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.

 


Stakeholder Engagement Topics
Supply chain responsibility & sustainability

Stakeholder Engagement Topics
Supply chain responsibility & sustainability

 

 

Our Position

 

AT&T is committed to conducting business with the highest ethical standards and integrity, with an emphasis on corporate responsibility and sustainability. Our suppliers are held accountable to the same high ethical, environmental, social and governance standards.


2020 Key Performance Indicators
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Percent of spend with suppliers that track greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions¹ 
2016>50% 
2017>50% 
201864% 
201954% 
202060% 
Percent of spend with suppliers that have specific GHG emissions goals¹ 
2016>50% 
2017>50% 
201849% 
201945% 
202056% 
Percent of spend with suppliers engaged with sustainability assessments on a 1- to 3-year cycle¹ 
201680% 
201780% 
201880% 
201980% 
202080% 
Number of supplier facility audits led by AT&T 
2016-- 
20173 factory locations 
20185 factory locations 
20195 factory locations 
20202 factory locations 
Number of supplier facilities audited by the Joint Audit Cooperation (JAC) program overall² ³ 
201669 factory locations 
201789 factory locations 
2018132 factory locations  
2019124 factory locations 
202076 factory locations  
Individuals reviewed for human rights adequacy by AT&T-led JAC audits²
2016-- 
2017-- 
201814,000 
20196,690 
20207,674 
Individuals reviewed for human rights adequacy by the JAC program overall²
2016-- 
2017-- 
2018263,000 
2019304,703 
2020128,590 
Percent of total spend with business enterprises owned by minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQ+ people and those with disabilities¹ 
201624.3% 
201725.2% 
201826.8% 
201926.4% 
202024.5% 
Total spend with business enterprises owned by minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQ+ people and those with disabilities¹ 
2016$14.2B 
2017$14.4B 
2018$15.1B 
2019$14.2B 
2020$13.2B 
Percent of diverse suppliers externally certified by third-party agencies¹ 
2016100% 
2017100% 
2018100% 
2019100% 
2020100% 

 

1Supplier diversity and sustainability spend and performance excludes content and programming spend. The management approach and data detailed reflect the activities of the AT&T Global Connections and Supply Chain organization within AT&T Communications.

2AT&T joined JAC in mid-2016.

3JAC members, including AT&T, were not able to audit as many facilities in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

 

 

 

Our Goals

 

 

TOPIC: Sustainable Sourcing Standards

 

 

2020 TARGET: Lead our supply chain to improve its social and environmental impacts by integrating sustainability performance metrics into our sourcing decisions for 80% of our spend.4

 

 

PROGRESS: Integrated sustainability performance metrics for 80% of spend.

In 2020, we achieved our goal to integrate sustainability performance metrics into our sourcing decisions for 80% of our spend. AT&T Global Connections and Supply Chain continued to require suppliers to adhere to our Principles of Conduct for Suppliers through our Supplier Portal and contract agreements. We led 2 on-site supplier factory audits as a member of JAC. We continue to incorporate sustainability-oriented standards and analyses into sourcing decisions, including the insertion of sustainability clauses into requests for proposals (RFPs) and agreements, training our sourcing managers on the principles of sustainability, and providing updates to sourcing managers on the sustainability performance of existing suppliers.

We have extended this goal through 2025 and will continue reporting progress annually.

 

 

TOPIC: Supplier Diversity Spend

 

 

2020 TARGET: In 2019–2020, spend $3 billion with Black-owned suppliers across the U.S.

 

 

PROGRESS: Spent $3.1 billion with Black-owned suppliers.

We exceeded our 2-year target and through the end of 2020 spent $3.1 billion with Black-owned suppliers across lines of business including legal, professional services, warehousing, logistics, advertising and marketing services, fuel, construction and engineering, property management, and fiber installation.

 

 

TOPIC: Supplier Science-Based GHG Emissions Targets

 

 

2024 TARGET: 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 GHG targets.

 

 

PROGRESS: 40% of suppliers have set science-based GHG emissions targets.

This target was approved by the Science Based Targets initiative in 2020. Through the end of 2020, 40% of our suppliers by spend have set science-based GHG targets.

 

 

TOPIC: Supplier Sustainability Measurement

 

 

2025 TARGET: Help establish clear, agreed-upon industry sustainability metrics to measure the environmental and social impact of technology supply chains.

