Events like Earth Hour and Earth Day make me think about my next car. Will it be electric, hybrid, diesel, compressed natural gas -- and what type of new environmentally friendly technologies will it have?
With so many vehicle options and lifestyle variables, choosing the right green vehicle isn’t easy. The key is to find the vehicle and green technology that match your specific needs. We face similar questions at Verizon, but the challenge is many times larger because we operate thousands of cars, vans and trucks across the United States. That’s why we’re constantly evaluating new technologies that will improve the green efficiency of our vehicle fleet.
“There isn’t a blanket solution when it comes to greening the performance of our wide range of fleet vehicles,” said Ken Jack, vice president of fleet for Verizon. “We have many different types and sizes of vehicles that serve many different purposes. So instead of trying to force-fit a single solution across our fleet, a smarter near-term approach is to implement fleet management technology that allows us to optimize the performance and efficiency of each vehicle, regardless of its size, fuel or function.”
Verizon has a wide range of green fuel technologies installed across its diverse fleet -- including biofuel, compressed natural gas, electric and hybrid -- in addition to traditional diesel- and gasoline powered vehicles. While we continue to explore opportunities with alternative-fuel vehicles, we’ve also adopted our own vehicle fleet-management product, Networkfleet.
Networkfleet uses telematics technology to help fleet managers reduce fuel consumption and vehicle emissions, and improve vehicle maintenance to keep vehicles running efficiently.
As noted in our annual Corporate Responsibility Report, we equipped 28,575 of our vehicles with Networkfleet or a similar solution by the end of 2014. The chart below shows how this fleet management technology has contributed to our declining consumption of gasoline year-by-year.
What this chart doesn’t show is that the 34.3 million gallons of gasoline our vehicles consumed in 2014 was almost 25 percent less than our consumption in 2010 (45.2 million gallons). From an emissions perspective, our use of telematics technology has resulted in a reduction of over 2 billion pounds of CO2 yearly. That’s the equivalent of removing 190,000 cars from the road – a number roughly equal to the population of Salt Lake City.
Green Fleet Innovations
Our employees also create powerful answers to our transportation challenges. For example, an employee Green Team member had an idea to reduce traffic congestion, parking and CO2 by creating a van-pool service for Verizon technicians in New York City. That is how the Verizon MAGIC Bus was invented. The buses pick up and drop off Verizon technicians for installation and repair appointments at customer locations across the city. This eliminates the use of vehicles by individual technicians, reducing fuel consumption and emissions, and helping to reduce traffic on the city’s congested streets.
MAGIC -- an acronym for Mobile Area Garage Installation Center -- has accomplished the following:
- Replaced 250 older Verizon trucks with just 25 buses
- Eliminated more than 70,000 gallons of gasoline used yearly
- Reduced CO2 by more than 645 metric tons – the equivalent weight of 200 passenger vehicles
- Cut nearly 700,000 miles of driving each year
How will You Commute to Work on Earth Day?
No matter what car or technology is in your future, the greenest option you may have for your commute on Earth Day is to bike to work. Verizon Green Team’s Bike to Work program encouraged 733 team members in 19 countries to bike to the office in 2014, saving 505,581 vehicle miles and reducing CO2 emissions by 191.9 metric tons, and we are encouraging larger results for 2015.
How will you commute on Earth Day?