Verizon Launches Comprehensive Sustainability Program to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Conserve Energy

To deliver on its commitment to find practical and innovative ways to reduce the carbon footprint of its global operations, Verizon has launched a comprehensive sustainability program consisting of a series of new initiatives and an expansion of existing efforts.

The initiatives and expansion range from significantly increasing the number of alternative vehicles in the company's fleet to conducting a trial of energy-efficient FiOS-TV set-top boxes to using more green products and services.

"Customer demand for Verizon's broadband and wireless technology is driving the growth of our high-IQ networks, but we're growing responsibly," said James Gowen, Verizon's chief sustainability officer.  "We're partnering with other businesses, suppliers, employees and our customers to dramatically increase the sustainability of our supply chain and operations. This approach positions the company for growth in future markets while creating lasting social value."

Some of the initiatives Verizon is launching this year include:

  • Adding 1,600 alternative energy vehicles in the Verizon fleet in 2010. Verizon is purchasing more than 1,100 alternative energy vehicles including hybrid and compressed natural gas-powered aerial trucks and vans, and hybrid pick-up trucks and sedans. The company will also increase its use of biodiesel and flex-fuel (E85) to power 470 vehicles. A video explaining the benefits of hybrid aerial trucks and how they're being used in New York is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5RDYkBnh7k.

  • Verizon has teamed up with Motorola to trial eco-friendly set-top boxes for FiOS TV customers in select markets. The new QIP models use significantly less energy than existing models. A DVR model will boast increased digital video-recording storage capacity. Packaging for both models will be 100 percent recyclable and made from 75 percent recycled cardboard.

  • Kicked off a long-term awareness campaign to educate, encourage and make it easy for Verizon's 220,000 employees to cut energy use, recycle and reuse at work and home. Recent examples include free electronic recycling days, open to the public, at various company locations including the company's Operations Center in Basking Ridge, N.J., (April 21) and its facility in Ashburn, Va. (April 21). All materials collected during the campaign will be recycled or disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner.

  • Verizon's IT, security, communications and network expertise are helping the utility sector ramp up smart grid deployment.  The company's intelligent IP and wireless networks provide an ideal foundation for the smart grid's control and metering functions.

In 2009, Verizon's aggressive energy reduction and recycling measures reduced the company's CO2 emissions by more than 793 million pounds, approximately the amount of CO2 emitted by 46,700 homes in a year. The company also improved its rate of emissions per million dollars in revenue to 60.2 metric tons of CO2 in 2009, from 64.4 metric tons in 2008.

(NOTE: To view a video featuring the many ways Verizon is reducing its carbon footprint, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tETxFdHh0LM.)

In 2009 Verizon took several steps toward increasing the sustainability of the company. Examples include:

  • A new lab in Columbia, Md., for federal customers interested in Optical LAN services and technology. Passive optical network technology can reduce power consumption by up to 75 percent because it requires no additional regeneration of power for up to 12 miles from a campus data center. 

  • Setting energy efficiency standards for the company's suppliers of network equipment, resulting in saving 91 million kilowatt hours and more than 114 million pounds of CO2 avoidance. In 2008, Verizon led the industry by being the first company to establish energy efficiency standards.

  • Handling millions of virtual meetings each month for customers, and conducting virtual meetings between Verizon employees, customers, partners and suppliers.  The meetings include high-definition video conferencing and immersive video, which makes participants feel as though they are in the same room.  By skipping the trip and meeting virtually, Verizon employees avoided the equivalent of 8 million pounds of CO2, which is like taking nearly 700 passenger cars off the road for a year.      

  • Monitoring building temperatures and installing energy-efficient lighting, which reduced energy consumption by 84 million kilowatt hours, enough energy to power 7,800 homes for a year. The company's operations center in Basking Ridge, N.J., and two Verizon Wireless stores earned the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED silver and gold certifications, respectively.

  • Drivers of Verizon vehicles conserved 1.7 million gallons of fuel in 2009 as part of the company's continuing efforts to reduce engine idling, the equivalent of taking 2,800 cars off the road for a year. 

  • Encouraging business customers to opt for paperless billing from Verizon.  Each time a customer does so, Verizon donates money to the American Forests' Global ReLeaf program, which replenishes trees in the U.S. American Forests planted more than 70,000 trees in 2009, through its partnership with Verizon.

For more information about Verizon's commitment to the environment, visit http://newscenter2.verizon.com/kit/green-press-kit/.

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 mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 91 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of approximately 222,900 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.