Promote the use of sustainability metrics in industry sourcing.

Develop and follow an industry roadmap toward truly sustainable performance among our suppliers.

 

 

PROGRESS: Collaborating with industry-leading organizations.

To evaluate our suppliers on social and environmental criteria, we work with multiple industry organizations, including:

  • TIA-QuEST Forum: AT&T helps lead the working group advancing the adoption of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Sustainability Assessor tool, which we also use with our own suppliers.
  • CDP: AT&T requests that our strategic suppliers respond to the annual CDP supply chain survey, which we use to gather their GHG emissions data, reduction goals and associated progress.
  • JAC: We work with JAC to conduct corporate social responsibility (CSR) audits of our suppliers’ manufacturing facilities, the results of which are shared with JAC member telecommunications companies.
  • Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC): AT&T uses guidance documents provided by SPLC, which provide information on sustainable purchasing standards, tools in the market and guidance for conducting RFx (request for) purchasing evaluations.

Such industry collaboration is ongoing and, as we look forward to our new collection of goals for 2030 and beyond, we will no longer be tracking progress toward this target.

 

 

 

Our Action

Suppliers are a key part of our business and therefore must be part of our approach to sustainability and diversity. We have suppliers around the world (in non-embargoed countries) representing all types of trades, engaged across all our operating units. AT&T Communications works with more than 20,000 suppliers globally – this reach allows AT&T the opportunity to streamline operations, reduce long-term costs and limit overall environmental impact.

We proactively work with our suppliers to advance sustainable business practices throughout our supply chain, focusing on energy use, climate impact, human rights, water use, waste and natural resource use. AT&T is committed to promoting healthy, safe and inclusive working conditions throughout our supply chain, and we are continuing to work toward increasing the engagement of minority-, woman-, veteran-, LGBTQ+- and disability-owned business enterprises. We also encourage subcontracting opportunities for these businesses by requiring supplier diversity participation from our prime suppliers.

The supply chain of AT&T Communications and AT&T International, 2 of our operating companies, is managed by our Global Connections and Supply Chain (GCSC) organization, representing the largest and most complex portion of our supply chain. Because of the scale of this work, this issue brief reflects the efforts of GCSC unless otherwise noted. Supplier Diversity and Supplier Sustainability metrics represent the effort of our U.S. operations. GCSC has centralized the management of high-risk suppliers representing certain high-risk factors and optimized reverse logistics strategy and operations.

Managing Our Supply Chain

Top managerial responsibility for supply chain management lies with the Executive Vice President of GCSC, who also sits on the Corporate Social Responsibility Governance Council (Council). The council is led by our Chief Sustainability Officer, with oversight from the Public Policy and Corporate Reputation Committee of the AT&T Board of Directors.

Our supply chain management strategy includes incorporating Citizenship and Sustainability and Supplier Diversity clauses into agreements and RFPs, training sourcing managers on the principles of sustainability and diversity, and providing updates to sourcing managers on supplier sustainability and diversity performance. We strive to ensure conformance with the AT&T Principles of Conduct for Suppliers (Supplier Principles) using the following approaches:

  • The Supplier Principles are posted on the AT&T Supplier Portal, where they are publicly accessible to all of AT&T’s current and potential future suppliers. Our Supplier Principles and management systems are also applicable to non-tier 1 suppliers.
  • Our general agreements and purchase order terms include Citizenship and Sustainability and Diversity clauses. As part of our agreements, suppliers are also required to achieve and maintain quality assurance certification throughout the term of the agreement.
  • We conduct Strategic Supplier Sustainability Assessments and corporate social responsibility (CSR) audits and assessments. Our CSR audit and assessment program is conducted through our membership in the Joint Audit Cooperation (JAC) and applies to tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers.
  • In 2020, we implemented our Preferred Supplier Program, incorporating over 350 suppliers that have demonstrated a commitment to corporate social responsibility in the areas of diversity and environmental sustainability.
Supplier Development

In support of small, minority-owned and woman-owned businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, AT&T Supplier Diversity worked with regional diverse business organizations to provide grants covering fees for diverse supplier certification– a necessary step that businesses must take to work with corporations and other businesses seeking diversity in their supplier relationships. In 2020, we also hosted a training for our top spend suppliers that emphasized the importance of using reporting and sustainability disclosures to reduce the environmental impact of their operations.

