NEW YORK – On Saturday (March 28), almost 300 Verizon employees in New York will participate in Earth Hour. Starting at 8:30 p.m. and ending at 9:30 p.m. local time, 77 Verizon buildings will participate in Earth Hour by turning off building lights and Verizon illuminated signs. Verizon’s Earth Hour involvement helps the World Wildlife Fund promote sustainable living, raise energy efficiency awareness and encourage people around the world to take a stand against climate change.
The World Wildlife Fund developed Earth Hour, a global program that unites millions of people to show their concern for the environment by turning off their lights for an hour in a collective display of their commitment to create a better future for the planet.
Worldwide, Verizon will turn off lights at nearly 500 Verizon buildings across 37 countries. In all, Verizon will darken 25 million square feet (more than 2.3 million square meters) of building space around the world – the equivalent of nearly 12 Empire State Buildings. In addition, thousands of Verizon employees worldwide have pledged to participate in Earth Hour from their homes in 25 countries.
“Earth Hour is a great example of how something small – like turning off a light – can turn into something global,” said Leecia Eve, Verizon vice president for government affairs in New York. “With the help of our employees and the communities we serve, Verizon’s Earth Hour activities help build awareness about smarter energy consumption and management. And we hope our commitment to Earth Hour and the environment can serve as an example for others in New York to spread environmental awareness, energy efficiency, and innovative solutions worldwide.”
To honor employees participating in New York, Verizon will plant a tree, make a contribution to help an endangered animal, or give the participating employee a free energy-saving kit. The choice is theirs. Since joining the Earth Hour movement, Verizon has planted 6,000 trees to honor its employees who have participated in Earth Hour around the world.
This year, Verizon will help spread global environmental awareness by dimming lights and illuminated signs at Verizon buildings located in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela.
Verizon’s Commitment to the Environment and Sustainability
Verizon has long focused on energy efficiency and instituting sustainable real estate practices. Since 2009, Verizon has invested $160 million in green energy by building on-site fuel cell and solar energy generating systems at 25 of its facilities across the United States. Verizon also uses 26 solar-assisted cell sites in remote areas in the western United States to help power a portion of the nation’s largest and most reliable wireless network serving those areas.
In 2009, Verizon began certifying Verizon Wireless retail stores in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). LEED certification means that a building is designed, constructed and operated to ensure energy savings, emissions reductions and improved environmental quality. By the end of 2014, 230 of the company’s retail stores had earned LEED certification. In addition, Verizon also seeks ENERGY STAR status certification for all eligible retail stores that meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. By the end of 2014, ENERGY STAR certification had been received for 177 Verizon retail stores.