Reducing our footprint
and helping lead the
We all need to do our part for the environment. But as a business, we’re in a unique position to do more.
We continue to reduce our environmental footprint on a company-wide level and offer resources for our employees to reduce their footprint as well. We advocate for change outside our walls, working with stakeholders to advance sustainability practices and drive meaningful changes. And we use our voice to influence policy and pave new roads.
helping the environment also helps the bottom line
Sprint has a big presence with thousands of
stores, millions of customers and billions of dollars
in operating costs. That means we have a big
opportunity to save environmental costs to the
planet, while saving dollars for the company. And
we hope other companies will follow our lead.
About seven years ago, we looked at what we could do as a company that would make the biggest environmental impact. Then, we created a set of 10-year goals to measure our progress.
We have goals for:
• greenhouse gas emissions
• renewable energy
• supply chain
We’re making great progress towards these goals. Check out our scorecard on pages 57-60. Our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint have saved more than $200 million in operational costs during 2014. Now that’s helping the bottom line.
we set aggressive emissions goals, then beat them.
We’ve set credible, science-based GHG emissions goals
to reduce our impact on global climate change. Last
year’s actions speak volumes about our commitment to
Through 2014, we reduced our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 43 percent and our electricity use by 37 percent. That means we reduced our GHG emissions by 19 percent and electricity by 22 percent year over year! We think this is cause for celebration.
So how did we do this? Following a multi-year network overhaul which replaced older, less efficient equipment, we were able to cut network emissions and energy from an area that contributes nearly 80 percent of our total emissions.
The Sprint network today now uses 25 percent less power while delivering better coverage, call quality and data speeds.
getting things done through advocacy and collaboration
As an influential tech company, it’s important that we use our voice on issues that impact the environment and our society, as well as those that make business sense. In 2014, we did that by leading alongside other large companies on a host of important renewable energy initiatives.
1. Helped develop and sign a set of Renewable
Energy Buyers’ Principles that was launched by
the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the World
Resources Institute (WRI) in July 2014. In total,
25 companies that are large-scale buyers of
renewable energy have signed the principles.
2. Lobbied with Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) on Capitol Hill regarding the Master Limited Partnership Parity Act.
3. Signed the Climate Declaration, a corporate call to action urging federal and state policymakers to realize that environmental policy and the economy can work together.
4. Spoke out in support of maintaining the Kansas Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). In addition, we provided testimony to the Kansas House Subcommittee to help expand the use of fuel cells as a back-up power option for Sprint and other companies.
5. Continued to work with the Department of Energy to provide hydrogen fuel cells as backup power to rooftop network sites. The benefit translates to less network site maintenance and cleaner network energy sources. We’ve rolled out roughly 500 hydrogen fuel cells so far.
Through 2014, we sourced
8 percent of our electricity
through renewable energy
with most of it coming from
purchases of Renewable
Energy Credits (RECs).
Although we still believe that REC purchases are a good thing for the U.S. renewables market, we don’t believe they are the best thing. The best thing is bringing more renewable energy online. Companies can choose to do that by installing renewable energy sources at their own facilities, or by buying renewable energy that’s located somewhere else. Sprint spent two years searching for direct renewable energy deals that made sense and we were frustrated to come up empty handed. The available deals just didn’t make good business sense and were way too complicated. So, what Sprint has focused on for the past year and a half is helping the renewables market change for the better. That means sharing the challenges we faced and helping drive new solutions. Going forward, we expect to reduce our REC purchases and continue the fight for better renewable solutions for everyone. We look forward to the day we can both buy renewables and help the bottom line.
our use of water
water serves us better
when we conserve it
Every year, we need millions of gallons of water to
help run our network, data centers, office locations,
retail stores and people.
We keep an eye on our water usage to ensure we’re using only as much as we need. During 2014, the weather was our friend. With cool summer temperatures across the country, we were able to scale back water use and still keep our buildings cool and our grass green. And, we were able to achieve nearly $750,000 in cost reductions.
