AT&T helps businesses measure carbon footprint

AT&T (NYSE: T) has unveiled an online Carbon Impact Assessment Tool that, well, assesses the carbon impact of a business based on the size of the business, number of employees, frequency of business travel and other factors, and then suggests AT&T services that can help a business reduce its carbon footprint. Maybe it sounds like just another way to market telepresence, unified communications and other business collaboration services but such efforts also do help spread the word about environmental sustainability.

AT&T Carbon Impact Assessment Tool

Screenshot of AT&T's Carbon Impact Assessment Tool. Click here to access the tool (reg. req.)

It has been about three years since the telecom industry's interest in environmental sustainability and green strategies seemed to reach a fever pitch, and while green thinking may have taken a back seat to things like mobile broadband, telco TV and labor strife, carriers are still doing a lot under the radar to improve their own energy efficiency, while offering customers better options to do the same.

In the business realm, that increased activity has boosted business investment in videoconferencing services, such as telepresence. But it is also having an impact in the residential sector, where home energy management and automation services are set to explode as a new revenue opportunity for carriers.  ABI Research reported just this week that service provider involvement in the home energy market may help push shipments of home automation systems to about 12 million units by 2016. AT&T acquired Xanboo late last year to deepen its involvement in this part of the market.

Meanwhile, AT&T is not the only carrier in the carbon assessment game for businesses. Other telcos have introduced similar programs to enhance the sales pitch for their own services, and BT (NYSE: BT), as perhaps the pioneer in sustainability efforts among telcos, has been doing their own in-house carbon assessments for many years now. Still, in the U.S., AT&T arguably has been the most aggressive in using energy efficient technologies in its own operations.

For more:
- check out this PC World story
- see the AT&T news release
- and this ABI Research press release

Related articles:
Remember when green was the new black?
BT was among the earliest to tout green thinking
AT&T has issued a sustainability challenge to mobile developers
AT&T acquired Xanboo in late 2010