Applying the Lessons of Earth Day, Every Day

Verizon and Its Employees ‘Work Green, Live Green’ Year-Round
Environmentally friendly employees in forest

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Every year since 1970, the world has observed Earth Day on April 22, the day that many consider the birthdate of the modern environmental movement. In honor of this 45th anniversary of Earth Day, many of the more than 17,000 employee-volunteer members of the Verizon Green Team are joining nearly 30 local environmental events in communities where they live and work from coast-to-coast. These volunteer activities include electronic-waste recycling rallies, park beautifications, nature cleanups, and public education programs on water conservation and ecosystems.

In addition, Verizon Green Team members are hosting Earth Day Green Expo environmental education events today for their co-workers at eight of the company’s largest facilities in seven states (Lake Mary, Florida; Hanover, Maryland; Basking Ridge; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Elgin, South Carolina; Hidden Ridge, Texas; and Ashburn, Virginia) and in Europe in Reading, England. In keeping with its “Work Green, Live Green” philosophy, Verizon Green Team members will share information and advice with their peers on green practices in the workplace; environmental volunteerism; local Green Team activity updates; and simple ways to live a healthier and greener lifestyle every day.

Verizon’s commitments to the environment and sustainable business practices are defined by  the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, Lowell McAdam, in the Business Roundtable 2015 sustainability report, “Create, Grow, Sustain: Leading by Example,” published on April 20 in commemoration of Earth Day.

“At Verizon, we are unrelenting in our efforts to create a greener planet, from the way we run our network and business operations to the energy-saving solutions we offer our customers,” McAdam said in the report. “Our energy-efficiency strategies support our ultimate goal of cutting the carbon intensity of our operations in half by 2020 versus our 2009 baseline. We have made significant progress: As of the end of 2013 we had reduced our carbon intensity by 40 percent, and we continue to invest and innovate to make ourselves a more sustainable company.”

Verizon has long focused on energy efficiency and instituting sustainable real estate practices. On April 6, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Verizon with a 2015 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for its continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. This is the third consecutive year that Verizon has received a Partner of the Year honor from the U.S. EPA. In all, 193 Verizon facilities earned ENERGY STAR certification by the end of 2014 – 177 Verizon Wireless retail stores and 16 other Verizon facilities across the United States.  Hundreds of Verizon Wireless stores have also earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

Since 2013, Verizon has invested $137 million in on-site solar and fuel cell systems to generate 22 megawatts of green energy to help power our operations – the equivalent of electricity for 2,700 homes and 20,000 metric tons of CO2.

Verizon is also leveraging its extensive global supply chain to reduce its carbon intensity by directing 55 percent of our supplier spending to companies that measure and set their own targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Our intent is to do business with suppliers that share our environmental ideals and to encourage more of our suppliers to embrace sustainability.

Verizon’s smart solutions for our customers help them to better manage their buildings and vehicle fleets, operate power grids, and support telecommuting to decrease the impact of vehicle commuting. According to an Accenture study, these solutions reduced CO2 emissions by 13 million to 17 million metric tons in 2014 – equal to taking 3 million cars off the road.

Verizon is also using its own Networkfleet telematics product for vehicle fleet management. With this system, companies can keep a closer eye on engine performance and help employees to use their vehicles more efficiently. By the end of 2014, Verizon had equipped 28,575 vehicles in its fleet with Networkfleet or a similar third-party solution. Year by year, Verizon is consuming less gasoline. The 34.3 million gallons Verizon vehicles consumed in 2014 was almost 25 percent less than the company’s fuel consumption in 2010 (45.2 million gallons).

“One of our greatest sources of environmental pride is the size and reach of the all-volunteer Verizon Green Team,” said James Gowen, chief sustainability officer and vice president of supply chain operations for Verizon. “In all, nearly 10 percent of our employees in more than 28 countries around the world have taken the pledge, joined the Green Team, and made the commitment to ‘work green and live green’ every day. The proof of their commitment is demonstrated in their volunteer actions this Earth Day and every day, year-round.”

Nearly 7,000 Verizon employees celebrated Earth Hour last month – turning off lights in their homes in nearly 30 countries, while Verizon darkened nearly 500 building locations in 37 nations worldwide. 

In 2009, Verizon set the goal of collecting and recycling 2 million pounds of electronic waste by the end of 2015. Verizon is poised to meet this goal during its next recycling rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, on May 14. The recycling rally is a free, community-involving element of Verizon’s commitment to curb unsafe disposal of e-waste in landfills and support the discarded items’ reuse to create new products. Since 2009, Verizon has hosted recycling rallies in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia. The most recent rally – in Grapevine, Texas – collected approximately 5,000 pounds of unused electronics. With the help of Green Team members and local community participation, Verizon has collected over 1.9 million pounds of e-waste to date – the equivalent weight of roughly 450 average-sized American cars.