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  • Writer's pictureCarolina MIlanesi

T-Mobile’s Latest Corporate Responsibility Report Highlights The Company’s Mission To Connect Customers With Purpose

T-Mobile has made significant progress in recent years, expanding its network and breaking barriers to connect customers to their world. The company is driven by a mission to be the best in the world at providing connectivity, recognizing that its network technology positively impacts customers' lives, enabling social, educational, and economic opportunities while supporting innovative and sustainable solutions for businesses. 

The company believes that corporate responsibility is not just about doing the right thing but leveraging its network, scale, and resources to be a force for good in the wireless industry and the world. This was clearly underlined throughout the 2022 Corporate Responsibility report T-Mobile recently published

At a time when the “anti-woke movement” is putting pressure on brands to pull back their efforts in Diversity Equity and Inclusion, sustainability and social impact, T-Mobile acknowledges the importance of corporate responsibility to various stakeholders, including customers, employees, and shareholders. 

People now make decisions about the companies they work for, buy from, and invest in based on shared values related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) categories. Most consumers and employees prefer companies that align with their values, while investors see strong corporate responsibility practices as integral to a resilient business both as it offers growth opportunity as well as being a risk mitigation. 

"T-Mobile’s corporate responsibility work is not only increasingly important to our customers, employees, shareholders and the communities we serve – it’s foundational to our business and how we operate. This report gives us the opportunity to share the progress we've made in diversity, equity and inclusion, digital equity, and environmental sustainability—showing how we continue creating genuine, positive opportunities within our company and communities. For example, we're making progress by putting our people first and embedding DEI at the centre of everything we do. Our $10.7 billion Project 10Million initiative is helping close the digital divide in education. We’re also focusing on reducing our environmental impact by setting an ambitious 2040 net-zero emissions goal to create a more sustainable future for all," said Brigitta Witt, Vice President, Social Impact and Sustainability at T-Mobile. 

The company upholds responsible business practices with a focus on integrity, responsibility, and transparency. They prioritize building trust with customers, suppliers, and business partners by maintaining strong corporate governance policies and ethical codes. T-Mobile continuously invests in responsible practices, including employee training, supplier assessments, and transparent reporting.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are essential to T-Mobile's success. 

Environmental sustainability is a priority for T-Mobile. They take bold steps to reduce their environmental footprint, utilizing their network, resources, and partnerships to create a more sustainable future. The company has committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2040, sourcing 100% renewable electricity, improving energy efficiency, and investing in product circularity.

In the 96-page long report, there is a lot more information about sustainability and DEI, but the part that I want to focus on is what T-Mobile is doing to deliver what should be a human: consistent and reliable connectivity. Good connectivity is crucial in today's world and those without access face economic and social disadvantages. 

T-Mobile is advancing its efforts to expand connectivity in three key ways. 

Firstly, they are focused on bringing choice and speed to communities everywhere. They aim to address areas with limited internet options and provide reliable high-speed connectivity. An example is the transformation of Craig County, Virginia, where T-Mobile's 5G Home Internet service was piloted, allowing residents to access modern speeds for essential services, education, and entertainment.

Secondly, T-Mobile aims to make connectivity more affordable and accessible. They understand the financial barriers that hinder people from accessing the internet and strive to provide affordable options to bridge the digital divide.

Lastly, T-Mobile invests in creating a more digitally inclusive society. They recognize that access to connectivity is essential for individuals to participate fully in the digital world. Through their initiatives, they aim to ensure that people have the necessary tools and resources to thrive in today's digital landscape.

T-Mobile is committed to providing affordable and accessible connectivity options to various groups of people. They have introduced low-cost plans like T-Mobile Connect and Connect by T-Mobile, starting at $15 and $10 per month to connect low-income families and individuals. T-Mobile participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), offering eligible households monthly discounts of up to $30 (up to $75 on qualifying tribal lands) towards internet service.

T-Mobile acknowledges that inequity in connectivity leads to inequity in education, disproportionately affecting low-income families and underrepresented backgrounds, as was made very clear during the pandemic. To address this issue, T-Mobile launched Project 10Million in 2020, aiming to provide up to 10 million eligible households across the United States with free mobile hotspots and internet connectivity. Project 10Million is open to every eligible student household, regardless of existing T-Mobile contracts. Families receive a free hotspot with 100GB of wireless data per year for up to five years, provided at no cost. School district administrators and individual families can apply or sign up directly online.

They also offer school districts free or heavily subsidized data plans and access to affordable laptops and tablets for students. Through collaborations with school districts, community partners, and student families, T-Mobile has connected over 5.3 million students to the internet and supported over 5,000 school districts through Project 10Million and other education initiatives. The company has invested over $4.8 billion in products and services to bridge the digital divide.

T-Mobile has also partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) to expand its efforts in helping families without home internet connectivity. Through BBBSA's extensive network, T-Mobile and BBBSA work together to bring connectivity to underserved communities, enabling children to access educational resources and reach their full potential.

T-Mobile’s efforts to close the digital divide initiated the collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to support the unique needs of LGBTQ+ individuals in the tech field. They fund PowerOn Mobile by LGBT-Tech, which provides technology and connectivity to LGBTQ+-serving organizations. This support enables these organizations to offer essential services such as healthcare, job seeking, food insecurity, and emergency services advice to their clients.

In partnership with PCs for People, T-Mobile supports digital skills training for low-income individuals. PCs for People aims to bridge the digital literacy gap by empowering low-income individuals, families, and non-profits to benefit from the internet's transformative impacts. T-Mobile's support specifically benefits its digital literacy outreach and education efforts in the Kansas City area, helping adults learn essential digital skills for improved economic opportunities and quality of life.

T-Mobile also partners with Dress for Success, a global non-profit organization focused on empowering low-income women. Through their "Get Connected" initiative in the Seattle area, T-Mobile supports the provision of laptops and comprehensive digital literacy skills training to women in need. This initiative aims to help women achieve financial independence, thrive in their careers, and be treated with dignity and respect.

By investing in these initiatives, T-Mobile aims to empower disadvantaged groups, bridge the digital skills gap, and create a more inclusive society where everyone has equal access to digital resources and opportunities. While sustainability is more and more seen as a business imperative that drives clear returns, DEI and social impact efforts remain harder to justify to investors. This is why I am delighted to see T-Mobile double down on such efforts by making its core business a drive for positive change. 

Disclosure: The Heart of Tech is a research and consultancy firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this column. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this column.



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