Wireless network operator, T-Mobile, has announced that it has managed to achieve a target it set in 2018 to source 100 per cent of its total electricity usage with renewable energy by the end of 2021.
Despite a merger that significantly expanded its electricity needs, the Un-carrier met its RE100 goal through a combination of renewable energy investments. This includes eight virtual power agreements, 19 retail agreements, one Green Direct program, and unbundled Renewable Energy Certificates that support projects across the United States.
As a result, the company has invested in enough wind and solar power annually to account for every unit of electricity consumed. The nine large wind and solar farm projects alone (which include the virtual power agreements and Green Direct program) are contracted to provide T-Mobile with approximately 3.4 million MWh of clean energy annually – enough to provide electricity to over 313,000 homes per year.
“T-Mobile put a stake in the ground as the first telecom to commit to going all-in on renewable energy by the end of 2021, and now we are the first to hit this milestone years ahead of others,” said Mike Sievert, T-Mobile CEO. “This was no easy task, but we set a goal and we achieved it. Thanks to amazing efforts from a team who was unwavering in our commitment to reducing our impact on the planet, the Un-carrier is powering America’s largest, fastest, and most reliable 5G network with 100 per cent clean electricity.”
Beyond agreements that directly contribute to T-Mobile’s energy matching efforts, the company is also supporting 37 community solar projects, which represent greening local energy grids with more than 2.1 million MWh over 25 years for Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Oregon.
T-Mobile’s commitment to renewable energy is complemented by an enterprise-level focus on energy conservation, which includes switching to smart thermostats and ENERGY STAR certified LED lighting in retail stores, upgrading mechanical and electrical systems in their data centers, optimising air management to keep equipment cool at locations such as cell sites, and installing energy-efficient radio equipment on cell towers, among other things.
“T-Mobile is an example of leadership for sustainability in its industry,” said Louisa Plotnick, head of programs, North America, at Climate Group, which co-leads the RE100 in partnership with CDP. “By adopting and driving new development of sustainable power sources, T-Mobile shows that corporations can act quickly if ambition is supported by real change. We are thrilled to see T-Mobile achieve this milestone and look forward to our continued partnership as the US rapidly embraces the transition to a renewable future.”
Moving forward, the Un-carrier plans to add more renewable energy projects to its portfolio to match future electricity usage, explore onsite solar infrastructure and invest in organisations delivering clean energy to more communities across the U.S. Plus, the company plans to share new commitments aimed at further decarbonising its business later this year.