We even had an independent firm verify our water usage data. The report is available online at goodworks.sprint.com/planet. Sprint also voluntarily completed the publicly-available Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) water survey. Participating in these two initiatives helps us better understand how we are conserving water and provides us with valuable insight on we can best manage this critical resource.
our use of paper
Is opting to get a paperless statement “greener” than a paper one? The answer isn’t as obvious as it sounds once paperless impacts and other viewpoints are considered. Sprint engages with a range of stakeholders on paper – including Two Sides North America. After our discussions with them in 2014, we concluded that we needed to dig deeper on the whole life cycle. Only then could we compare the footprints of paper versus electronic delivery, apples to apples. For now, we simply encourage customers to pick the best option for them.
the fewer trees
we use, the more
benefits we receive
Like most companies, paper plays a large role in how
we communicate with our customers, how we bill for
our services, and how our employees work on a daily
basis. While it’s an important resource needed to run our
business, we continue to look for ways to use less.
Of the many ways that we cut back on paper use, here are a few:
• We provide employees with electronic W2 tax forms and paperless submission of expense reports.
• Marketing’s reduction of paper through more targeted direct mail activity helped drive a big reduction.
• We also offer customers an electronic billing option, which can be more convenient for customers and reduces Sprint’s costs.
When we do have to use paper, we use it wisely and only purchase paper that has the lightest footprint. For example, three years ago Sprint introduced the industry’s first ecoEnvelope™. It’s an envelope that can be used for billing and payment. We even took it a step further by making it from 30 percent post-consumer waste (PCW). This didn’t exist at the time, so we collaborated with our suppliers to get it done.
We also began testing paper made from agricultural waste (wheat straw) in some of our print runs for customer letters. This forest-friendly paper is not noticeably different to the naked eye than wood-derived paper. However, it offers a new, sustainable alternative and potential for longer-term cost savings — two things that make us very happy.
cutting waste and putting more of it back to work
Our focus is to throw out less and reuse more.
During 2014, we kept nearly half of the trash from our
Overland Park, Kansas headquarters out of landfills
by recycling and reusing whatever we could.
Compostable items such as food, to-go containers, paper towels and napkins were sent to Missouri Organics where they were turned into gardening soil and mulch. Recyclable items such as yogurt cups, aluminum cans and paperboard boxes were sent to Republic Services. They sort and sell the items that can be used to make new products such as CD and DVD cases, bicycle and automotive parts, and cardboard products.
We also rolled out a new Waste-to-Energy program at our headquarters in 2014 that takes all of the remaining trash (non-compostable or non-recyclable) and turns it into energy.
Items such as plastic
utensils, chip bags and bathroom paper towel waste
are sent to Systech in Sugar Creek, Missouri. They
use the waste to make clean energy, such as steam.
This project took six years to roll out. We learned a
lot about the trash we generated, including what’s
fuel-ready and what’s not. This meant we needed to
segregate our trash, separating “clean” trash from
wet or “dirty” trash such as food items that can only
And it’s not just our headquarters. We are mindful of how we dispose of waste in our retail stores, office locations and event at our network sites around the country. Altogether, we diverted more than 58 million pounds of operational waste from landfills in 2014 – an 81 percent landfill diversion rate.
E-waste is also an important issue, especially for
tech companies like Sprint. In fact, according to the
EPA, e-waste continues to be the fastest growing
waste stream. This includes computers, televisions,
cell phones and more. Sprint actively seeks to be
a part of the solution. In 2014, we collected more
than 27 million pounds for responsible reuse or
recycling. This includes servers from our data
centers, employee laptops, network hardware such
as switching equipment, radios, antennas, and more.
To ensure we stay on top of this important issue, all groups within Sprint that buy, sell or recycle electronics must adhere to our Electronics Stewardship Policy. This helps ensure we buy ecofriendly equipment and responsibly reuse or recycle them at the end of their life.
making a positive environmental impact through our supply chain
One of Sprint’s highest priorities is helping suppliers
share in efforts toward sustainability and social
consciousness. After all, they’re an extension of
our company. Our goal is for suppliers to realize
the same benefits Sprint has while simultaneously
reducing our collective environmental footprint.
We start by setting specific criteria suppliers must meet. Then we assess their progress from year to year. If any are falling short,
we work with them to
help close the gap. This includes providing free tools,
like our online supplier handbook, to help suppliers
be more successful in meeting our criteria.
Based on positive feedback from our first supplier handbook, we’re adding another one focused on water conservation that will help suppliers track, report and reduce their own water use. Since more than 99 percent of our total water consumption stems from
our supply chain, the positive impact will
be huge.Look for our water conservation handbook
soon at sprint.com/supplychain.
Our unique approach in collaborating with suppliers earned us the EPA’s 2014 Climate Leadership Award in the Supply Chain Leadership category. Working hand in hand will help us continually build a supply chain that’s as environmentally friendly as it is efficient.