Only One Major Telecom Gets Top Marks in Renewable Energy Scorecard

by | May 2, 2019

Only One Major Telecom Gets Top Marks in Renewable Energy Scorecard

(Photo Credit: Master Wen, Unsplash)

National environmental nonprofit Green America recently evaluated the four major US telecoms on their renewable energy commitments. Just one telecom received high marks in the organization’s latest scorecard.

“Only one major telecom company, T-Mobile, has made a commitment to move to 100% renewable energy,” the nonprofit said. Green America gave T-Mobile an A grade for green energy commitments and a B grade for green energy usage, based on 2017 CDP data.

The nonprofit’s “Clean Energy is Calling Report, 2019 Edition” noted that the four largest telecommunications companies in the country — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile — collectively use more than 30 million MWh of electric power each year. In 2017, the nonprofit urged the two largest, AT&T and Verizon, to set a goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2025.

Since that campaign, much has happened. In early 2018, T-Mobile announced a goal of moving toward 100% renewable electricity by 2021. The company also made deals for 320 megawatts of wind power from farms in Oklahoma and Kansas. They became an RE100 member.

In February 2018, AT&T signed power purchase agreements for 520 megawatts of wind power from two NextEra Energy Resources subsidiaries. Then, that summer, the telecom signed a new deal with NextEra for 300 MW from a wind farm in Texas.

Verizon and Sprint lag behind. In late 2018, following pressure from consumers and environmental groups, Verizon set the goal to source 50% of total electricity usage from renewable energy equivalent by 2025. It had previously been just 4%. Recently the company also issued a green bond and targeted carbon neutrality.

Sprint received a D grade for green energy commitments on the latest scorecard, and an F for usage.

“Renewable energy is a sound business decision,” Green America’s report said. “In announcing its commitment to reaching 100% renewable power by 2021, T-Mobile highlighted the fact that the company expected to save approximately $100 million in the next 15 years. By this estimation, a company the size of Verizon could potentially reach $500 million in savings by moving to 100% clean energy.”

The 4th Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 13 – 15, 2019 in Denver. Learn more here.

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