggregation are reviewed each year to identify opportunities for improvement.

We also obtain annual, independent assurance of our Scope 1, 2 and 3 (select categories) emissions, as well as select energy figures. For our 2021  reporting, S&P Global Sustainable1 conducted this assurance effort. Its rigor in this process helps us realize continual, year-over-year improvements in accuracy. Learn more in the Independent Accountant’s Report.

Performance
In 2021, AT&T’s combined Scope 1 and market-based Scope 2 emissions decreased 4.16% relative to 2020. 1 1 All 2021 data is inclusive of all AT&T operations (including DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia). Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft..

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Scope 1 (Direct Emissions)
Scope 1 (direct) emissions account for 13.5% of our total reported emissions. 6 6 Inclusive of global Scopes 1, 2 & 3 non-supplier emissions. In 2021, we emitted 997,129 metric tons (MT) CO2e. 7 7 Our Scope 1 total emissions of 997,129  MT CO2e can be further broken down by component – CO2: 726,862 MT CO2e (726,862 MT CO2), CH4: 895 MT CO2e (32 MT CH4), N2O: 3,746 MT CO2e (14 MT N2O) and HFCs: 265,626 MT CO2e. These figures were calculated using average emission factors. This represents a 4.56% year-over-year decrease in Scope 1 emissions. 1 1 All 2021 data is inclusive of all AT&T operations (including DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia). Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft.

FLEET

AT&T expects to reduce its fleet emissions – which currently account for approximately 52% of our Scope 1 emissions – at least 76% by 2035. Through the end of 2021, our fleet emissions have decreased 131,386 MT CO2e – or 20.6% – from our 2015 base year. This represents a year-over-year decrease of 27,421 MT CO2e – or 5.1% – from 2020. 1 1 All 2021 data is inclusive of all AT&T operations (including DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia). Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft.. Although we expanded the fleet that supports our fiber and 5G network build-out, we reduced our overall fleet count. This overall vehicle decrease drove our Scope 1 emissions reduction.

We are members of the Corporate Electric Vehicles Alliance, which serves as a collaboration platform for companies to increase corporate demand for EVs and identify challenges and opportunities with adding EVs to their fleets. Additionally, in 2021, we began developing a Fleet Emissions Roadmap that will map our expected progress over the next 10 years. The plan will identify work needed on utility upgrades, plan site-specific readiness efforts and help us execute the procurement of EV supply equipment and EVs.

REGRIGERANTS

Refrigerants account for more than 26% of AT&T’s Scope 1 emissions. 1 1 All 2021 data is inclusive of all AT&T operations (including DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia). Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft. We are developing an inventory database to account for all refrigerant usage and actual fugitive emissions as opposed to the current methodology based on Environmental Protection Agency leakage rates. This will allow us to identify hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-free refrigerant replacements and develop a plan to reduce fugitive emissions.

STATIONARY ENGINES

More than 11% of AT&T’s Scope 1 emissions come from our use of stationary generator engines, which provide critical backup power to help maintain our network reliability. 1 1 All 2021 data is inclusive of all AT&T operations (including DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia). Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft. We are currently evaluating opportunities to use fuel cells and other power generation options that will reduce our reliance on fossil-fuel backup generation.

 

Scope 2 (Indirect Emissions)

AT&T reports emissions using market-based Scope 2 emissions in accordance with the GHG Protocol, enabling us to account for renewable electricity in our portfolio.

Scope 2 emissions (from purchased electricity and steam – CO2,CH4, N2O) account for the majority of our total operational emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2, i.e., direct and indirect). Our market-based Scope 2 emissions account for 82% of our operational emissions and nearly 62% of our total reported (Scopes 1, 2 & 3) emissions. In 2021, our year-over-year market-based Scope 2 emissions footprint decreased 4.07%. 1 1 All 2021 data is inclusive of all AT&T operations (including DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia). Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft..

