altafiber's sustainability vision is to connect people, free from waste or pollution, enhancing environmental quality and health in our communities. In 2021, we jump-started our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas and carbon emissions within our community and as a company. In 2022, we developed a unique climate action plan and set a science-based target to reduce emissions 40% by 2030, shown in the graphic below to the right and described in our blog, Our New 'Big Hairy Audacious' Sustainability Goals.
April is the month of Earth Day and spring's awakening — the perfect time to share the outline of our plan and ask YOU to play a part in it.
1) Bring superior fiber optic service to our neighbors.
Okay, this isn't unique to our Climate Action Plan, it's our company's mission! So why mention it here? Because it's also a fundamental step to eliminating unwanted emissions, which brings me to step 2:2) Migrate customers from copper to fiber-based service, and shut down elements of the copper network.
Analyzing our carbon footprint drove home the fact that fiber is greener! How green? See our infographic below.
Powering altafiber's legacy copper networks in the Midwest and Hawaii is responsible for 65% of our total carbon emissions, versus our fiber networks being responsible for just 6% of emissions. Our copper lines are more vulnerable to weather, causing an increase in service calls and related fleet emissions, and copper materials are environmentally costly (Source: ENN).
Much research shows that fiber is the optimal technology over radio and copper options. A head-to-head life-cycle analysis by Corning found, "To achieve the same transmission capacity over the same reach, a twisted copper pair has a carbon footprint 85,000 times higher than that of optical fiber." According to an europacable study, fiber reduces power consumption by 13-54% compared to copper, depending on the scenario.
So, if we can provide you internet and entertainment via fiber instead of legacy copper technology, it's a win-win. Fewer emissions. Faster, more reliable service.
3) Increase the pace of divestment and efficiency projects in our network, facilities and fleet.
Finding efficiencies in our business has always been critical to our culture and business survival for over 140 years. Our climate action plan identified areas where we can speed up key initiatives with both financial and carbon-savings returns. Examples include: consolidating facilities, decommissioning equipment, and reducing the average age of our fleet.
4) Integrate available electric vehicle models into our fleet as we replace vehicles at end-of-life.
For the portion of our fleet for which electric vehicles (EV) offer parity in performance and range, we will begin to buy EV models. We are identifying partners to vet more vehicle types like vans and heavy duty trucks as they come to market.5) Add on-site solar photovoltaic systems, where feasible, and buy renewable power.
You rely on our communications network and it relies on resilient, 24/7 power. So, on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) systems producing carbon-free power are a part of our climate action plan. We already operate battery systems and generators to assure network performance during outages; however, incorporating more renewable energy and smartly managing all our power assets (like microgrids) are an essential part of our plan.
By doing these five actions listed above, altafiber has charted a challenging, but realistic course to reduce GHG emissions 40% by 2030, which is about a 4.5% reduction each year. Check out our one-pager to learn more.
Go Green with Us
So, how can you join us in completing this hefty goal of reducing emissions? If fiber internet is available for your home, choose it! It's that simple. As we proved above, fiber is not only 100x more energy efficient than copper-based broadband, but it's also faster and more reliable. You won't be disappointed. Learn more about the benefits of fiber technology at our Why Fiber? Page and check if you are eligible for altafiber's Fiber Internet.
You can also go green by participating in our local electronics waste (e-waste) recycling event, both in the Cincinnati and Honolulu regions!
For the Cincinnati, NKY and Dayton region, bring your old or broken electronics to any altafiber store during normal store hours and we will properly recycle or dispose of them for you. We accept all electronics under 40 pounds except for televisions, batteries, large appliances, and hazardous waste. Find all details here.
Learn additional ways to become more eco-friendly this Earth Month by reading our How to Recycle Your Electronics blog. Let's go green!