Disaster Relief — In 2011, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation contributed more than $1.1 million to support organizations helping with disaster relief. In addition, our employees and employee groups reached out to help disaster victims, their colleagues and retirees affected in state and federal declared disasters.
Volunteering in Our Community — Each year, our employees and retirees, including the AT&T Pioneers and Employee Resource Groups, get actively involved in their communities with causes that are important to them. In 2011, our employees and retirees donated more than six million hours of time to community outreach activities — worth more than $133 million. Employee volunteerism programs provide comprehensive and flexible volunteerism options.
Supporting Those Who Serve — To those who give so much in serving our country, we owe a great deal. For almost 100 years, we've been dedicated to supporting active military personnel, their families and veterans through charitable contributions, event and program sponsorships, hiring military veterans and maintaining policies that support reservists when they are called to active duty.
Tackling Texting While Driving Head On —Think about the last text message you sent. Is that text worth your life? No text is worth dying for. We're committed to educating wireless customers about the risks of texting while driving. Learn more www.itcanwait.com.
Confronting the High School Dropout Crisis — More than one million high school students (25 percent) fail to graduate with their class. Through AT&T Aspire— our signature education initiative specifically focused on high school retention and workforce readiness — we are working to reverse this trend. We launched Aspire in 2008 with an initial $100 million commitment to the program. We met this commitment in 2011, and a few months later we announced an additional $250 million for the program.
Going Paperless — We all know that paperless billing saves paper. That's a no brainer. But did you also know that it not only saves other valuable resources, like water, it's also a more efficient way for our customers to pay their bills? Not to mention it also helps us reduce our costs. So it's great news that in 2011, 2.8 million additional customers opted to receive only an electronic bill, bringing the total number of customers going paperless to about 17.2 million by the end of 2011. Join the effort at www.att.com/simplify.
Cell Phone Recycling — Only 18 percent of TVs, cell phones and computer products that can be recycled are collected for recycling, according to the EPA. For just cell phones, the number is lower — around 10 percent. In 2011, we collected approximately 3 million cell phones for reuse and recycling and 1.7 million pounds of batteries and accessories.
Accessorizing with Plant-Based Plastics — In 2011, we introduced a new accessory packaging that is composed of up to 30 percent plant-based materials. The plastic is sourced from ethanol harvested from natural sugarcane. The sugarcane used in this plant plastic is a rapidly renewable agricultural crop and replaces nearly a third of the fossil fuels traditionally used. The adoption of the new plastic was part of the broader overall commitment to minimize our environmental impact. In 2010 and 2011, we eliminated the use of more than 500 tons of paper and plastic in our accessory packaging.
Exploring Alternatives – Solar — We all know how great the sun feels on a nice spring day. We're working to harness that power to provide energy at some of our central offices. In 2011, we avoided the CO2 emissions equivalent of 430 cars annually, and we have commissioned five solar systems
Alternative Fuel and Our Fleet — Two and a half million gallons of gasoline... that costs a lot of money. Thanks to our compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, that's how much gasoline we expect to avoid buying in 2012 and in each subsequent year they're in service. At the end of 2011, we had 3,469 CNG vehicles in service. Finding cleaner, more efficient methods of powering our vehicles is important to this country's economy and security, as well as the environment. With one of the largest commercial fleets in the U.S., we know we need to be part of the solution, even though there are many challenges with making that change. That's why in 2009, we made a commitment to invest up to $565 million to deploy approximately 15,000 alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) through 2018.
*The Trees Saved Counter is an estimation of trees saved from the amount of AT&T customers that have opted for paperless billing as of 2011, as projected by www.payitgreen.org. The counter is meant only to be illustrative of the potential for tree savings based on going paperless. The number of paperless billing customers at the end of 2011 was 17.2M.