Greening New Jersey Many Companies at a Time

By: James Gowen

From coast to coast, I am lucky to have camped through the majority of America’s National Park system. But, no matter what sites and states I visit, I am always proud to call the Garden State my home. Sadly, there are a lot of misperceptions about New Jersey. TV shows from The Sopranos to The Jersey Shore have highlighted too much drab in spite of the fact that the state has a very green side, including the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, the Pine Barrens, 400+ lakes, mountains, hiking, waterfalls, and arguable the world’s best corn and tomatoes (trust me, my father’s an Italian farmer). In fact, New Jersey is one of the most active states dedicated to building its energy industry through the increased use of renewable energy sources and greater energy efficiency.

Many industries call New Jersey home, from healthcare and pharmaceutical, to automotive, oil refineries and telecommunications. And with so much business in New Jersey, keeping the state green has become a priority for both its residential and corporate citizens. Businesses are learning that going green isn’t just good for their local communities, it's good for their bottom line.

Yes, there is an ROI for going green -- "sustainability" can make businesses themselves more sustainable.

Optimal sustainability results for businesses and New Jersey, however, aren’t accomplished by working in silos. Rather, some of the state’s most innovative enterprises are collaborating on energy saving ideas, best practices, solutions and implementation.

Earlier this week, I visited the Alcatel-Lucent headquarters in Murray Hill to talk about how green information communication technologies are helping to lower carbon emissions and corporate environmental footprints in New Jersey. The event was assembled by Alcatel-Lucent, Verizon, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and was hosted by Bell Labs. The audience was comprised of state business leaders who have made it their job to find and implement green business solutions.

The event’s goal was to unite a community of experts across industry to exchange ideas and solutions for a greener and more energy-efficient tomorrow. These collaborations are essential to ensuring New Jersey uses green technologies in New Jersey, for New Jersey.

Stay tuned to the Verizon News Center for takeaways from the event, and let us know how you would like to get involved in going green by tweeting @Verizon.

About the author(s): 

James "Jim" Gowen is a change agent. Since taking on the complementary roles of vice president of Supply Chain Operations and chief sustainability officer for Verizon in 2009, he has enlisted more than 10,000 employees in 23 countries to help reduce the company’s environmental footprint.

Gowen oversees “green” initiatives across Verizon including the introduction of a carbon intensity metric, fuel and energy reduction, employee and supplier engagement, paper suppression, waste reduction and recycling. In his supply chain role, Gowen leads centralized operations with responsibility for more than $2.5 billion in annual through-put.

Gowen earned his master's degree in business administration from Long Island University and his bachelor's degree from Manhattanville College. He is located in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.