For years, we have conducted our business with an eye toward limiting adverse impacts on the environment and the communities in which we operate. One example is our shared infrastructure model, which is inherently sustainable—allowing us to maintain a relatively low carbon footprint and establish resource efficiency. We strive to be responsible environmental stewards while managing our expansive infrastructure portfolio and every part of our organization.
Achieve carbon neutral goal in Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2025.
of annual electricity consumption is expected to be renewable beginning in 20221
of lit towers converted to LED lights2
within our credit facility, focused on renewable energy investments and energy consumption reduction3
1 Percentage calculated using approximately 115,000 MWh of renewable energy contracted for 2022, which includes additional amounts contracted in 2022, compared with estimated 2022 annual consumption of approximately 175,000 MWh.
2 Percentage calculated based on 12,101 total lit towers as of December 31, 2021.
3 Added in 2021.
Converting our lighting systems on towers to LED4,5
4 Percentages calculated based on the total lit tower count as of December 31 of each year represented.
5 The amount of total lit towers is subject to slight fluctuations year over year as the result of regulatory changes.
Driving results through accountability.
In 2021, we introduced environmental metrics into our credit facility and established the goal to be carbon neutral in Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2025. To achieve this goal, we’re investing in projects that benefit not only our business, but also the environment. For example, we’re reducing our current energy utilization by pursuing LED lighting conversions on towers. We’re also sourcing renewable energy by contracting ~115,000 MWh in renewable energy across 13 states. We will continue to find ways to reduce our impact as we work toward our carbon neutrality goal.
Renewable energy progress6
- Non-renewable energy
- Renewable energy
6 Percentage calculated using approximately 115,000 MWh of renewable energy contracted for 2022, which includes additional amounts contracted in 2022, compared with estimated 2022 annual consumption of approximately 175,000 MWh.
Reducing our emissions.
In order to craft an informed strategy to reduce our GHG emissions, we calculated our 2021 Scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions based on energy utilization across our operations, including towers; small cells and fiber; offices and warehouses; fleet and generators.
Fuel & Energy Consumption7,8
|Asset Class||Natural Gas (therms)||Electricity (kWh)||Diesel, Gasoline and Propane (MMBtu)|
|Small Cells & Fiber||72,145,362|
|Offices & Warehouses 10||380,520||30,766,147||4,560|
7 Based on an operational control approach, as defined by WRI GHG Protocol and scope guidance. Boundaries include all material operating locations.
8 Where actual consumption data was not available, we used a sampling approach or public information, such as equipment fuel efficiency and power ratings, to estimate fuel and energy consumption.
9 The 2021 methodology for capturing emissions associated with HVAC systems at our tower sites leveraged a unit type approach for each HVAC unit category (e.g., central air, window unit, etc.) to precisely reflect the differing energy consumption levels of each type and resulting emissions.
10 Based on actual consumption data for offices, owned and leased square footage, and estimates derived from nationwide energy intensity statistics from the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Commercial Building Energy Consumption (CBEC) Survey for the remainder of the offices.
11 Based on estimated allocation between diesel and gasoline vehicles.
Greenhouse gas emissions12,13
- Small Cells & Fiber
- Offices & Warehouses
|Asset Class||Scope 1 (MTCO2e)||Scope 2 (MTCO2e)14||Scope 1 & 2 total|
|Small Cells & Fiber||20,616||20,616|
|Offices & Warehouses||2,361||10,549||12,910|
12 Based on an operational control approach, as defined by WRI GHG Protocol and scope guidance. Boundaries include all material operating locations.
13 We used emission factors from 40 CFR Part 98 Tables C-1 and C-2 and EPA eGRID factors. Global Warming Potential documented in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR5 report was used to calculate CO2e for methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O).
14 Calculated using WRI GHG Protocol’s location-based method.
We believe Scope 3 emissions are primarily driven by:
- Downstream electricity that powers our customers’ equipment on our towers and small cells
- Capital goods, including construction associated with fiber installation
- Purchased goods and services
- Business travel and employee commuting
JAY BROWN PRESIDENT & CEO
While we work to accomplish our carbon neutral goal, we are taking action to improve on our strong foundation, including proactive work to reduce our energy consumption and source renewable energy.
We use new technologies like microtrenching that allow us to deploy more efficiently and sustainably.
Our infrastructure supports drone networks that help our business and other organizations operate more safely and sustainably.
Cutting back on consumption.
We’re taking steps to reduce our water consumption and waste production, primarily resulting from office operations. Our current waste reduction initiatives across offices include using compostable and recyclable materials, digitizing operations and donating old materials to reduce lifecycle impacts.
Water consumed by office (gallons)15
|Canonsburg, PA (Bldg.1)||1,598,800||617,500||591,000|
|Canonsburg, PA (Bldg.2)||743,600||404,900||191,000|
|Albany, NY||Not tracked||Not tracked||55,000|
Waste generated and recycled15
|Office||Waste generated (tons)||Waste recycled, reused or composted (tons)|
|Houston, TX||31.20||Not tracked|
|Canonsburg, PA (Bldg.1)||217.20||27.96|
|Canonsburg, PA (Bldg.2)||65.15||9.36|
|Doral, FL||Not tracked||Not tracked|
|Albany, NY||Not tracked||Not tracked|
15 Water and waste is reported for Crown Castle’s owned office locations. Waste generated and recycled chart represents full year 2019 data. In 2020 and 2021, office closures stemming from Covid-19 significantly reduced our waste generation, such that the data was not representative of our typical waste-generating activities. As such, we have elected to not report waste generation data for those years.
Protecting ecosystems and biodiversity.
Our shared infrastructure assets are dispersed across the country on land we own, lease or that’s in the public right of way. Due to our expansive reach, we work to identify and reduce the potential impact our deployments and operations could have on local ecosystems and biodiversity.
Before deploying infrastructure, our environmental compliance team analyzes potential impacts on endangered wildlife, wilderness areas, historic preservation areas and sensitive ecosystems like wetland habitats. In the event that any of these potential impacts are identified, we engage third-party experts to suggest modifications. Once deployments are complete, we actively monitor our assets and take steps to minimize risks to the surrounding habitats.
Our seasonal bird program.
Occasionally, protected bird species select our towers as nesting sites. When this happens, we deploy our environmental specialists to track and document these sites. We have procedures in place to protect identified nests, including limiting on-site access and nest relocation.
sites identified with active nests or protected species16
sites converted to bird-friendly tower lighting16
migratory bird protection courses completed16
16 As of December 31, 2021.