The News: In 2018, T-Mobile launched an ambitious plan to source 100% of its total electricity usage with renewable energy by the end of 2021. The company announced the claim it was the first in wireless to do it. Even with the historic Sprint merger that significantly expanded its electricity needs, the Un-carrier met its RE100 goal through a combination of renewable energy investments that support the company’s efforts to mobilize for a thriving planet. Read the T-Mobile Press Release here.
T-Mobile Hits 100% Renewable Energy Goal: Boosts Sustainability Credentials of Mobile Industry
Analyst Take: T-Mobile earns its industry-wide clean energy accolades by executing on its 100% goal of sourcing all its renewable energy by the end of 2021. Impressively, T-Mobile attained this milestone by coordinating a renewable energy strategy that encompassed eight virtual power agreements, 19 retail agreements, one Green Direct program, and unbundled Renewable Energy Certificates that support projects nationwide. As such, I believe T-Mobile can plausibly assert it is the first major wireless operator to accomplish the 100% renewable energy (RE100) feat.
Specifically, T-Mobile is contracting nine wind and solar farm projects to provide it with approximately 3.4 million MWh (megawatt hour) of clean energy annually, which is enough equivalent energy to deliver electricity to over 313,000 homes per year. In addition, T-Mobile is implementing organization-wide energy conservation measures that include switching to smart thermostats and ENERGY STAR certified lighting in retail outlets, upgrading electrical and mechanical systems in its data center environments, improving air management to keep equipment cool at locations such as cell sites, and installing energy-efficient radio equipment on cell towers.
Boosting T-Mobile’s credibility is that the RE100 accomplishment is verified by the Climate Group, in alliance with CDP, whose mission is to accelerate transformation towards zero carbon grids at scale. The RE100 brings together businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity on a global basis. Moreover, T-Mobile has also led Green America’s Wireless Scorecard three years consecutively, and the company recently received a top grade in the 2021 CDP Climate Change questionnaire.
I anticipate that T-Mobile can broaden the appeal of its mobile services, especially 5G, by emphasizing the clean energy credentials of its network and overall organization. More consumers and businesses are factoring in clean energy considerations in their purchasing decisions which can fuel T-Mobile’ ability to win more new subscribers. The clean energy bona fides augment T-Mobile’s advantage in providing nationwide 5G coverage (i.e., 310 million people covered) as well as providing 5G Hone Internet services (more than 30 million homes reached).
Moreover, I expect that T-Mobile’s clean energy bona fides can be factored into the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) objectives of organizations. This includes using T-Mobile services to help reduce their carbon footprint and advance sustainability metrics as well as better support post-pandemic WFH (work from home) and hybrid workforces.
Key Takeaways on T-Mobile’s RE100 Milestone
I see T-Mobile’s RE100 accomplishment as advancing MWh metrics in the evaluation of mobile operators, complimenting traditional speeds and feeds considerations such as Mbps (Gbps/Tbps) for connections and MB (GB/TB) for storage. This will put more competitive pressure on key rivals AT&T and Verizon to up their clean energy credentials as well as any operator with mobile service aspirations. I believe the RE100 feat shows T-Mobile is once again outflanking rivals in winning the 5G race in 2022.
Good Equals Progress provides industry research and analysis on the topics of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.