AT&T Recognizes Cisco for Sustainably Meeting Skyrocketing Data Demand

Customers reserve spots outside an AT&T store for the release of a new iPhone, which has contributed to a 20,000 percent increase in data traffic on AT&T's networks since 2007.

AT&T has awarded Cisco Systems with its 2012 Supplier Sustainability Award in Energy Efficiency. Cisco's routing technology has helped AT&T reduce its energy intensity while meeting the skyrocketing demand for data as smart phones become increasingly ubiquitous.

"The suppliers honored with the AT&T Supplier Sustainability Award help make AT&T's sustainability programs possible with their innovative technologies and expertise," said Tim Harden, president of AT&T Supply Chain and Fleet Operations.

Since 2007, when the first iPhone was released with AT&T as its exclusive carrier, data traffic on AT&T's networks has increased by more than 20,000 percent. While AT&T has rushed to update its data capacity to avoid dropped calls, the company has simultaneously embarked upon an ambitious energy intensity reduction plan.

AT&T has set a goal to reduce electricity intensity 60 percent by 2014 compared with 2008. But as iPhone and other data-intense mobile devices have seen dramatic sales increases, and other mobile carriers like Verizon have sought to chip away at AT&T's market share, AT&T has needed to reconcile its desire to operate sustainability with its need to keep customers happy.

Cisco's Carrier Routing System (CRS) has in large measure helped AT&T to bridge that gap. When it was launched in 2004, Cisco CRS-1 was the largest production router in the world. Cisco now offers the CRS-3, which in addition to being the fastest and highest-capacity core routing platform in the world also delivers impressive energy efficiency.

"Cisco is committed to designing the most innovative networking solutions that enable our partners to deliver seamless connected experiences with minimal environmental impact," said Surya Panditi, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Service Provider Networking Group. "Today's recognition from AT&T is another example of Cisco's success maintaining this critical balance with key partners like AT&T."

Surya Panditi, senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco's Service Provider Networking Group. Cisco wants to "build environmental sustainability into each business function and process," he said.

Cisco has become more environmentally responsible across its own operations. The company recently announced it had met its commitment to reduce all of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including those associated with business travel, by 25 percent by 2012. The company has set a new target of cutting GHG emissions worldwide by 40 percent by 2017.

"Cisco's corporate social responsibility vision is to build environmental sustainability into each business function and process," said Panditi, "as well as to multiply the impact of our technologies to help customers, suppliers and key partners, such as AT&T, mitigate their environmental footprint."

AT&T also recognized Quest Resource Management Group, Schneider Electric - Professional Services, and Water & Energy Systems Technology, Inc. with Supplier Sustainability Awards. Those companies helped AT&T manage its waste collection and recycling, measure its greenhouse gas emissions, and increase its water efficiency in drought-prone regions, respectively.

Harden said that AT&T and its suppliers "are improving performance in the areas of energy efficiency, waste management, greenhouse gas emissions and water use. We're very pleased to recognize their contributions to sustainability at AT&T and around the world."

Image credit: Darla Mack, Flickr