Supplier Engagement in Sustainability

We regularly engage our suppliers’ employees through our membership in JAC. If we learn a supplier may be at risk of noncompliance with social responsibility standards, JAC conducts on-site CSR audits by recognized, independent third-party auditors at suppliers’ manufacturing and assembly facilities using a common audit framework. In 2020, AT&T began using mobile worker surveys in addition to JAC’s on-site CSR audit methodology. These surveys are taken by employees of suppliers on their mobile device and provide insight into working conditions at the facilities.

Our suppliers and their employees can also contact AT&T regarding any issues, including social responsibility standards and concerns of noncompliance, at inquiry@attsuppliers.com.

Sustainability Clauses

GCSC’s agreements contractually obligate suppliers to conduct business with respect for corporate citizenship, sustainability and human rights (Citizenship and Sustainability) and conduct their business operations in a manner consistent with AT&T’s Corporate Social Responsibility practices. AT&T expects suppliers to adhere to high social standards, reduce the environmental impact of their products and services, support energy efficiencies, and respond to AT&T’s sustainability-related information requests.

Supplier Sustainability Principles

We outline our expectations for suppliers on a variety of issues in our Supplier Principles, which align to international standards, such as the International Labour Organization, for topics such as freedom of association, collective bargaining, forced labor, child labor and discrimination. The Supplier Principles encompass all environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations, including the following:

  • Sustainable Business Practices
  • Environment, Health and Safety
  • Supplier Diversity
  • Ethics
  • Freedom of Association
  • Conflict Minerals
  • Labor Practices
  • Human Rights
  • Circular Economy
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Company Property and Resources
  • Confidential Information and Privacy

Suppliers should hold their subcontractors to the Supplier Principles, and all suppliers and subcontractors are required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, both domestic and foreign. If a supplier has questions about the Supplier Principles, senior sourcing managers may engage the AT&T Supply Chain Sustainability Office to consult with the supplier.

AT&T expects suppliers to demonstrate robust environmental, health and safety (EH&S) policies and practices. Suppliers should also provide a safe and healthy workplace that meets international and national standards, laws, rules and regulations, and appropriate health and safety information and training to their employees. We expect suppliers to minimize the impact of emergency events by proactively developing business continuity plans and response procedures.

We require suppliers to verify that they follow the Supplier Principles through a supplier self-attestation process every 18 to 24 months. To ensure compliance with the Supplier Principles, we survey a subset of suppliers based on their risk level, which is determined by reviewing their response to a high-risk activities questionnaire completed by our sourcing managers in cooperation with the respective AT&T department(s). The suppliers’ risk levels also determine the frequency with which we conduct the surveys.

Please refer to the Supplier Principles for the latest information on these expectations.

Strategic Supplier Sustainability Assessments
We engage our strategic suppliers, representing 80% of supplier spend, in sustainability assessments on 1- to 3-year cycles. 1 1 Supplier diversity and sustainability spend and performance excludes content and programming spend. The management approach and data detailed reflect the activities of the AT&T Global Connections and Supply Chain organization within AT&T Communications. These assessments, in conjunction with supplier evaluations, enable us to meet our 2020 goal to integrate sustainability performance metrics into sourcing decisions for 80% of our spend. 4 4 This goal is focused on network, consumer equipment and corporate services spend, and does not include video content and entertainment companies.

We evaluate our suppliers against scores in TIA Sustainability Assessor reports developed with the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). The TIA Sustainability Assessor and associated reports enable telecommunications industry suppliers to continuously improve sustainable best practices with:

  • A 10-factor model that provides structure for users,
  • Several business segment options that refine appropriate questions,
  • Individual reports with a prioritized set of recommendations to optimize sustainability programs
  • Support for sustainability planning aligned with the organization’s strategy,
  • Shifted emphasis from compliance to excellence and
  • Benchmark data against others in industry.

