T-Mobile pledges net-zero emissions by 2040 – including Scope 3


The operator says it is the first US operator to make such a commitment

This week, T-Mobile has announced its latest sustainability goals, aiming to reduce its emissions to net-zero across its entire carbon footprint by 2040.

Crucially, this new goal encompasses not only Scope 1 and 2 emissions – those generated directly by the company’s own operations and indirectly by the company’s purchased electricity – but also Scope 3 emissions, those caused by the company’s wider supply chain, its employees, and its customers.

These Scope 3 emissions currently account for two-thirds of the company’s carbon footprint.

The goals have reportedly been validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) using their Net-Zero Standard framework.

“While T-Mobile’s net-zero goal is a decades-long endeavor, we know how important it is to take definitive actions now to reduce our environmental impact for future generations,” said Janice Kapner, chief communications and corporate responsibility officer at T-Mobile. “We’re committed to measurable progress and holding ourselves accountable with strong governance practices, consistent and transparent reporting, and ongoing collaboration with leading sustainability experts.”

In addition to announcing their new net-zero goals, T-Mobile also revealed that that they have signed The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reaching net-zero 10 years ahead of the timeline set out by The Paris Agreement. As part of this pledge, the company has agreed to measure and report its greenhouse gas emissions regularly, implement various decarbonisation strategies, and eliminate any remaining emissions with “additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets”.

It is worth noting here that T-Mobile’s progress towards this goal is already well underway, with the company having used nothing but renewable energy for around a year now.

T-Mobile’s largest rivals, AT&T and Verizon, meanwhile, have announced their own sustainability targets, though neither of them have announced plans to eliminate Scope 3 emissions.

Verizon, is aiming to reach net-zero operational emissions by 2035, including a 53% reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions between 2019 and 2030. It is also aiming for half of its total energy consumption to be derived from renewable sources by 2025.

Since December 2019, the operator has announced numerous Renewable Energy Purchase Agreements, amounting to roughly 2.6 GW, with the latest deal being struck earlier this year.

AT&T has similar goals, aiming for carbon neutrality across its own operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 2035. The operator said it would achieve this target by focussing on using renewable energy, bolstering energy efficiency, and reducing fleet emissions through optimisation and the introduction of hybrid and electric vehicles.

Are US operators doing enough to reduce their carbon footprint and promote a more sustainable future? Join the experts in discussion at this year’s live Connected America conference

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