American Tower remains committed to environmental awareness, both internally with our employees and externally with our customers and communities.
Our business model is fundamentally green. We provide shared infrastructure to our customers, thereby reducing the burden that single-use communications sites place on our land and natural resources and minimizing the visual impact in the communities that we serve. We also strive to reduce energy use and related emissions at our communications sites.
Internally, we are also focused on ensuring compliance with tower environmental regulations and guidelines and have dedicated teams responsible for environmental preservation. These efforts include the protection of migratory birds and endangered species and the preservation of historical and tribal sites. In addition, we have implemented a "reduce, reuse and recycle" program in each of our global offices through our Green @ American Tower initiative. In combination, these environmental awareness programs help ensure that we are doing our part to care for the environment in our offices and in the field.
Green @ American Tower
Through the Green @ American Tower initiative, our focus is on minimizing the environmental impact of the materials used in our daily operations by reducing, reusing and recycling. By changing our work practices just a bit, we can contribute to the greater good of conserving our natural resources and helping to improve the quality of the environment.
Originating as an idea from one of our employees, American Tower's light bulb recycling program in the U.S. helps the Company reduce waste in the field from light bulbs from our communications sites.
When our field employees remove used incandescent bulbs or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) from one of our towers, they place it in a special container designed to keep any potentially hazardous materials from leaking into the environment. When the container is full, it's sealed and shipped to a recycling facility where 99% of the bulb is reclaimed and recycled.
Our Network Operations team has also embarked on a plan to change all tower lights to LED over the new few years. This will further reduce waste from our towers and decrease power consumption.
Through American Tower's Backup Power Solution in the U.S., the Company purchases, installs and maintains backup generators at our tower sites. Carriers have the option of leasing access to a generator rather than maintaining their own equipment. In the case of widespread power outages, such as after a major storm or other natural disaster, backup power is crucial to maintaining customers’ networks to support emergency services, mobile-to-mobile calling, texting and short distance radio backhaul. Backup power allows these systems to continue running and ensure that people are able to communicate with family, friends and emergency services if necessary.
In addition, having shared generators benefits the environment. Multiple user generators conserve compound space, which can reduce the overall footprint of the site. By reducing the number of generators, we are able to have fewer fuel tanks on site. Sharing generators also reduces environmental impact by reducing harmful emissions.
Learn more about our Backup Power Solution.
Bird Watch Program
Each year, several American Tower owned or managed tower structures are found to house nests of various species of birds. Birds find towers and other elevated structures to be attractive nesting and roosting platforms. When we encounter bird activity at one of our sites, American Tower works to keep protected birds and their active nests safe and keep our customers, contractors and employees safe. Our Environmental Compliance team is committed to identifying, evaluating and addressing bird activity at American Tower sites and ensuring that our employees, customers and contractors are educated about the Company’s bird site protocol. Along with our Network Operations team, they have participated in a bald eagle foster program with the Philadelphia Zoo and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ osprey relocation program in the Great Lakes region.
Learn more about our bird site practices.