AT&T – a company with one of the largest fleets in the country – and Geotab - a global leader in IoT and connected vehicles – understand better than many that transportation is the backbone of the American economy. But the traditional, fossil fuel-powered forms of transportation we rely on today come with many drawbacks: air pollution from tailpipes creates health risks, volatile fuel prices burden families and businesses, and greenhouse gas emissions drive climate change.

At the COP27 global climate summit in Egypt this past November, leaders from around the world gathered to discuss how to best accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Scientists have warned that we have a shrinking window of opportunity to keep global temperature rises from passing 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times. It is past the threshold where the impacts of climate change – including superstorms, floods, wildfires and drought – are expected to become significantly more extreme. It’s therefore imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible over the next decade.

Currently, the transportation sector is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emission in the United States. That includes cars, trucks, trains and even airplanes – all of which, unless they’re switched to non-carbon alternatives, rely on burning fossil fuels as a source of power. If the U.S. is going to drastically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, we must look at the transportation sector and what we can do to meaningfully reduce its impacts.

AT&T and Geotab are teaming up to do just that. The two companies have joined forces to help drive emissions reductions in the transportation sector, combining Geotab’s award-winning telematics solutions with AT&T’s Internet of Things (IoT) platforms.

To support this goal of dramatic emissions reduction, Geotab is participating in AT&T’s Connected Climate Initiative (CCI), a collaborative that works on connectivity-based solutions to reduce greenhouse emissions by 1 gigaton by 2035. The effort brings together corporate leaders, universities, and non-profit organizations to unleash the power of connectivity solutions, including the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and edge computing, in order to reach this goal.

Geotab's data-driven insights enable customers to make informed decisions for better fleet management and sustainability outcomes. The company’s solutions include the Green Fleet Dashboard, a tool for improving a fleet’s fuel economy and reducing emissions, and the EV Suitability Assessment (EVSA), which offers data-driven recommendations to make the transition to electric vehicles as seamless as possible.

Geotab’s telematics solution pairs with AT&T’s IoT platforms and nationwide data network to help any business or government entity look holistically at their fleet of vehicles. The combined technologies allow users to make assessments from a single analytics-based platform. This provides a whole host of benefits, including elevating efficiencies which help lower the carbon emissions of the overall fleet. Ultimately, this can enable companies to reach their carbon reduction goals, helping to reduce emissions from the transportation sector and lower the risk of catastrophic climate change.

This collaboration can provide several impacts for customers. Enabling tracking and managing of fuel consumption and idling trends, optimizing routes and coaching drivers on fuel efficiency with a connected fleet platform can simplify tasks and provide real-time performance insights to manage costs, while also reducing emissions. It does not stop there, however. Having real-time data in hand can also support the identification of which fleet vehicles would be prime for transitioning to alternative fuel vehicles and which can wait, as any transition for a large fleet will often take time and require a rollout

Shifting corporate fleets to non-fossil fuel vehicles would also have benefits for U.S. communities. For example, electric vehicles have no tailpipe emissions, reducing air pollution in neighborhoods from delivery vans, work trucks and other commercial vehicles.

AT&T works with business customers and non-profits to drive connectivity solutions that help reduce emissions, focusing closely on sectors with large carbon footprints, including manufacturing, energy, and transportation. This collaboration with Geotab is one more way to help accelerate progress to a zero-carbon future.

By John Schulz, director of Sustainability Integration, AT&T & Eric Mallia, vice president, Sustainability Business Solutions for Geotab