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AT&T Environment and Safety

Company name

James Patell

World Resources Institute

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AT&T Environment and Safety

Year published 

Last year covered in case 


AT&T divested its local Bell telephone companies on January 1, 1984. The event focused the company on reshaping a new corporate identity and mission; environmental issues -- according to senior management -- "went underground" as more fundamental business imperatives took precedence.

In the ensuing years, environmental issues grew in importance to industry as legislation and public attention regarding the environment increased. With the passage of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) in 1986, AT&T became more aware of its environmental liabilities. 

Teaching note

Key Management Reading

  • Ambec, S. & Lanoie, P. (2008). Does it pay to be green? A systematic overview. Academy of Management Perspectives. 45-62
  • Reinhardt, F. (1999). Bringing the Environment Down to Earth. Harvard Business Review. July; 149-157 

    Other Readings

    • N/A

    Audio/Visual Material

    • N/A 

    Discussion Questions

    • N/A

    Green Chemistry Principle

    • Principle 1 Prevention
    • Principle 3 Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses

    Electronics and Semiconductors

    Teaching Topic
    Corporate governance and accountability
    Environmental issues
    Social reporting/Social accounting
    Voluntary disclosure
    Global Environmental
    Management Initiative (GEMI)

    Management Discipline
    Business, government and society

    Business Logic
    Managing environmental risks
    Relations with external stakeholders
    Managing competitors
    Cost savings

    Environmental Issue
    Ozone depletion

    North America

    Self Identified as Green Chemistry?

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