What Do Shipping Pallets Have to Do with Reducing Carbon Emissions?

What Do Shipping Pallets Have to Do with Reducing Carbon Emissions?

John Schulz, Director of Sustainability Integration, AT&T

Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 3:30pm



Yesterday, AT&T launched its 2016 Sustainability Report. This report captures progress toward several initiatives, including our goal to enable carbon reduction 10x the footprint of our operations by 2025.

Since AT&T announced this goal in 2015, I’ve been intensely focused on defining the impact measurement to support it. In other words – as the image to the right shows – how we’re trying to reduce our carbon footprint while growing the amount of carbon abatement we enable for our customers through AT&T products and services.

I’ve also been working with customers to uncover the innovative and sometimes unexpected ways they’re using AT&T technology to make things more efficient and reduce emissions.

I am excited to share not only the methodology we’ll use to measure our progress, but also our first customer case study – an analysis of the environmental benefits of RM2’s connected reusable shipping pallet the BLOCKPal.  Both are housed on our new 10x Carbon Reduction webpage.

This is a big milestone for us. BSR and the Carbon Trust helped us develop the methodology and we worked with peers and other carbon experts to stress-test it. It’s been exciting to put the methodology to the test with an innovative company like RM2. We’ve been able to measure carbon savings that their product – a reusable replacement for the old wooden shipping pallet – is able to achieve using AT&T’s LTE-M technology. In fact, we found that AT&T connectivity enables the potential to avoid 640 metric tons of CO2 (the equivalent to 72,000 gallons of gas) for every 1 million pallet trips. Imagine if, of the 10 billion pallets moving around the world today, just 5% switched to these reusable BLOCKPal, connected pallets. This transition would drive a reduction of 7.3 million metric tons of CO2 – or 818 million gallons of gasoline!*

We’re just at the beginning of this journey, so please follow along on our webpage. Stay tuned for continued updates on our progress as we develop more customer case studies and update our progress toward our goal.

*500 million pallets / 4,400 wood pallets required to take 100K trips * 64 mtons CO2e saved fro each 100K trips with connected, reusable pallet = 7.3 million mtons CO2e. 818 million gallonscalculated by EPA GHG Emissions Calculator. https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator