When BRT’s sustainability report first launched, the world was a very different place. The smartphone was in its infancy, the “Internet of Things” (IoT) didn’t exist and “the cloud” was something you saw in the sky. But over the past decade, innovation has sparked a profound technology revolution, giving us more tools than ever to address the world’s challenges. And AT&T has been engaged every step of the way.
For example, we’re using technology to help preserve the environment and speed the transition to a low-carbon economy. We’ve set a goal to enable carbon savings that are 10 times the footprint of our operations by 2025, and one way we’ll get there is by using our IoT expertise to deliver solutions that help customers reduce their own carbon emissions. We’re also helping municipalities better serve citizens and preserve resources through our Smart Cities initiative. From Atlanta to Portland, we’re helping metropolitan areas tackle huge challenges like energy, water, waste and air quality.
We’re also focused on our country’s future workforce. Nearly 10 years ago, we launched our signature philanthropic initiative AT&T Aspire, to help address the high school dropout crisis and improve workforce readiness. Today, we’re collaborating with others to meet a goal to increase the U.S. high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020. Through the Aspire Accelerator, we fund and mentor start-ups working to scale education-technology solutions that can remove barriers to learning. Program participants have gone on to work with more than 4 million students. And in Latin America, our Escuela+ program provides schools in eight countries with technology, educational content and teacher training — reaching more than 1 million students since 2007.
Meanwhile, we’re reskilling our own workforce to succeed in a software-centric future. We have invested $250 million in employee development programs since 2013 and are collaborating with Udacity to give both AT&T employees and others the skills they need through our Nanodegree program – accessible, affordable online training in areas like web development and coding.
Finally, as people use our network to access more content from more places, we continue to stress their safety. Our IT CAN WAIT® campaign has generated more than 14 million pledges to avoid distracted driving since we rolled it out in 2009.
As much as things have changed, we’re just getting started. The potential of technology to build a better future is virtually unlimited. And at AT&T, we’re proud to help lead the way.