In this episode of Smart Energy Voices, host John Failla introduces the opening keynote speaker from Smart Energy Decisions’ recent Renewable Energy Forum, Amy Bond. Amy is the Sustainability Sourcing Manager at T-Mobile. In her talk, she presents actionable tips for navigating obstacles to success in implementing sustainability strategies, including her experience in executing Sprint’s first virtual power purchase agreement.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in... Sustainability career in 2008 [02:45] Who is T-Mobile? [05:55] Overcoming misunderstandings [07:56] Challenges vs. opportunities [12:41] DiCE platform [15:34] The ability to influence [17:58] Be prepared to lead [22:16] Who is T-Mobile? T-Mobile is America’s fastest and largest 5g network and the second-largest telecommunications provider. Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, T-Mobile is supported by about 75,000 full and part-time employees with additional offices in Kansas, Texas, Georgia, and Virginia. The company’s mission is to be the best at connecting its customers to their world.
T-Mobile is the first and only U.S. wireless company to have set a goal to be 100% sourced for electricity from renewables by 2021, which it achieved. When the goal was established in 2018, less than 10% of its energy would have qualified for RE100. In just four years, T Mobile signed 3.5 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy contracts and spent approximately $3 billion yearly with diverse suppliers.
Diversity in Clean Energy Supplier diversity is a business imperative for T-Mobile and a KPI within its procurement organization. After a conversation between Amy and her account manager at Duke Energy, Cheryl D. Comer, they pulled together a two-day business roundtable discussion with Cheryl’s other corporate accounts. Those discussions drove the formation of the Diversity in Clean Energy (DiCE) coalition, initially supported by Duke Energy, T-Mobile, Kroger, GM, and Microsoft. The coalition has a visionary outcome to advocate and open doors for diverse-owned businesses that operate within the clean energy value chain.
This platform will provide a way for minority business enterprises to elevate and market themselves to clean energy buyers. The platform is interactive and is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2022.
Overcoming miscommunication Every energy project has obstacles, and T-Mobile’s projects were no exception. One of the most significant obstacles is the miscommunication of a project or initiative. When leading a project within an organization, this issue often occurs due to misunderstanding the information the audience already has. When Amy joined the T-Mobile Energy and Sustainability Team, the company had only one community solar program. Amy thought that approach could be optimized to realize significant savings that could then be used towards purchasing renewable energy certificates. While T-Mobile’s portfolio contains many different technologies, geographies, and sizes, there was still a gap between the renewable energy certificates these projects generated and what was needed to meet the company’s renewable energy goal.
That gap left the company purchasing non-project REC, so why not use community solar savings to offset that cost? Initially, Amy received considerable pushback because the company’s previous experience was of lengthy negotiations with relatively small results. So she shifted her focus to finding ways to address these concerns and devised a new strategy that would reduce the execution timeline by more than half. What had taken over a year with one supplier for five projects now took only six months for 32 additional agreements. Reducing the impact of misunderstandings requires listening for pre-existing biases to find workarounds for a project.
Resources & People Mentioned Simran Sethi Cheryl D. Comer Duke Energy Beyond the Meter - Episode 17: Collaborating to Drive Diversity in Clean