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T-Mobile has become the first wireless carrier to turn to 100% renewable energy for its total electricity usage. In 2018, the mobile giant was the first telecom company to commit to fully renewable energy by the end of 2021 – a goal it has achieved. This happened even as it was merging with Sprint, which significantly expanded its electrical needs.

Photo Courtesy Mika Baumeister

“This was no easy task, but we set a goal, and we achieved it,” said Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile. “Today, thanks to amazing efforts from a team who was unwavering in our commitment to reduce our impact on the planet, the Un-carrier is powering America’s largest, fastest, and most reliable 5G network with 100% clean electricity.”

To achieve this milestone, T-Mobile set in motion a complex clean power contract strategy, which helps it source its energy needs. Contracts include 19 retail agreements, eight virtual power agreements, one direct program, and unbundled clean energy certificates.

This has resulted in an investment in nine wind and solar farm projects, which provide T-Mobile with 3.4 million MWh of power per year.

The company formalized its commitment to 100% renewable energy as part of RE100, a global initiative started by The Climate Group to help companies switch from electricity to renewables and transition them to net-zero carbon grids. RE100 has over 300 members and includes industry leaders such as Apple, Nike, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, 3M, Adobe, Barclays, Capital One, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Danone.

At the start of T-Mobile’s project, Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100 at The Climate Group said: “It’s great to see T-Mobile US shifting to renewables for its power consumption. As a large electricity consumer in the US, they can truly transform energy systems by bringing significant renewable capacity online – all of that while delivering real value to their customers. I congratulate them for a great commitment”.

In addition to its clean-energy transition agreements, T-Mobile also supports 37 community solar projects in Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Oregon. This is expected to benefit local energy grids with more than 2.1 million MWh of power over 25 years.

Photo Courtesy Road Trip with Raj

To offset its future energy needs, T-Mobile plans to add more clean energy projects, which include exploring the possibility of onsite solar infrastructure and investing in companies that deliver renewable energy to more communities in the U.S. 

This transition is part of T-Mobile’s broader effort to decarbonize its operations, minimize waste and maximize efficiencies across its entire business.

“T-Mobile is an example of leadership for sustainability in its industry,” said Louisa Plotnick, head of programs, North America, at The Climate Group, which co-leads the RE100 in partnership with CDP. “By adopting and driving new development of sustainable power sources, T-Mobile shows that corporations can act quickly if ambition is supported by real change. We are thrilled to see T-Mobile achieve this milestone and look forward to our continued partnership as the US rapidly embraces the transition to a renewable future.”

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