Verizon Steps Up Efforts to Conserve Energy and Protect the Environment

NEW YORK -- Verizon is stepping up its efforts to conserve energy and protect the environment -- and the company is offering its customers convenient ways to do the same.  Among the efforts are a Verizon Business tree-planting program to encourage large-business customers to sign up for paper-free billing, and a Verizon Telecom plan to add 100 energy-efficient hybrid-engine sedans to its fleet of service vehicles.

These programs complement a wide range of current initiatives through which Verizon is conserving energy and protecting environmental resources while also benefiting the community.  They include Verizon Wireless' Hopeline® program, which recycles no-longer-used cell phones to help victims of domestic violence; reducing the consumption of electricity by removing obsolete network equipment in more than 400 Verizon facilities nationwide; and an industrywide effort, organized by Verizon, to investigate methods of measuring and reducing electrical power consumption in voice and data communications networks.

"It's increasingly important to find ways to make environmental conservation everyone's business," said Tom Tauke, executive vice president - public affairs, policy and communications.  "Verizon is committed to living up to our responsibility and tradition of identifying opportunities and best practices that will make good business sense for our company, society and the planet."

Tree-Planting Program Encourages Use of Paper-Free Billing

Beginning on Earth Day, April 22, Verizon Business will plant a tree for every large-business customer that registers to conveniently pay its bills online.  Monthly billing statements for these customers are often hundreds of pages long, so the potential reduction in the use of paper is significant. The program is an outgrowth of Verizon's partnership with 11 other American companies that founded the U.S. eTree initiative in 2006.  The initiative encourages registered shareholders of public companies to receive all shareholder communications such as annual reports and proxy materials electronically rather than as paper documents.  Verizon also processed about 70 million consumer bills online in 2006 alone, sparing approximately 6,000 trees by reducing the amount of paper used.

Hybrid-Engine Sedans, Bio-Diesel Fuel Help Create a 'Greener' Fleet

Following its announcement last month of a precedent-setting pilot project to deploy 13 specially designed gasoline- and electric-powered service vans, Verizon is now ordering 100 hybrid-engine sedans for use in five states.  In addition, in New Jersey and Texas, Verizon is trialing the use of 20 percent bio-diesel fuel to power service vehicles.  The fuel is a domestic, renewable resource that is biodegradable, nontoxic and is projected to reduce greenhouse gases. Also in those two states, Verizon will use environmentally friendly lubricants made from vegetable oils as part of the process to cut sections of fiber-optic cable where the company is installing and maintaining its digital all-fiber-optic FiOS services. These lubricants are far more biodegradable than the traditional versions.

Hopeline Provides a Lifeline for Victims of Domestic Violence

Verizon Wireless encourages consumers to recycle no-longer-used wireless phones and batteries by dropping them off at any Verizon Wireless Communications store. This is part of the company's year-long HopeLine® phone recycling program, which in 2006 collected more than 900,000 no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories and 60,000 pounds of rechargeable batteries, enabling more than $1.3 million in donations to local domestic violence agencies.

The company supplies collection boxes, posters, brochures and more free of charge to people interested in holding a collection drive.

Conservation is Good Business

To reduce the consumption of electricity, Verizon is powering down and removing obsolete network equipment in more than 400 facilities nationwide. This has cut consumption by 24 million kilowatt hours and has reduced carbon dioxide emissions -- a major greenhouse-gas contributor -- by 17,900 metric tons in 2006 alone.  That's equivalent to the annual emissions generated by the electricity used in approximately 2,300 households.

The company is steadily reducing the amount of greenhouse-gas emissions by approximately 334,000 metric tons every year through energy conservation and recycling efforts. The reductions are equivalent to

  • 776,744 barrels of oil278,333 acres of pine or fir forests storing carbon for one year

  • 112,458 tons of waste recycled instead of landfilled

  • 72,294 passenger cars  not driven for one year

  • 2,738 acres of forest preserved from deforestation

  • 1,697 railcars of coal burned

  • The annual power consumption of 42,875 households

  • The propane gas burned by 13,916,667 cylinders used for home barbecues  

The combined effect of Verizon's energy conservation and efficiency measures reduced the company's total electricity consumption in 2006 by 94.5 million kilowatt hours and thus reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 70,300 metric tons.  That's equivalent to taking more than 15,000 passenger cars off the road for one year.

Innovating for 'Greener' Operations

In March, Verizon organized and hosted the inaugural Telecommunications Carrier Group Energy Summit in Baltimore to investigate methods of measuring and reducing electrical power consumption in voice and data communications networks. Co-sponsored by AT&T and Qwest, the event led to an agreement between Verizon and others, in conjunction with equipment manufacturers, to develop a framework under which the network equipment can be evaluated using an energy-efficient formula. 

Verizon has also made key strides in alternative electricity generation technologies and will continue to find new ways to protect the environment.  Examples include:

Micro turbine engines:  In two California central offices, Verizon is using micro turbines fired by natural gas to generate electricity.  The turbines provide approximately 50 percent of the electricity required in each central office, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by an equivalent of taking 800 passenger cars off the road for one year.

Hypalon roofs:  Verizon is reducing energy usage through Hypalon membrane roofing, which uses a highly reflective surface and increased insulation to improve energy efficiency.  Hypalon roofs are EPA Energy Star approved. Verizon has installed more than 430 Hypalon roofs to date in company buildings in seven states.

Fuel cells:   In 2005, Verizon launched the first major trial of this environmentally friendly technology at its switching center and office building in Garden City, N.Y.  The project, the largest of its kind in the country, consists of seven fuel cells manufactured by UTC Power, each of which is capable of generating 200 kilowatts of electrical power per hour -- enough to supply the energy needs of about 400 single-family households.  Verizon will annually eliminate approximately 8,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide that otherwise would have been emitted into the atmosphere, or the equivalent of 1,700 passenger cars not driven during one year.  In addition, during the first year of operation, Verizon saved more than $600,000 by not having to obtain power from the commercial power grid.

Verizon Makes It Easier for Everyone to Go Green

Every day, Verizon offers consumers, businesses, education and government agencies advanced voice, broadband, video, wireless and IP products and services that help  conserve natural resources and improve productivity.  Verizon FiOS direct fiber connections, Verizon Wireless VCast and Verizon Business global collaboration services like audio, Web and video conferencing, as well as secure e-mail and instant messaging, all reduce the need for travel and help people stay connected. 

For more information about Verizon's environmental initiatives, visit "Verizon and You, Partners in Protecting the Environment" at http://www22.verizon.com/pages/environment/files/EnviroBroForPDF020607.pdf.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 59 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 242,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.