Collaboration is Key: AT&T Included in the 2013 Dow Jones Sustainability Index

Sep 12, 2013 12:00 PM ET

By: Beth Shiroishi, ‎Vice President, Sustainability and Philanthropy at AT&T

As AT&T seeks to address some of society’s greatest challenges – access to education, use of resources, and the dangers of texting while driving – one of our most important realizations has been that we cannot go it alone. This past year, we undertook initiatives with groups like Communities in Schools, Environmental Defense Fund and the National Organizations for Youth Safety to tackle these tough issues.

As a nod to our work – and the work of these groups and others –AT&T was named today to the 2013 Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America (DJSI) for a fourth consecutive year. DJSI is the oldest global sustainability benchmark, and it is a critical tool for investors. The ranking is considered a seal of approval for a company’s CSR program.

While we’re pleased and humbled to be included with other leading companies on this important index, this ranking is a reflection of more than just the strides we’ve made as a company; it is an indication that our collaborative approach to sustainability is working. This approach is exemplified in our 2012 Sustainability Report, which is composed of personal narratives from AT&T employees and video testimonials from groups who have joined and improved our efforts in key areas. These stories highlight the changes catalyzed by our combined work toward addressing critical issues that affect us all.

Since launching this report, we’ve continued to collaborate with organizations that are making a difference. For example, we just shared the results of a year-long collaboration with Environmental Defense Fund during which we developed a toolkit for facility managers that could potentially help U.S. buildings realize 28 billion gallons of water savings. We also recently announced a $5 million contribution to Communities In Schools, the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, to help them expand and strengthen their network that is helping 1.25 million of the nation’s most challenged students achieve success. And later this month, on September 19th, we’ll be teaming up with three other major wireless providers and hundreds of groups across the country  who have joined our It Can Wait movement during Drive 4 Pledges Day, a national day of action focused on getting individuals to take the pledge to never text and drive.

The recognition from industry leaders like Dow Jones helps validate the work we’re doing company-wide and with key like-minded organizations, but we know that there is always more to be done. The bar is set incredibly high because these issues are of critical importance. Our entire team will continue to work tirelessly in the next year to find new ways to refine and improve both our internal efforts and external collaborations and to make even more progress toward creating a more sustainable future.