Suppliers completing the TIA Sustainability Assessor are requested to respond to questions regarding their policies and management practices:

  1. Environmental management 
  2. Resource efficiency optimization
  3. Carbon footprint and ozone depletion
  4. Corporate social responsibility 
  5. Supply chain management
  1. Stakeholder engagement
  2. Organizational engagement and capabilities
  3. Eco design
  4. End-to-end delivery
  5. Circular economy life cycle
Suppliers receive a report with an overall performance band – gold, silver, bronze or below bronze – along with a numerical score that gives insight into their performance level as well as their proximity to the next-level performance band. AT&T has visibility into suppliers’ scoring progress. Even if a supplier stays in the same performance band, we work with them to review actionable items and discuss improvement plans. Since 2017, more than 325 of our suppliers have completed the assessor tool. In 2020, TIA/QuEST Forum recognized AT&T with its “340 Club” award for exhibiting exceptional membership participation in its activities and our employees’ investment of time and effort in multiple workgroups, subteams and regions.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Audits & Assessments

AT&T is a member of JAC, an organization that facilitates collaboration among peer telecom companies and information and communication technology (ICT) suppliers to verify and audit supply chains on areas such as labor practices, human rights, health and safety, ethics, and the environment.

Through our JAC membership, CSR audits are conducted by recognized, independent third-party auditors at suppliers’ manufacturing facilities using a common audit framework. Member companies share audit results of suppliers, which promotes continuous improvement while reducing supplier audit fatigue. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, AT&T and other JAC members were not able to audit as many facilities as in previous years. In 2020, JAC audited 76 factory locations, including 14 AT&T suppliers, 2 AT&T-led third-party audits and Mobile Worker Surveys of AT&T suppliers’ factory locations and conducted human rights reviews for more than 128,590 individuals.

The JAC audit framework includes the following:

  • Facility evaluation of production areas, office areas, storage facilities, distribution centers and dormitories.
  • Management interviews of production, EH&S, quality, human resources and payroll manager(s).
  • Confidential worker interviews of permanent, temporary and subcontracted labor – including workers of both genders, new workers and workers from various departments and shifts.
  • Review of relevant company documents necessary to understand whether the supplier is conforming to common CSR principles and standards. This may include personnel records, proof-of-age documentation, timesheets, payroll records, environmental permits, emergency response plans, health and safety training documentation and certifications.

The 10 main areas of focus, all of which are addressed during the audits, are:

  1. Child labor
  2. Forced/bonded labor
  3. Health and safety
  4. Freedom of association
  5. Discrimination
  1. Disciplinary practices
  2. Working hours
  3. Wages and compensation
  4. Environment
  5. Business ethics
If we become aware of suppliers at risk of noncompliance with social standards, we engage the supplier(s) through JAC with on-site CSR audits and corrective action plans. In 2020, JAC identified 665 corrective actions and closed 92% of all identified corrective actions – including 13% rated as unacceptable, 59% rated as critical and 28% flagged for noncompliance.

AT&T also manages supplier risk via the TIA Sustainability Assessor, which asks suppliers to respond to questions on policies and management practices which:

  • Prohibit child labor
  • Prohibit forced labor
  • Protect freedom of association
  • Prohibit discrimination
  • Prohibit physical coercion and inhumane disciplinary practices
  • Ensure health and safety
  • Limit the number of working hours
  • Address wages and compensation
  • Prohibit corruption and bribery
Supply Chain Due Diligence

The AT&T supplier due diligence process focuses on vetting suppliers prior to contract execution and thereafter monitoring to ensure that AT&T is not conducting business with entities that pose risks to its operations, brand or reputation. We use a variety of approaches including online and subscription resources to assist in assessing and monitoring our suppliers for indications of financial, security and other risks. During our initial engagement process, suppliers complete an onboarding questionnaire. Based on their responses and the presence of any high-risk indicators, applicable risk mitigation, such as contract language and other controls, is deployed. Business- and risk-specific compliance monitoring is also performed, as appropriate.

We also have a screening process for restricted parties that identifies potential sustainability risks in the supply chain. This program screens customers, suppliers and other trading partners against more than 600 restricted-party lists from governments worldwide. Additionally, our procurement systems and contracting processes include the use of a high-risk activities questionnaire that identifies which contract clauses are required to mitigate high-risk engagements.

The AT&T Risk Management organization is responsible for preserving our assets and shareowner value by minimizing the financial effects of accidental losses, including activities related to the AT&T supply chain. Risk Management is responsible for establishing insurance requirements for contractors/vendors and reviewing insurance clauses within contracts.

