Constructing Sustainable Innovation

Constructing Sustainable Innovation

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 9:05am



By: Alberto Zilio, Director of Public Affairs – Europe for AT&T

AGRION hosted its 2nd annual international summit on “Energy and Sustainability, European Projects and Regulation” in Paris last month. The summit included speakers from across the globe discussing all aspects of energy and sustainability. I participated in a panel on Constructing Sustainable Innovation with Carlos de la Paz of the European Union’s LIFE Programme and Elisabeth Laville of Utopies.

As companies look to be more sustainable, ICT solutions will enable people, businesses, and governments to make more energy-efficient choices and reduce environmental impact and costs by:

  • Moving work to people rather than people to work
  • Connecting rather than traveling
  • Managing business remotely and in real time
  • Improving transportation and distribution systems

As a provider of these ICT solutions, AT&T is committed to not only deploying them but also to educating businesses and consumers about the potential savings — both financial and environmental — that they could achieve.

Here are a few examples of energy-saving ICT solutions:

AT&T’s Digital Life is a wireless home automation and security system that allows our U.S. customers to remotely monitor and control lighting, thermostats, smoke detectors and water sensors. It enables them to operate more sustainably by helping better manage utilities, lowering environmental impact and costs.

AT&T’s Telepresence Solution provides a virtual, face-to-face meeting experience by allowing users to meet with people across the globe as if everyone were in the same room.  An AT&T-sponsored study by Carbon Disclosure Project and Verdantix found that by 2020, U.S. businesses with revenues of more than $1 billion can collectively achieve financial benefits of almost $15 billion and reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 4.6 million metric tons by substituting telepresence for some business travel.

Machine to Machine Technologies:  For consumers, we can remotely monitor a wide range of machines and their functions – from security and entertainment systems to healthcare applications and vehicles.  AT&T worked with Carbon War Room to produce a report that proposes strategies for the M2M technologies industry to transform key sectors and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nine billion tons.

A fully connected future brings opportunities for incredible innovations that can benefit all in numerous ways, including through environmental gains. AT&T is engaged in some pretty exciting projects to help make our company more sustainable and we were honored to be ranked first on the annual list of Best Corporate citizens by CR Magazine and also listed in Bloomberg’s inaugural Civic 50 list.

There is great potential in this industry. Its contributions to society and economic growth are unique. With the right policy environment, we will have the framework that allows our economies to take full advantage of new digital technologies and achieve sustainability goals in the process.

View the original post, which ran on March 18, 2014, on the AT&T Global Public Policy Blog.