Since its founding, American Tower Corporation, a leading independent owner, operator, and developer of global wireless telecommunications solutions, of which ATC Ghana is a subsidiary, has taken a significant role in fostering connectivity in a responsible, equitable and sustainable manner.
As the company continues to grow, its key focus remains providing critical digital infrastructure across its markets around the world whilst operating sustainably.
In its recently released 2022 sustainability report, the company in outlining its sustainability strategy gives a comprehensive overview of the progress made across the three pillars of its sustainability programme – Environment, Social, and Governance.
Aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations Global Compact Principles on Environment, American Tower has adopted a business model that fundamentally minimises not only its environmental impact but that of the overall telecommunications industry.
In contributing to combatting climate change and protecting the environment, a key part of this strategy is the implementation of the company’s three-pronged approach to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
This approach includes energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy procurement and on-site generation, and sophisticated energy storage.
To drive the strategy and facilitate measurable progress, the company has adopted GHG emissions reduction goals approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
These science-based targets seek to reduce the absolute scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 40% by 2035 against a 2019 baseline.
By aligning its goals with the SBTi and the Paris Agreement, American Tower is actively contributing to the collective efforts to limit global warming by reducing its exposure to climate-related risks and better capitalizing on climate-related opportunities.
In 2022, American Tower demonstrated its commitment and progress by decreasing direct emissions (scope 1) by 11% since 2019. In Africa, through an investment of about $345 million in renewable solutions and energy reduction initiatives since 2018, American Tower has decreased its on-site diesel consumption by an estimated 43.5 million litres annually when compared to business-as-usual operations.
In Ghana, ATC Ghana is investing in deploying solar equipment to provide backup power as an alternative to diesel-powered generators to reduce the carbon emissions emanating from its sites.
So far, about 80% of its sites have solar as backup power with a plan in place to switch more sites to solar power in the coming years. By harnessing solar energy, these sites are helping reduce GHG emissions and contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.
A few years ago, ATC Ghana initiated a programme to properly recycle waste oil and batteries to ensure a safe and responsible management of hazardous waste generated from its sites.
Under this initiative, used oil and batteries are collected, processed, and recycled to prevent them from improper disposal to mitigate against soil and water pollution.
Further to the initiatives at its operational sites to drive environmental stewardship, American Tower has been working across the globe to contribute to the efforts to conserve, restore and grow one trillion trees by 2030 as part of the World Economic Forum’s 1t.org initiative.
In 2022, the company supported the planting of over 260,000 trees around the world which included employees volunteering and participating in tree planting activities in celebration of Earth Day and World Environment Day.
In Ghana, American Tower continues to support government’s initiatives on afforestation such as the Green Ghana Day, a national campaign to plant trees across the country. Since 2021, ATC Ghana employees have planted about 200 trees in different communities to promote the well-being of the ecosystem.
American Tower’s efforts to reduce operational GHG emissions also support customers in achieving their climate targets.
While solar energy remains the most effective and readily available renewable option for the global markets in which the company operates, American Tower continually explores additional alternatives to meet its goals.
The substantial investment and prioritisation of sustainability initiatives underscore American Tower’s dedication to the industry’s transition toward a low-carbon future.
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