Driving climate protection through the network and beyond
How Sprint has promised to fight climate change
Sprint’s Climate Savers commitments include:
- Reducing CO2 emissions 20% below 2007 emissions by the year 2017.
- Partnering with device manufacturers and suppliers to measure, report and reduce their emissions.
- Identifying opportunities to reduce emissions associated with customers charging their mobile devices.
- Identifying opportunities for Sprint to help other companies reduce their emissions, particularly through machine-to-machine partnerships.
How Sprint plans to do this
Even as Sprint expects a significant increase in data traffic, the company will be reducing its electricity usage by 20% below 2007 levels by 2017. This translates to an energy intensity improvement that is anticipated to exceed 70%. Sprint will implement its innovative Network Vision plan -- allowing it to replace multiple networks with a single more energy efficient network over the next four years.
This plan will allow Sprint to dramatically increase the coverage and capacity of its network and to decommission its energy intensive legacy iDEN system. Sprint will also work with Network Vision partners to identify additional technology solutions that can be implemented to further improve energy efficiency. Sprint’s renewable energy strategy includes wind, solar, hydrogen fuel cells and geothermal power. The company is in the process of developing a formal plan to secure 10% of its electrical energy from renewable sources by 2017.
While Sprint’s commitment to reduce its own footprint is bold, the company is also demonstrating leadership by piloting innovative GHG-reduction strategies upstream and downstream with their partners. Sprint will work with device manufacturers and print vendors to track, report and publish their 2012 greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) and set a goal to reduce their GHG emissions by the end of 2013.
Sprint will measure its Scope 3 GHG emissions from product use and identify the major opportunities for absolute emissions reductions. Sprint will then work with a stakeholder group including device and charger manufacturers and behavioral experts to develop a 2017 reduction target. The target will be developed by the end of 2012.
Enabling GHG reductions across society
It has been estimated that the telecom and information technology sectors are responsible for 2% of global emissions and could drive a reduction of up to 15% of global emissions. With this potential in mind, WWF and Sprint will partner in furthering the development of innovative product and service solutions that enable GHG reduction in all sectors.
Sprint and WWF will jointly develop a robust methodology to evaluate the GHG-reducing benefits of different product and service solutions. The partners will create a rating system for products and services based on their GHG-reducing potential by the end of 2012 that will help publicize and generate support for tactics that significantly reduce emissions.
Leading the Industry
Sprint is responsibly setting a reduction goal for the footprint of the company’s operations, while also demonstrating leadership by tackling emissions both upstream and downstream. Given that the telecom industry tends to quickly adopt innovative practices that make a difference, Sprint’s multi-faceted strategy can lead U.S. wireless providers, and potentially global providers, down a more aggressive path for reducing emissions and enabling emissions cuts in other sectors.