Getting to the Big Picture

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Getting to the Big Picture

By Kevin Reutter, Principal Network Planning Engineer, TP&E Global Technology Optimization and Implementation, AT&T
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Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 12:45pm

CAMPAIGN: AT&T: Planet

CONTENT: Blog

We’re a big fan of puzzles in my household. It started off with the small ones – the cartoon trains and characters that took my kids a few minutes to put together. We’ve increased our difficulty since then, and are up to the 500+ pieces.

My kids get a little overwhelmed when we first dump all the pieces out. But together, we form a strategy: starting at the corners and building it out piece by piece from there.

I brought those puzzle-solving skills to my job as a Principal Network Planning Engineer. The work we do to achieve sustainable and effective energy management feels a bit like putting one of those puzzles together. Only instead of 500 pieces, we have about 5,000.  

So we started with the corner: launching a trial of special bio-phase mats that help manage heat in a room more efficiently. We grew from three sites in North Texas to 1,115 sites across the country. So we tackled the next corner:  our “temperature optimization” program that increases temperatures in data centers resulting in less use of our HVAC systems. The program is in use at 206 sites across the network, with more planned as success continues. Then we built the bridge that connects them all, empowering our employees to be more efficient. We are launching our EMPOWER Training program, designed to create greater awareness of our energy challenges and how employees can be part of the solution.

We’re solving a pretty big puzzle and these are just a few of the 40,000 different energy efficiency projects resulting in annualized savings of $362 million from 2010-2015. These projects allowed us to reach our goal to reduce electricity intensity of our network 64% from our 2008 baseline.  Now we are building upon those goals and establishing further targets for 2020 and 2025. We will continue to work toward our goal of reducing electricity consumption relative to data growth by more than 60% by 2020. Additionally, we have established a new goal, to enable carbon savings ten times our own footprint by 2025 by enhancing the efficiency of our network and delivering sustainable customer solutions.  

Seeing that work come together in tangible pieces is pretty rewarding. Perhaps not as rewarding as seeing the delight on my kids’ faces as they fit those last remaining pieces in to see their finished result, but it’s pretty close. 

Keywords: Energy | AT&T | EMPOWER Training | Energy | Environment | Responsible Production & Consumption | Texas | consumption | effective energy | electricity | puzzle

CAMPAIGN: AT&T: Planet

CONTENT: Blog