Conflict Minerals

As a large device retailer, we’ve actively sought to address the human rights issue of conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and surrounding areas through increased transparency in our supply chain. Our Supplier Principles confirm our expectations that the products we sell will not contain conflict minerals that either directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups, and we require our suppliers to comply with applicable laws, including any applicable conflict mineral rules. We reserve the right to audit for any known instances of noncompliance. If corrective action is warranted due to noncompliance with our conflict minerals expectations, AT&T works with its suppliers to correct or remedy any identified noncompliance and will suspend or terminate contracts with suppliers that fail to demonstrate a commitment to our Supplier Principles. AT&T has put in place the following ongoing activities to identify potential reporting obligations regarding conflict minerals:

  • A comprehensive Conflict Minerals Program that serves as the documented framework in which AT&T performs the steps required to determine the applicability of and compliance with Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) rules implementing that act (SEC Conflict Minerals Rules).
  • A working team that addresses the day-to-day activities associated with complying with the SEC Conflict Minerals Rules.
  • A governance committee that reviews and provides general guidance on conflict minerals compliance activities.

AT&T has taken the necessary steps to determine the extent to which we may have reporting obligations under the SEC Conflict Minerals Rules. The Executive Vice President of Global Connections and Supply Chain of AT&T Communications has ultimate managerial responsibility for conflict minerals. The GCSC team ensures applicable contracts reference our Supplier Principles and our expectation that suppliers do not use conflict minerals in the products they provide AT&T.

We also support industry efforts to address conflict minerals. We remain involved in this issue through our membership in the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and our participation in the JAC program. Through continued collaboration with suppliers, we are committed to the responsible sourcing and use of these minerals.

Supplier Diversity

AT&T Supplier Diversity connects certified diverse minority-, woman-, veteran-, LGBTQ+- and disability-owned business enterprises with opportunities to provide products and services to AT&T around the world. We believe diverse suppliers bring value to our company through their unique skills and innovative ideas. Their efforts help us deliver world-class products and services to meet our customers’ diverse needs. Our goal for diversity performance is 21.5% of total procurement expenditures, 15% for minority-owned business enterprises, 5% for woman-owned business enterprises and 1.5% for service-disabled veteran-owned business enterprises. Participation in the supplier diversity program requires third-party certification issued by an approved organization or agency, and a copy of the certification is required to do business with AT&T as a diverse supplier. In 2020, 100% of AT&T diverse suppliers were externally certified by third-party agencies.

AT&T has been a long-standing leader in supplier diversity by identifying and promoting diverse businesses for contract opportunities as both prime suppliers and subcontractors. We are proud to be one of the first corporations in the U.S. to have a supplier diversity program – launched in 1968 as a response to the civil unrest and economic disparities many diverse businesses were encountering. As we adopt new and emerging technologies critical to our business initiatives, we’ve made targeted efforts to ensure that diverse businesses are part of that transformation. Our supplier diversity program is also instrumental in helping prime suppliers increase the use of minority-, woman-, veteran-, LGBTQ+- and disability-owned businesses in their supply chain for subcontracting opportunities.

Diversity in our supply chain has never been more important than now. We surpassed our 2-year commitment to spend $3 billion with Black-owned suppliers by year-end 2020. To reach our commitment, we added several new Black suppliers while increasing spend with others. Black suppliers support AT&T across different lines of business including legal, professional services, warehousing, logistics, advertising and marketing services, fuel, construction and engineering, property management, and fiber installation. Many helped us get through COVID-19 by keeping our supply chain resilient, ensuring a reliable fuel supply for our fleets and even distributing pandemic-related supplies to our global workforce to keep our employees safe.

