An Hour to Make a Difference

By: James Gowen
Light switch off

During a single hour on March 23, more than 13,600 Verizon employees across 37 countries supported Earth Hour to help raise energy-efficiency awareness, and nearly 10 percent of those participating employees were in India.

During those 60 minutes, Verizon turned off lights on signage at MetLife Stadium and the Basking Ridge corporate campus in New Jersey; our Pearl Street building in Manhattan (shown below); a call center in Pittsburgh; and Verizon sites in Dortmund, Germany, and Reading, England. In total, Verizon turned off the lights in 600 buildings around the world.

Earth Hour Pearl On

Earth Hour Pearl Off

In recognition of employees who participated in Earth Hour, Verizon is planting 6,000 trees, including 1,000 trees in Pillaiarkuppam Village in Puducherry, India, where American Forests is working to reforest an ecosystem along the Gingee River.

Verizon is committed to global sustainability. In 2009, we set a goal of halving our carbon intensity by the year 2020, and I’m proud to share that we’ve already reduced it by more than 37 percent. In addition, since 2010 dozens of Verizon locations across the U.S. have collected e-waste from local communities at recycling rallies such as one held today in Charleston, S.C. We have already collected more than 1.1 million pounds of e-waste at these rallies!

Stay tuned to this blog for our upcoming Earth Day announcements – and follow us on @VerizonGreen.

James "Jim" Gowen is a change agent. Since taking on the complementary roles of vice president of Supply Chain Operations and chief sustainability officer for Verizon in 2009, he has enlisted more than 10,000 employees in 23 countries to help reduce the company’s environmental footprint.

Gowen oversees “green” initiatives across Verizon including the introduction of a carbon intensity metric, fuel and energy reduction, employee and supplier engagement, paper suppression, waste reduction and recycling. In his supply chain role, Gowen leads centralized operations with responsibility for more than $2.5 billion in annual through-put.

Gowen earned his master's degree in business administration from Long Island University and his bachelor's degree from Manhattanville College. He is located in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.