We're helping the transition to a low-carbon economy by using innovative technology to minimize our environmental impact.
GREENING THE VERIZON FLEET
During the past five years, we implemented a variety of solutions to reduce the carbon emissions of our 35,000-vehicle fleet. These include adopting hybrid and alternative-fuel technologies, implementing fuel-saving practices such as reduced idling, and deploying vehicle monitoring systems.
To address the need for more eco-friendly vehicles in our fleet, we collaborated with VIA Motors to develop an extended-range electric cargo van that is expected to deliver 100 mpg with near-zero fuel emissions. Per vehicle, that works out to saving 750 gallons of fuel and reducing CO2 emissions by 2.4 metric tons annually. We are currently testing two of these vans.
We also have a wireless solution that links location-based services with the on-board monitoring systems of our vehicles. Information gathered with this system is transmitted to desktops, tablets or smartphones and analyzed. This information includes details on individual vehicle mileage and emissions and allows Verizon managers to schedule preventative maintenance.
We are testing a new hybrid wind/solar technology as a way to power cell sites. A trial is under way in Salem, Mass., where Verizon has teamed up with Wing Power Energy to erect three small wind/solar turbines on the roof of our building.
In a similar effort, Verizon Wireless partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to test whether combinations of solar, wind, battery and generator systems can be efficiently deployed at remote cell sites. Six cell sites were chosen for this review, each of which is far from the utility power grid and currently uses propane generators as the source of power.
NEW ENERGY STANDARDS FOR OUR SUPPLY CHAIN
In 2009, Verizon established a first-of-its-kind requirement for its network suppliers: new equipment must be at least 20 percent more energy-efficient than the equipment it replaces.
The initiative set a new standard in the telecom industry. With suppliers adapting to Verizon's requirements because of our size and scope, all telecom companies began using the new, more energy-efficient components — significantly reducing CO2 emissions and saving millions of dollars in energy costs. We have since updated these requirements, extending them to cover additional components.
We broke new ground again in 2012, establishing the rules and metrics for reducing the carbon emissions in our supply chain. The process started with assessing our suppliers' sustainability efforts. An extensive survey tool was sent to 229 suppliers that gathered data on some of the most pressing challenges in our supply chain: CO2 emissions, solid-waste management, water usage, packaging and the performance of subcontractors. We have created a new supply chain goal to devote 40 percent of our supplier spending to firms that measure and set targets to reduce carbon emissions by 2015.
To gauge our energy efficiency, we developed a “Carbon Intensity” metric. It measures the carbon emissions that result from moving data across our networks. This way we can assess how we are becoming more efficient even as our business expands. Our goal is to reduce our intensity by 50 percent over our 2009 baseline. Since 2009, we have improved our carbon intensity by more than 37 percent. The bottom line is our network energy efficiency programs have enabled us to increase the data on our network by 50 percent, while only increasing our electricity usage by 2 percent.
REDUCING OUR CUSTOMERS’ CARBON FOOTPRINTS
Verizon joined a number of video service providers and device manufacturers in a wide-ranging agreement to meet aggressive energy-efficiency requirements for set-top boxes. The Set-Top Box Energy Conservation agreement is expected to save $1.5 billion in annual electricity costs throughout the industry. The agreement calls for participating companies to ensure that at least 90 percent of all new set-top boxes purchased and deployed on or after January 1, 2014, will meet Energy Star 3.0 efficiency levels.
Verizon Wireless gives customers the opportunity to purchase environmentally-friendly devices — and safely recycle their old ones. Verizon's HopeLine® program recycles and refurbishes used cell phones and accessories to help survivors and victims of domestic violence. The used gear is collected by mail, at our retail stores and through community phone drives.
To learn more about how Verizon is committed to finding new sustainable solutions, visit our Corporate Responsibility site at http://responsibility.verizon.com/sustainability.