IMPORTANT GRANT: AT&T has awarded Tulsa Public Schools a $100,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation to support a program aimed at increasing graduation rates for at-risk students at five Tulsa High Schools. From left at the check presentation at Hale High School earlier this year are Hale Principal Chris Johnson, Tulsa TPS Superintendent Keith Ballard, AT&T Oklahoma President Bryan Gonterman, TPS Director of Diversity and Equity Dr. Nelda R. Reyes, Tulsa Metro Chamber CEO Mike Neal and AT&T Representative Mike Cooper.
AT&T on Aug. 6 announced that it has increased its social and environmental investments despite the recent economic downturn. In its 2008 Citizenship and Sustainability Report, the company spotlights more than $865 million in multi-year investments for important education, environmental and volunteerism programs to help strengthen communities, stimulate economic growth and ensure America’s global competitiveness.
The investments, many of which are highlighted in the report, help strengthen communities across the country, including:
• Education and Workforce Readiness: In 2008, AT&T launched AT&T Aspire, a $100 million multi-year education initiative to help stem the U.S. high school dropout crisis. The program, which is AT&T’s most significant education initiative to date, is one of the largest corporate commitments ever to address high school success and workforce readiness. In its first year, the program supported four primary components: grants to schools and nonprofits, dropout prevention summits organized by America’s Promise Alliance, dropout prevention research and a companywide job shadowing program which, in its first year, has already enabled more than 13,000 students in 100 cities to shadow AT&T employees.
• Community Volunteerism: In 2008, AT&T employees and retirees volunteered 10.3 million hours of their time, worth more than $200 million, to improve communities where they live and work. For example, AT&T partnered with the Communications Workers of America to support Share Our Strength’s efforts to address childhood hunger during this year’s National Day of Service. The effort collected and delivered more than 50,000 pounds of food to local area food banks in 39 metropolitan areas.
• A Cleaner Fleet: Earlier this year, AT&T announced plans to invest up to $565 million to roll out more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles over the next 10 years. This means removing approximately 211,000 metric tons of emissions from communities where the fleet operates. This is the equivalent of removing approximately 38,000 passenger cars from the road for a year.
In Oklahoma, AT&T Aspire grants totaled more than $286,000, with contributions for dropout prevention programs going to four schools or organizations: Blackwell Public Schools, Thunderbird Challenge Inc. in Pryor, Tri-County Technology Center in Bartlesville and Tulsa Public Schools. AT&T also recently announced that the company would add at least 30 Compressed Natural Gas-powered vans to its Oklahoma fleet in 2009.
In 2008, AT&T and its Oklahoma employees contributed more than $2.7 million through corporate, employee and AT&T Foundation giving programs. In addition, AT&T employees and retirees donated more than 225,000 hours of personal time to community outreach activities, worth more than $4.4 million.
“America’s future depends not only on the investments that companies like ours make in our people and our communities, but also on how well those investments drive us to be more competitive globally,” said Randall Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T. “That’s why we’re committed to investments with long-term benefits for our company and our country. I am proud of our employees, our programs and our progress as we continue on this journey.”
“Corporate responsibility and sustainability doesn’t evaporate in a down economy, and in fact are more critical because the country’s challenges are greater, said Charlene Lake, senior vice president of public affairs and chief sustainability officer. “We are committed to exploring the specific ways in which society’s needs intersect with our company and, while we have made significant progress, we recognize the need for continual improvement.”
In addition to these citizenship and sustainability initiatives, AT&T plans to invest $17 billion to $18 billion in 2009 capital expenditures. Approximately two-thirds of AT&T’s 2009 investment will extend and enhance the company’s wireless and wired broadband networks to provide more coverage, speed and capacity to support increased consumer demand.
AT&T has also made progress on measuring corporate-wide CO2 emissions and determining base lines with a plan to disclose AT&T’s domestic carbon footprint by the end of 2009. Finally, the company launched an employee Web site, EcoSystem, dedicated to providing information to nearly 300,000 employees worldwide on AT&T’s environmental and conservation efforts.
For the first time, the report is aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative’s () G3 Guidelines. The Sustainability Reporting Guidelines provide a framework for organizations to report on their social, environmental and economic performance and was used to develop AT&T’s report. AT&T also details in the report a set of goals to help guide and measure its progress. A complete list of AT&T’s citizenship and sustainability goals is available at www.att.com/csr.