At American Tower, we are mindful of our interaction with the environment. Our towers and infrastructure are situated among the areas where we all live, work and play and are part of the landscape that we all share.
We strive to operate in the most efficient manner possible to reduce our need for energy. In addition to employing modern, environmentally friendly practices, American Tower has worked to reduce our energy demands and costs in small ways that add up to make a big impact. We also focus on regulatory compliance and safety and endeavor to minimize our impact on natural resources and wildlife.
By its nature, our commercially shared business model reduces the environmental footprint of mobile networks. Providing shared wireless infrastructure space for multiple tenants on towers, rooftops or Distributed Antenna System (DAS) networks decreases the number of sites needed and allows for shared utilities and fewer required resources. Collocation helps preserve landscapes and conserves land for other use.
Backup Power Solution
The growing trend of consumers relying on mobile phones as their primary form of telecommunication has increased the impact of power outages on wireless networks. While carriers and service providers are looking to provide backup power at their sites with generators, the limitations of available space at tower compounds and the complexity of maintaining and refueling generators has made their wide scale deployment prohibitive for many of our tenants.
As an extension of our leasing model, American Tower offers a solution to this problem through our Backup Power Solution. This program provides backup power generators capable of servicing multiple tenants at one tower site. By enabling a single generator to service the carriers and providers collocated on a single site, the power requirements of our tenants can be met while significantly reducing the amount of fuel that would be required if multiple generators were installed and employed. In addition to saving fuel, this program conserves space at our tower sites and provides our tenants a unique and cost-effective program. American Tower is leading the effort among our competitors to provide backup generator coverage to keep tenants’ networks on air during outages.
To reduce both our electrical consumption and the number of service calls our field technicians make to our tower sites, American Tower adopted the use of Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs for tower lighting. With a longer life and reduced power consumption compared to conventional bulbs, CFLs provide savings in both energy and human resources. Recent advances in technology have made Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs even more efficient than CFLs, both in reduced electrical consumption and longer service life. As current CFL bulbs reach their end-of-life at tower sites, American Tower is replacing them with LED units. Our teams have implemented a recycling program for used tower light bulbs.
When American Tower set out to replace our fleet of field vehicles, a primary focus included improving the fuel economy of the fleet in an effort to reduce fuel usage and costs. Research and comparison found that by implementing vehicles that used more modern powertrain technologies, significant savings in fuel and emissions were possible. We also discovered that implementing smaller utility vehicles and trucks could offer cost savings to fuel efficiency and reduced emissions while still meeting the needs of our field operations staff.
American Tower has begun to replace aging vehicles from its fleet with more smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles with a goal of reducing emissions and improving energy consumption over the next few years.
Over the last year, American Tower has implemented a campaign to promote paper recycling throughout our U.S. offices. By selecting a vendor who employs an environmentally responsible process, American Tower has been able to successfully destroy and recycle secure documents and paper products while reducing the amount of resources used in reprocessing. Collected materials are shredded and then distributed to facilities that breakdown and reuse the material in the production of recycled paper goods. Not only does this program help preserve landfill space, it eliminates many of the steps required in the traditional paper production process, saving both energy and raw materials.
Resources Saved by Recycling Shredded Material
In many of our markets we continue to explore alternative power for our sites. For example, India’s national electricity grid meets less than a third of ATC India’s tower site energy needs. As a result, the ATC India team is exploring the use of three renewable energy sources: solar power, wind-solar hybrid power and biomass power, which converts plant-based materials into fuel.