Since purchased electricity represents our greatest opportunity for emissions savings, we have multi-year transition plans in place to reduce electricity consumption where possible and accelerate energy efficiency efforts. In addition to reducing our energy use, we purchase renewable energy so that the energy we do consume is sustainably generated. The primary reduction in Scope 2 emissions resulted from additional renewable energy in our portfolio, the decommissioning of network and real estate assets, and network radio resource efficiency improvements. We also implemented various internal efficiency projects, including building optimization modifications and repairs including HVAC upgrades and lighting retrofits.

See our Energy Management issue brief for more information about our energy programs.

Scope 3 (Other Emissions)

AT&T reports on 6 Scope 3 emissions categories that are material to our business. In 2022, we are again evaluating the materiality of all 15 of the GHG Protocol categories. Our most relevant sources of Scope 3 emissions include:

Scope 3 Emissions Sources
MT CO2e
2020 Emissions – Supplier Emissions 8 8 Purchased goods and services, capital goods, and upstream transportation and distribution data is estimated based on economic allocation of 2020 supplier GHG emissions, revenue and spend data for AT&T Communications. DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia are not included. The emissions are calculated from supplier responses to CDP Supply Chain using the industry-accepted economic allocation model.
Purchased Goods and Services 1,499,797
Capital Goods 182,192
Upstream Transportation and Distribution 116,591

2021 Emissions

Waste Generated in Operations 9 9 Data is inclusive of DIRECTV, Xandr and WarnerMedia for the full year. Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. 73,053
Business Travel  10 10 Data is inclusive of DIRECTV, Xandr, Vrio and WarnerMedia for the full year. Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. 102,171
Downstream Leased Assets 10 10 Data is inclusive of DIRECTV, Xandr, Vrio and WarnerMedia for the full year. Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. , 11 11 AT&T TV and U-verse set-top boxes are included through July 2021. In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. Vrio set-top boxes are included through EOY 2021 because the exclusion of December emissions is immaterial. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. 1,658,054

 

SUPPLIER EMISSIONS: PURCHASED GOODS AND SERVICES, CAPITAL GOODS, UPSTREAM TRANSPORTATION AND DISTRIBUTION

We work with the CDP Supply Chain program to collect emissions data from our top suppliers. This data enables us to estimate 3 Scope 3 supplier emissions categories, including purchased goods and services, capital goods, and upstream transportation and distribution. 8 8 Purchased goods and services, capital goods, and upstream transportation and distribution data is estimated based on economic allocation of 2020 supplier GHG emissions, revenue and spend data for AT&T Communications. DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia are not included. The emissions are calculated from supplier responses to CDP Supply Chain using the industry-accepted economic allocation model. We apply the economic allocation model to calculate emissions estimates. Each year, CDP receives data from the previous year’s emissions, so data received in 2021 covers 2020 supplier emissions. Given the annual 1-year lag in supplier emissions availability, those figures are not included in our overall 2021 Scope 3 emissions total. Please see our Responsible Supply Chain issue brief for further details about our supply chain efforts.

WASTE GENERATED IN OPERATIONS

To calculate our emissions related to waste generation, we use the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waste Reduction Model. We delineate our waste material by corrugated containers, office paper, dimensional lumber, yard trimmings, mixed paper, mixed metals, mixed plastics, mixed recyclables, food waste, mixed organics and mixed municipal solid waste.

BUSINESS TRAVEL

Our business-related travel includes air and rail travel and rental car use. It does not include rideshare or taxi use.

DOWNSTREAM LEASED ASSETS

We track emissions from the operation of assets owned by AT&T and leased to other entities (e.g., customers) that are not already included in Scope 1 or Scope 2. Total emissions for leased assets for 2021 were 1.66 million MT CO2e, a 39.1% decrease from 2020. 1 1 All 2021 data is inclusive of all AT&T operations (including DIRECTV, Vrio, Xandr and WarnerMedia). Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. In April 2022, we completed a transaction to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. In June 2022, we completed the sale of the programmatic advertising marketplace component of Xandr Inc to Microsoft.