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ENERGY rethkg power

Success in the possibility economy can mean rethinking how things have always been done. When it comes to using energy, rethinking can yield valuable results. To talk about how AT&T has done this, we sat down with AT&T Director of Energy, John Schinter.

John, could you give us a little background on your role as Director of Energy at AT&T?

Sure. I was hired to oversee programs to manage AT&T’s energy consumption and purchasing strategies. The company identified energy as an area to reduce costs. It also affects our environmental impact.

My role is to oversee several components of energy consumption—including the network, data centers, and facilities. A staff works with me to manage our program. We also have an Energy Council that brings together key executives from major business units across the company. We’ve expanded our representation on this to include international operations as well.

In a company such as AT&T, how do you even begin trying to get your arms around energy management?

One of the first things we did was centralize all of our energy information into one database. Beyond that, we have implemented an Energy Scorecard for our top 500 energy-consuming facilities. At each of these facilities we have an energy champion—usually the real estate manager—who is fully ENERGY STAR trained. Quarterly, we review progress and give each real estate manager a 0-100 grade. Between 2009 and 2010, we saw a 58 percent improvement in the grades. The grade is based not only on data, but on initiatives and training as well. This scorecard has been critical in creating visibility and accountability, and pushing initiatives from the ground up.

What kinds of results have you seen so far?

We’ve seen some great progress just within the past year. In 2010, we implemented a total of 4,200 projects resulting in an annualized energy savings of $44 million.

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