As Earth Day approaches, it's time to think green. Taking even small steps can add up to big changes - Verizon calls it the "network effect" - and the company is doing its part as well.
In keeping with Earth Day, which will be observed on April 22, Verizon is offering 10 tips for conserving energy and helping to protect the environment:
1. Consider alternative fuel vehicles. Hybrid vehicles and vehicles that use alternative fuels improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. Verizon has nearly 2,000 such vehicles in its fleet, which is the third-largest corporate vehicle fleet in the nation, and has added hundreds of hybrid Toyota Priuses, as well as more than 500 compressed natural gas vans and 700 hybrid pickups over the past several years.
2. Use apps such as Verizon Wireless' My Recycle List. This first comprehensive recycling app, which is free and available for Android smart phones, provides recycling locations that accept items the user chooses from a menu. The app, available virtually anywhere in the country, can be downloaded through 1-800-Recycling.
3. Purchase environmentally friendly products. Verizon has teamed with Motorola to trial eco-friendly set-top boxes for FiOS TV customers in select markets. These new models use significantly less energy than existing models, with packaging that is 100 percent recyclable and made from 75 percent recycled cardboard. Verizon has been officially certified by the Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR Service Provider for these set-top-boxes, and plans to purchase nearly 4 million of them in 2011.
4. Incorporate home monitoring systems. The latest in home upgrades can remotely alert homeowners to issues such as flooding, power outages and temperature changes. In January, Verizon began a pilot program for Home Monitoring and Control for several homes in New Jersey. The service, which is expected to be commercially available in the first half of 2011, will enable customers to lock doors remotely; see what's going on at home via networked cameras; and set, adjust and control lights, smart thermostats and appliances - all by using a smartphone or a computer or through FiOS TV.
5. Promote LEED certifications on new construction in your community. Verizon received 18 LEED certifications in 2010, and 85 Verizon Wireless stores have achieved the ENERGY STAR rating. These stores' design optimizes water and energy use, enhances indoor environmental quality, and reduces waste through responsible procurement and construction practices. Ongoing conservation measures used in the daily operation of the stores place them among the most energy-efficient facilities in the U.S.
6. As you upgrade your devices, consider using:
- Verizon Wireless' Trade-In Program, which allows customers from any wireless carrier to get value from their no-longer-used wireless devices and help the environment. Customers simply go online for an appraisal and receive a postage-paid envelope to mail in the devices. In exchange, customers may receive a Verizon Wireless gift card - based on the make, model and condition of the device - that can be used toward the purchase of phones and accessories or to pay Verizon Wireless bills. Devices that have no appraised value can still be returned for recycling.
- HopeLine® from Verizon enables consumers to help prevent domestic violence by donating no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories from any service provider in any condition by mail or at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores. Wireless phones given to HopeLine are recycled or refurbished, generating proceeds for nonprofit organizations focused on domestic violence education, support services and community outreach efforts. Refurbished phones - complete with 3,000 minutes of wireless service - are provided to local domestic violence organizations or local government and law enforcement agencies for use with their domestic violence clients.
7. Telework when you can. Teleworking from a home office or a company-sponsored "hotelling" location closer to an employee's home reduces fuel consumption and carbon emissions, while increasing productivity by eliminating commute times. A recent internal study of more than 200 Verizon employees who worked from a home office or a location closer to home revealed a collective savings of 18,000 gallons of fuel and 10,680 commuting hours (445 days) over a six-month period.
8. Pull the plug on energy. This year, Verizon is deploying smart technologies in 250 of its buildings where heating, cooling, lighting and airflow will be monitored and managed in real time to reduce energy usage and improve efficiency.
9. Use online systems instead of paper. A single work group at Verizon implemented a repair tool that allowed its employees to eliminate approximately 40,000 three-part paper repair tag forms. In addition, the team changed its processes to eliminate two packing machines and unnecessary internal correspondence. These initiatives have reduced Verizon's costs and eliminated significant amounts of paper, envelopes, packing machine supplies, maintenance and manual labor.
10. Take advantage of local electronic recycling days. Verizon hosts Electronics Recycling Days around the U.S. and collects items such as computers, gaming consoles, telephones, and audio and stereo equipment to be recycled or disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
"When it comes to sustainability, Verizon leads by example," said James Gowen, chief sustainability officer for Verizon. "We take a 360 degree view of our processes, our people and our products to improve our actions when it comes to our impact on the environment."
For more information on Verizon's commitment to the environment, visit the company's Green Press Kit at http://newscenter2.verizon.com/kit/green-press-kit/.
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 mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 94.1 million customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.