Harnessing Grit, Passion and the Power of Technology to Make a Difference

By: Amanda Chiampi, Director of Sustainability Integration
Aug 3, 2016 9:55 AM ET

Those of us GRI-trained reporting-types know that when putting together a sustainability report, we can find ourselves lost in the details – aggregating pages of data, writing countless stories, holding hundreds of meetings with colleagues, and securing approvals for every detail of a final report. This year, it was no different for my team as we put together AT&T’s sustainability report, which we call our “Annual Sustainability Update.” But, throughout the reporting process, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture associated with what we’re doing: How our more than 250,000 employees have come together  – harnessing grit, passion and the power of technology – to make a positive difference for our communities, our planet, and our company.

For AT&T, the power of our network makes this possible. Through our network of people, our network of collaborating organizations, and our network of devices and technology, last year was another year of creating and building connections here at AT&T.

It was the year AT&T and DIRECTV families joined together, each equally committed to exceptional corporate and environmental citizenship. We immediately set out to find ways to align our programs and goals to make even more of an impact on the communities where our employees live and work. It’s an exciting and encouraging practice, but one that takes time, so for 2015 you’ll find a supplementary DIRECTV update. We look forward to publishing one combined sustainability report next year as we continue to connect our programs.

It was also the year we graduated our first AT&T Aspire Accelerator class. The Aspire Accelerator’s mission is to support innovations that can empower students for a successful future – exponentially and at scale. The first class of 5 innovative organizations are using technology to help students and educators succeed and have already impacted more than 2 million students, 200,000 teachers and 4,500 schools throughout the United States.

The Internet of Things (IoT) also made it into the dictionary and began to truly transform our world. The connectivity and technology AT&T provides within the IoT is unlocking new ways to help protect the environment and strengthen communities. It continues to change the world around us in profound and positive ways. And, as shown by the 2025 goals we set last year, we’re ready to take on the ever-changing landscapes of connectivity and sustainability.

At AT&T, we work to harness the potential of our new connected world to create a better future for us and future generations. You’ll find examples of that in this Annual Sustainability Update. You’ll also see why our progress has been validated by external evaluators, through recognition such as being ranked #1 in the communications sector on the Civic 50 list. We look forward to continuing to work with you to use the power of our network to build a better tomorrow.