Transforming Sustainability: T-Mobile’s Strategic Initiative

Transforming Sustainability: T-Mobile’s Strategic Initiative

Chad Wilkerson at T-Mobile discusses how the company is pushing towards a net-zero future with sustainable practices

T-Mobile, renowned for providing the United States with its largest and fastest 5G network, is on a quest to ensure reliable connectivity for everyone while progressing towards a net-zero economy. The company’s dedication to environmental sustainability is showcased through initiatives like sourcing energy entirely from renewable sources and aiming for net-zero emissions by 2040. Chad Wilkerson, T-Mobile’s Director of Sustainability, emphasises the importance of addressing sustainability challenges collaboratively with suppliers to foster a sustainable future.

Investing in environmental sustainability

T-Mobile’s commitment to improving its ecological footprint includes major strides in energy efficiency and product circularity. The company’s latest Corporate Responsibility Report uncovers its ambitious steps, such as achieving 100% renewable electricity use and aiming for net-zero emissions within the next two decades. Its endeavours extend to enhancing the sustainability of its supply chain, through fostering partnerships grounded in mutual respect and driven by sustainable practices.

In 2022, T-Mobile managed to collect 11.7 million customer devices for reuse, resale, or recycling, with the majority of its wireless handset models receiving UL ECOLOGO or EPEAT certifications. These efforts underline the company's broader strategy for sustainability, marked by building collaborative relationships with suppliers and adopting a responsible sourcing programme. “T-Mobile is lucky to have acquired substantial experience around sustainability,” says Wilkerson, highlighting the company's advantage in advancing sustainability goals.

Building sustainability into network infrastructure

The continuous demand for better and more reliable connectivity sees T-Mobile evolving its network sustainably. Wilkerson sheds light on the company's focus on powering its network sustainably, by exploring equipment efficiency and renewable energy sources. Achieving 100% renewable energy use, especially after its merger with Sprint, illustrates T-Mobile’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact while catering to the emergency connectivity needs of first responders and communities during disasters. This dedication ensures not only network resilience but also addresses the responsibility of maintaining service continuity in challenging times.

Tackling emissions across the supply chain

Addressing Scope 3 emissions – those produced indirectly by activities in a company’s supply chain – is a priority for T-Mobile. Since 2020, the company has slashed its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 20%. Leading the US wireless sector, T-Mobile set a net-zero goal validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative's (SBTi) Net-Zero Standard, encompassing all three Scopes. 
Working with thousands of businesses, including key partners like Sable Power and Gas and Ericsson, T-Mobile is ambitiously driving emissions reduction across its supply network. These efforts are supported by thorough supplier screening, focusing on environmental and social criteria, and encouraging suppliers to align with T-Mobile's ethical business practices.
“We expect our suppliers to share our strong commitment to ethical business practices and we outline these expectations which include accessibility, environmental priorities and the protection of human rights,” Wilkerson explains. “We set expectations and engage with our suppliers and have stringent processes in place to support our commitments.” 
Looking ahead, T-Mobile continues to evolve its sustainability efforts, leveraging its experience and partnerships to navigate challenges within its supply chain. By focusing on transparency, data leverage and continuous improvement, T-Mobile is not only setting the stage for achieving its net-zero emissions goal by 2040 but also influencing its suppliers towards sustainability. “We'll continue to look at our energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes,” Wilkerson concludes, reflecting T-Mobile's enduring commitment to reducing its impact on the environment and leading by example in the pursuit of a more sustainable future.

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