Our supplier diversity program managers are dedicated to working with our sourcing teams and departments to identify specific areas of opportunity and include diverse businesses in competitive bids. In addition to identifying, considering and mentoring diverse suppliers throughout the sourcing process, we are committed to creating business development initiatives, including business education opportunities. Our program is structured around internal and external initiatives and is guided by 4 areas of focus:

  1. Strategic Supplier Outreach: We interview prospective suppliers at regional and national supplier diversity events and share important information and criteria about doing business with AT&T. We work with several diversity business organizations for targeted supplier identification. In 2020, AT&T Communications sponsored and/or participated in roughly 75 virtual supplier diversity outreach events and meetings.
  2. Diverse Supplier Advocacy: We work closely with our sourcing organization, department partners and prime suppliers to identify and influence opportunities for consideration and inclusion of diverse suppliers.
  3. Engaging Our Prime Suppliers: We work with our prime suppliers to maximize use of diverse suppliers as subcontractors. Key to this effort are our requirements that prime suppliers provide an annual plan outlining their proposed use of diverse suppliers and report their diversity subcontracting spend monthly.
  4. Business Development and Education: We provide opportunities for diverse suppliers to participate in executive education and training programs through the sponsorship of formal mentoring and business development programs. We also host and participate in workshops, seminars and 1-on-1 counseling sessions.
Supplier Programming

AT&T’s supplier diversity team conducts comprehensive outreach to connect diverse businesses across the U.S. with supply chain opportunities at AT&T. We partner with business organizations, chambers of commerce and other business groups that provide business development, certification and advocacy support.

In 2020, to expand our measurement of AT&T Supplier Diversity impact beyond spend, AT&T Supplier started collecting diversity and inclusion metrics from our suppliers to measure their workforce ethnic and gender diversity. These metrics are now a factor in our Preferred Supplier designation and incorporated into sourcing decisions. Our goal is to drive accountability by rewarding suppliers who demonstrate strong diversity and inclusion values, which enables AT&T to make a positive impact on the economic growth of diverse communities.

We also encourage our prime suppliers to engage minority-, woman-, veteran-, LGBTQ+- and disability-owned businesses throughout our value chain in both overall spend and the number of contracts awarded to diverse subcontractors. The Prime Supplier Program aims to help prime suppliers create meaningful diverse supplier subcontract goals and provide quarterly reports. Our team conducts monthly reviews and, when necessary, action plans to ensure goal attainment.

AT&T Supplier Diversity sponsors a signature diverse supplier mentoring program called the Business Growth Acceleration Program (BGAP). We offer sponsorships to a select group of qualified business leaders who are certified as diverse suppliers with an AT&T-recognized certification agency and who have at least 3 years of ownership experience and annual revenue of $1 million or more. The 5-month program is composed of group sessions conducted online and in person. Classes provide strategies on how to improve business operations, enhance abilities to win corporate contracts and improve the growth of their businesses to handle larger projects. The practical, hands-on learning approach enables each participant to immediately apply concepts learned to their individual business challenges. At the conclusion of the program, CEOs have the opportunity to present a business pitch to AT&T leaders. In 2020, 10 diverse businesses were selected to participate.

AT&T also provides educational support, offering scholarships to diverse business executives/senior leaders, and financial support. Our supplier financing programs allow small, diverse businesses to utilize and leverage the credit power ranking/rating of AT&T. Our suppliers benefit by freeing up additional cash flow at a low interest rate that many are not eligible to receive at their financial institutions. In 2020, participants in our supplier financing program included 27 certified women-owned business enterprises, 45 certified minority business enterprises and 6 certified disabled-veteran enterprises.

Supplier Sustainability & Diversity Awards

The AT&T Supplier Sustainability and Diversity Awards honor suppliers that make outstanding contributions to our sustainability and diversity efforts. The AT&T Supplier Sustainability and Diversity Awards honor suppliers that make outstanding contributions to our sustainability and diversity efforts. The awards recognize suppliers for Diversity Excellence and Sustainability Excellence, and AT&T's Suppliers of the Year also recognizes excellence in both areas. Although we were not able to recognize suppliers’ performance in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we intend to continue to award in the future. Read about our past Supplier Sustainability and Diversity Awards winners:

External Recognition

In 2020, our supplier diversity program received the following awards:

  1. DiversityInc Top 12 Companies for Supplier Diversity
  2. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) America’s Top Corporation for Women’s Business Enterprises
  3. OmniKal America’s Top 50 Corporation for Multicultural Business Opportunities
  4. Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC) Top Corporation for Women Business Enterprises
  5. Dallas Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council (DFWMSDC) Buy Those That Buy Us
  6. Hispanic Network Magazine Best of the Best for Latino Businesses
  7. Black EOE Journal Best of the Best for Top Supplier Diversity Program
  8. Minority Business News USA Magazine All-Stars of Supplier Diversity
  9. Minority Business News USA Magazine Best of the Best for Supplier Diversity
  10. New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Change Agent Award
  11. Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award
  12. Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council (WRMSDC) – The Warrior Award
Industry Collaboration

We collaborate with others in the industry and across our supply chain to develop more efficient products and practices. Examples of our engagement include:

  • Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)-QuEST Forum: • Working with our industry group, TIA-QuEST Forum, we helped to lead the sustainability working group advancing the evolution and use of the TIA Sustainability Assessor and the sharing of best practices. We contributed to monthly working group conference calls that included presentations by member companies sharing best practices. For more information, visit the QuEST Forum Sustainability Initiative and TIA Sustainability websites.
  • Joint Audit Cooperation (JAC): AT&T is a member of JAC, an organization that facilitates collaboration among peer telecom companies.
  • Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC): AT&T is an active member of SPLC. SPLC evaluates sustainable purchasing standards and tools in the market and publishes sustainable purchasing guidance for conducting RFx evaluations. These guidance documents are then being increasingly used to inform our RFx initiatives.
  • CDP: Working with CDP’s supply chain program, 197 of our suppliers reported their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2020. Using industry-accepted methods, we gather and analyze data on these suppliers’ emissions reduction goals and progress. See more information on how we manage our Scope 3 emissions at the CDP Supply Chain website and in our Greenhouse Gas Emissions issue brief. In 2020 our suppliers reported an overall 2.38% reduction in Scope 3 emissions.
  • Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI): As a GeSI board member and leader of the Climate Change Committee, AT&T works with industry peers and suppliers to improve performance across the value chain and drive achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
WarnerMedia Ethical Sourcing 5 5 In May 2021, we entered into an agreement to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery, Inc. The transaction is subject to approval by Discovery shareholders and customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals.

The WarnerMedia Board of Directors established ethical sourcing guidelines that apply to our direct vendors as well as entities that license our images, brands and characters. The guidelines set our expectations for the vendors’ business operations as they relate to WarnerMedia and its businesses. They reflect our commitment to conduct business ethically and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. WarnerMedia’s Internal Audit department reviews vendor contracts during its division and departmental audits to confirm whether the guidelines have been incorporated.

Through its Supplier Diversity Development policy, WarnerMedia develops diverse businesses, including vendors, contractors and consultants, as sources for purchasing goods and services. We aim to develop working relationships with these suppliers and provide opportunities to expand their business with us. Additionally, WarnerMedia’s Second-Tier program expands supplier diversity efforts by requesting that our primary contractors utilize and report spending with diverse suppliers in the fulfillment of their contract. The WarnerMedia Supplier Diversity website serves as the primary resource tool for employees and diverse suppliers.

Our WarnerMedia supply chain also includes contracted production studios and talent and their subcontractors. As part of an overall industry initiative focused on diversity in film and television production, the major studios, including Warner Bros., are looking to advance the effort by broadening the connections between their respective production organizations and the diverse supplier community. The goal is to increase the understanding of supplier capabilities that could be leveraged. WarnerMedia typically hosts Supplier Diversity Showcases where select suppliers are invited to exhibit their capabilities to a collection of production and post-production stakeholders representing each studio but could not do so in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, WarnerMedia’s Supplier Diversity Officer launched the WarnerMedia Supplier Diversity RedBook, a technical guidance document that is updated quarterly for diverse suppliers in production and post-production roles, to be distributed to all productions and production team members.

We believe in the value of collaborating and sharing information to improve responsible sourcing efforts across the globe. WarnerMedia and its divisions are members of various industry working groups, including the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association and the Toy Industry Association. WarnerMedia also collaborates with other content producers to develop and maintain the Green Production Guide, an open-source and freely available industry resource designed to offer a curated vendor database, as well as a standardized production toolkit, to manage and measure sustainable production efforts.

We also identify and engage suppliers that provide eco-friendly products through vendor vetting, product testing and other sustainable procurement strategies. We have established relationships with eco-vendors in cities where we film, and we engage local retailers that carry sustainable products, such as responsibly sourced plywood used for set construction. Our procurement team also works to source eco-friendly craft services and catering products, such as canned water and compostable materials, and to increase the availability of electric and hybrid vehicles.

For more information, see our Product Life Cycle issue brief and the WarnerMedia Ethical Sourcing and Supply Chain website.