AT&T's Building Water Efficiency Toolkit: People's Insights Vol. 2, Issue 31


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This week, we distill insights around AT&T and EDF's data-analysis approach to finding a cost-effective way to reduce their water footprint.

For more about AT&T's water initiative, visit:

100+ thinkers and planners within MSLGROUP share and discuss inspiring projects on reputation, employee engagement and citizenship on the MSLGROUP Insights Network.

Every week, we pick up one project and do a deep dive into conversations around it -- on the MSLGROUP Insights Network itself but also on the broader social web -- to distill insights and foresights. We share these insights with you on our People’s Insights blog and compile the best insights from the network and the blog in the People’s Insights Quarterly Magazine, as a showcase of our capabilities.

We have further synthesized the insights to provide foresights for business leaders and changemakers — in the ten-part People’s Insights annual report titled Now & Next: Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement, now available as a Kindle eBook.

For more, see:

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AT&T's Building Water Efficiency Toolkit: People's Insights Vol. 2, Issue 31

  1. 1. Reputation | Employee Engagement | Citizenship AT&T Building Water Efficiency People’s Insights: Volume 2, Issue 31
  2. 2. AT&T and EDF’s water saving initiative To maintain their 'aquaprint,' AT&T partnered with the Environmental Defence Fund and used data analysis to reduce their water consumption at cooling towers. Source:
  3. 3. Good for business2 This project is designed to help AT&T find a costeffective way to reduce its water footprint and operational costs, and also contributes to their position as a socially responsible company. Source: In fact, AT&T ranked #1 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine‘s 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, and recognized in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America for the fourth year.
  4. 4. Using data to identify savings From 2010-11, AT&T worked to identify sites with the highest water consumption. In 2012, AT&T partnered with EDF to optimize consumption and to measure the resulting savings in cost across pilot facilities. The Building Water Efficiency toolkit was developed from these pilot projects, and gives organizations simple costeffective resources to build their own water efficiency programs.
  5. 5. Sharing the Toolkit AT&T and EDF provide the toolkit for free along with a series of free webinars to introduce and promote the toolkit. The toolkit itself comprises of a Water Scorecard and Water Efficiency Calculator to evaluate and identify consumption and savings opportunities, and a Cooling System guide and video series to educate stakeholders.
  6. 6. The ever-rising importance of water McKinsey's report Charting our Water Future (2009) notes that in the last 50 years, the world’s population has doubled and global GDP has grown tenfold, agricultural and industrial output has boomed, and cities have burgeoned. This growth, and these competing uses, have put global water resources under ever-increasing strain. Sources: Business Insider, NYTimes, National Geographic
  7. 7. Collaborating to solve today's social challenges Collaborative actions are particularly crucial in assessing and addressing climate change impacts, since there are large gaps in knowledge and information related to climate change and water, especially data and prediction modeling at the watershed level. Pacific Institute Water Scarcity & Climate Change: Growing Risks for Businesses & Investors Thinkers and doers point out that collaboration is key to tackling social challenges and that stakeholders need to pool together knowledge, information and data to make progress.
  8. 8. “Can’t do it alone” As AT&T seeks to address some of society’s greatest challenges – access to education, use of resources, and the dangers of texting while driving – one of our most important realizations has been that we cannot go it alone. This past year, we undertook initiatives with groups like Communities in Schools, Environmental Defense Fund and the National Organizations for Youth Safety to tackle these tough issues. Beth Shiroishi Vice President of Sustainability and Philanthropy, AT&T Source: Brands too are cognizant of the need for collaboration, and are actively working with non profit organizations and government bodies to tackle these challenges.
  9. 9. Increasing role of private sector The expertise, resources and planning that professionals bring to the table are rarely replicated by the government. It won’t be long before the government starts handing over water management to private firms, just as we are seeing in the power sector. Ashraf Engineer Vice-President – Content & Insights, MSLGROUP (India) MSLGROUP India's Ashraf Engineer notes that private companies will have an increasing role to play in water management.
  10. 10. Engaging employees around Sustainability Several brands are designing programs that involve employees in their sustainability initiatives. For example, Honda crowdsources ideas with its annual Innovative Ideas Convention, GE organizes Eco Treasure Hunts and Levi's leveraged their employees collective social presence with its Waterless program. Source: Honda
  11. 11. People, data and devices for Sustainability Brands, organizations and entrepreneurs are also energizing people around their sustainability initiatives, and are beginning to use data and connected devices to help people measure and manage their carbon footprint. Sources: Charity Water, NatGeo's Changing the Course, Twitter
  12. 12. Real & virtual engagement is needed In a digital world, the entire model of sustainability engagement has to shift. It is no longer enough to just have brown-bag lunches or a river cleanup at your headquarters and call it your engagement program. Creating dynamic content that is relevant, exciting and accessible is crucial, and using a social network to distribute your content is especially effective. Toby Russell and Thomas Hendrick Natural Capitalism Solutions Bloggers and consultants note the need for sustainability engagement programs to evolve with the times, to stay relevant.
  13. 13. Read People’s Lab insights & foresights The People’s Lab team shares the insights and foresights from the MSLGROUP Insights Network on the People’s Insights weekly blog , quarterly magazine and annual report. MSLGROUP INSIGHTS NETWORK PEOPLE’S INSIGHTS WEEKLY BLOG PEOPLE’S INSIGHTS QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 100+ MSLGROUP planners share and discuss inspiring projects on reputation, employee engagement and citizenship. We deep dive into conversations around one project to distill insights and foresights. Every quarter, we compile the best insights from the network and the blog into a magazine, as a showcase of our capabilities. For more, visit
  14. 14. People’s Lab: Crowdsourcing Insights & Innovation People’s Lab is MSLGROUP’s proprietary crowdsourcing platform and approach that helps organizations tap into people’s insight for innovation, storytelling and change. For more, visit
  15. 15. For People’s Lab solutions, please contact: