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Windstream Is Top-rated U.S. Telecom for Managing Environmental, Social and Governance Risks; Sets New Carbon Reduction Goal

September 29, 2021

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Windstream, a privately held communications and software company, received an ESG Risk Rating score of 12.9 from Sustainalytics as of September 2021. The score ranks Windstream as the top-rated U.S. based telecommunication company. This score places Windstream in the “Low Risk” category of experiencing material financial impacts from environmental, social and governance factors (ESG).

In addition, Windstream is rated as the second best ESG performer out of the 214 companies in the telecommunications industry that Sustainalytics covers globally, placing it in the 1st percentile and in the 5th percentile of more than 13,500 companies across all industries at the time of the rating issuance.

Separately, the company today announced plans to more rapidly reduce its Scope 2 purchased electricity greenhouse gas emissions. President and CEO Tony Thomas announced that Windstream will reduce Scope 2 purchased electricity emissions 40 percent by 2025. Its previous goal had been to reduce those emissions 30 percent (from a 2019 baseline) by 2035.

“Windstream is honored to be the top-rated U.S.-based telecommunications provider in the telecommunications industry that Sustainalytics covers,” Thomas said. “This is a tremendous achievement by our team, and I believe we can accelerate our plans to further reduce our carbon footprint. Our aspirational goals not only help our business but also ensure we do our part as citizens of this planet.”

Windstream interacted with Sustainalytics for the first time in February 2021 to better understand how the organization assesses companies in the telecommunications sector on their ESG. At that time, Windstream was rated by Sustainalytics as having an ESG Risk Rating score of 18.5, placing in the “Low Risk” category, ranking in the 8th percentile of telecommunication companies and 17th percentile across all industries that Sustainalytics covers.

After the initial rating by Sustainalytics, Windstream aligned its ESG reporting standards with the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative); joined the UN Global Compact; developed formal human rights and environmental policies, and increased its public disclosures in the company’s annual ESG report, which can be found here.

Sustainalytics’ external assessment evaluates the company’s risk exposure and management across seven material ESG issues (MEIs): data privacy and security; product/network governance; carbon emissions; human capital management; corporate governance; human rights across its supply chain, and business ethics. Sustainalytics’ rating placed Windstream’s overall Management of ESG Material Risk as “strong,” the highest rating available.

“We were pleased by our initial results in February but continued to refine our efforts across all of our business units,” said Mark Reed, chief procurement officer for Windstream. “The strong progress we’ve made in a few short months demonstrates the importance Windstream places on ESG factors, both as a demonstration of good citizenship and as a vital component of our strategy to create value for stakeholders.”

About Windstream

Windstream Holdings is a privately held Fortune® 1000 communications and software company. Windstream offers managed communications services, including SD-WAN and UCaaS, and high-capacity bandwidth and transport services to businesses across the U.S. The company also provides premium broadband, entertainment and security services through an enhanced fiber network to consumers and small and midsize businesses primarily in rural areas in 18 states. Additional information is available at or Follow us on Twitter at @Windstream.

From Fortune. ©2021 Fortune Media IP Limited. All rights reserved. Used under license. Fortune and Fortune 1000 are registered trademarks of Fortune Media IP Limited and are used under license. Fortune is not affiliated with, and does not endorse products or services of, Windstream.

Media Contact:
Scott Morris, 501-748-5342

Investor Contact:
Chris King, 704-319-1025

Source: Windstream Holdings

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