BALTIMORE – Verizon employees across Maryland will join the global Earth Hour movement at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday (March 29) and turn off lights at 11 buildings in the state – comprising more than 1 million square feet of office space – for one hour, helping to raise energy efficiency awareness and promote sustainable living.
Worldwide, Verizon and its employees have pledged to turn off lights at 550 Verizon buildings and at more than 4,800 Verizon employees’ homes across roughly 40 countries.
“Sustainability and energy management are key environmental initiatives at Verizon,” said Anthony A. Lewis, Verizon’s mid-Atlantic region vice president of state government affairs. “Earth Hour is a great way to expand employee awareness of these initiatives and to extend them to their homes on March 29. It’s good for Maryland, our country and the world.”
In 2013, Verizon invested $100 million to build 18 on-site fuel cell and solar green energy systems at company facilities across six states, including Verizon’s largest solar energy system at its Chesapeake Complex in Silver Spring. The facility’s 5,512 solar panels annually generate 2.5 million kilowatt hours of clean, renewable electricity – enough to power more than 225 homes for a year.
Earth Hour is sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, and the event inspires a global community of millions of people to switch lights off for an hour as a massive show of concern for the environment.
“Earth Hour provides each of us with a chance to not only act as greener citizens, but to also share and influence others to live greener lives,” said James Gowen, chief sustainability officer for Verizon. “With members of the Verizon Green Team located around the globe, we are motivated and mobilizing for our fifth consecutive year to ‘work green and live green’ in honor of Earth Hour.”
Verizon is encouraging its Maryland employees to participate in Earth Hour. When Verizon employees pledge to participate from home, they are given a choice of several endangered animals to vote for and symbolically adopt via the World Wildlife Fund. For every 100 votes, Verizon will symbolically adopt one of those animals through a donation to the WWF.
Last year, Verizon planted 5,000 trees to honor its employees who participated in Earth Hour. Verizon also dimmed the illuminated Verizon and MetLife signs at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, as well as the lights and signs at company buildings and campuses in New York City, Pittsburgh, Basking Ridge, N.J.; Dortmund, Germany; and Reading, England.
Verizon has long focused on energy efficiency and instituting sustainable real estate practices.
In 2008, five years prior to last year’s $100 million investment in 18 new on-site green energy systems, Verizon earned the U.S. EPA’s prestigious Energy Star Award for operating the nation's largest fuel cell site of its kind, equipped with seven fuel cells to provide power to a call-switching center and office building in Garden City, NY.
Verizon also operates 26 solar-assisted cell sites in remote areas of the western United States to help power a portion of the nation’s largest and most reliable wireless network serving those areas.
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 nearly 103 million retail 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. A Dow 30 company with more than $120 billion in 2013 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 176,800. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.