It's a Gas ...Natural Gas Vans, That Is

Verizon has added to its Florida fleet 13 Ford cargo vans converted to run on compressed natural gas, as part of the company's goal to have 7.5 percent of its national fleet run on alternative energy by the end of 2011.

Some of the new vehicles will be on display at the grand opening Friday (Oct. 7) of the Clearwater Natural Gas Filling Station  as examples of the various types of vehicles - domestic, commercial and fleet -- that can  use natural gas for fuel and help preserve the environment.  Ceremonies at the filling station, at 1020 N. Hercules Ave., are open to the public and will start at 10 a.m.

"At Verizon, we're making our business more sustainable year over year, from developing smarter products and services to the cutting down of paper usage to using greener vehicles to serve customers," said Jeanmarie Milla, Verizon's Florida region president for operations.  "We are very happy that Florida is playing a role in our national efforts to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions, and we view the addition of these vans as a good start down the road to a much more energy-efficient fleet."

Chuck Warrington, Clearwater Gas System's managing director, said, "Clearwater Gas System is excited about our green partnership with Verizon and the reduced carbon impact that utilizing compressed natural gas has on our environment."

Verizon has also added 20 hybrid vehicles to its Florida fleet.  To date, the company's domestic program has involved purchasing more than 600 Chevy hybrid pickup trucks, the first commercial use of this vehicle; hybrid sedans; and hybrid aerial-lift trucks. Verizon has also purchased more than 500 cargo vans and aerial lift trucks converted to run on compressed natural gas, which emits fewer pollutants than gasoline or diesel fuel.

The increase in the use of alternative fuels not only includes the purchase of new vehicles but also a program to facilitate biofuel use in vehicles already in the Verizon fleet. Where applicable, conventional vehicles will run on biodiesel (a blend of conventional diesel and renewable fuel) or E85 (ethanol-enriched gasoline).

Verizon estimates these vehicles will help the company cut more than 2,550 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and conserve some 290,000 gallons of fuel annually.  This equates to keeping 500 passenger cars off the road for a year.

Focused on Growing Responsibly, Driving Shareholder and Social Value

In another clean energy project earlier this year, Verizon's sustainability team developed a new carbon intensity measurement to gauge carbon efficiency, enabling the company to accurately quantify, for the first time, the impact of all its green initiatives.  The measurement shows how much CO2 emissions result from moving a single terabyte of information across Verizon's network.  Using this gauge, Verizon improved its carbon efficiency by 15 percent in 2010 versus 2009 and is committed to improving by an additional 15 percent in 2011.

In September, Verizon was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, which lists North America's leading companies as measured by social and environmental performance and governance.  This was the third straight year Verizon was included.

The DJSI North America tracks the financial performance, in terms of sustainability, of the top 20 percent of the 600 biggest North American companies in the Dow Jones Global Total Stock Market Index based on long-term economic, environmental and social criteria. Verizon scored particularly well in the areas of corporate governance, privacy protection and service development.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 106 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.