Climate change is arguably the most pressing problem in today’s world. The latest climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows it is still possible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, but we are dangerously close to that threshold, and it will take decisive action to significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we emit globally. According to climate science, global emissions must be halved before 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050 to prevent the worst images/damages of climate change.
In response to this issue, T-Mobile announced a goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040. With its new commitment, T-Mobile has become the first in U.S. wireless to set a net-zero goal that accounts for its entire carbon footprint (all three emissions scopes) and has been validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) using their Net-Zero Standard – the world’s first framework for company targets that aligns with the latest climate science. This goal covers Scope 1 and 2 emissions, inclusive of direct emissions from T-Mobile’s operations and facilities and indirect emissions from purchased electricity, as well as Scope 3 emissions from T-Mobile’s entire value chain.
T-Mobile also signed on to The Climate Pledge, a cross-sector community of companies and organizations working together to cut global carbon emissions for a sustainable future. Organizations that sign on agree to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040 and to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis, so we’re always holding ourselves accountable.
Our strategy to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions relies first and foremost on reducing energy consumption and investing in energy-efficient technologies. In 2022, approximately 90% of T-Mobile’s operational carbon footprint (for combined Scope 1 and location-based Scope 2) came from energy to power our transformational 5G network. This represents our biggest opportunity to drive meaningful change in our Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
T-Mobile is already reducing the energy demands of our network in several ways, including:
As for Scope 3, which includes all of T-Mobile's key partners and suppliers, we encourage these parties to commit to setting their own science-based targets (to be validated by SBTi). We track these commitments through regular third-party sustainability assessments managed by EcoVadis. By working with our suppliers to implement meaningful sustainability initiatives, we can “bend the curve” through emissions reductions in our largest Scope 3 categories.
T-Mobile’s net-zero goal is set apart by the scope of its commitment and its nearly exclusive focus on abatement―or reducing emissions. Unlike companies with “carbon neutral” or “operational net zero” commitments, T-Mobile’s net-zero goal includes Scope 3 emissions, which represent the majority of its carbon footprint. Additionally, T-Mobile’s net-zero goal includes a commitment to reduce its emissions by 90% or more by 2040 and to only use carbon offsets for the remaining 10% or less of emissions. This verified science-based approach to climate action sets T-Mobile apart as a leader in not just the U.S. wireless industry, but the world.
At the time of announcing our net-zero goal, T-Mobile was one of only 20 U.S. companies (138 globally) to have their net-zero targets approved by Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).
We know that language used to describe net-zero commitments can often be confusing and alienating for consumers looking to understand the commitments companies are making. To help build a deeper understanding of what achieving net-zero emissions means with our consumer audience, this past Earth Day, we created a quiz on our newsroom designed to debunk the myths around environmental sustainability. After quiz takers answered a question, they were given a detailed response explaining the distinctions between terms as well as links to additional resources with more information. A huge focus of T-Mobile’s sustainability commitments is on consumers, so we wanted to create a fun and engaging way for people to learn more about our corporate environmentalism this Earth Day!
T-Mobile has already made bold moves, including a 20% reduction in total Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions since 2020. Our achievements are the result of sourcing renewable energy equivalent to 100% of our total purchased electricity and engaging with suppliers across our entire value chain.
We are increasingly focusing on opportunities to engage our supply chain partners and reduce Scope 3 emissions given the immense potential these emissions have to reduce our overall carbon footprint. In the last year, we ran a more energy-efficient logistics and distribution network and removed more than 1,300 trucks and expedite vans from the road, representing Scope 3 emissions savings of 5,450 MT CO2e – this has helped us stay on track for this year’s progress goals.
Through our supplier assessments, we are able to track the suppliers who have set science-based emissions targets and engage with those who are still working to set them. It’s this type of collaboration that will help create a more sustainable future for everyone. Please see our Pathway to Net-Zero PDF for more information.