Sustainability Visit to Cornell to Talk On-site Green Energy

By: James Gowen
Solar panels

Recently, I made a visit to the Cornell University campus to give a talk in the Energy Seminar regarding “Breaking New Ground: On-site Green Energy Generation.”

I presented about Breaking New Ground in terms of on-site Green Energy at Verizon office locations. Technologies like solar, wind, geothermal, gas turbines, and fuel cells provide significant advantages for businesses. Globally, we are constantly looking for innovations to harness energy without pollution.

Renewable energy is not only great for the environment, but also for your wallet and bottom line. Annual returns from green and renewable energy range anywhere from 5 percent to 30 percent. Clean energy systems returns deliver some unbelievable benefits. Renewable energy is designed to function for 20 to 40 years with little to no need for upgrades or additional investment. Investing in green energy is low-risk, considering it will always reduce energy costs for the lifespan of the system.

Verizon Fuel CellMany other major companies are also making similar investments in green energy; but making significant financial investments is rarely an easy decision. We need to challenge ourselves to think diferently, act entrepreneurially, and make the investments that position us as an innovator and leader to meet the needs of key stakeholders.

In 2013, Verizon invested $100 million into onsite green energy. This will provide more than 90 million kilowatt hours of green energy to nearly 20 Verizon facilities across the United States.

Cornell students realize that each small step in sustainability will help build a much greener tomorrow. What are you doing to make a difference where you live or work?

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.