Energy reduction and waste management represent our two largest environmental impacts and are the principal focus areas for our environmental management program. We have set goals in each area to help drive our performance.
* The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program of the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED certification indicates a building was designed, constructed and operated to ensure energy savings, water efficiency, and diversion of construction waste among other qualitative and quantitative measures.
** The 33 percent includes handsets collected via trade-in, HopeLine as well as Extended Warranty, Non-Extended Warranty (CLNR devices) and Total Equipment Coverage / Wireless Phone Protection plans.
^ Paper that has post-consumer content of at least 30 percent recycled material or certified virgin fiber that comes from responsible sources such as the Forest Stewardship Council or Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
It takes a lot of energy to power our wireline and wireless communications networks around the globe – more than 10 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually. In fact, with over 46,000 cell sites, 120 million square feet of real estate, and 200 data centers, carbon emissions associated with our energy use represent our principal environmental impact. That’s why for more than a decade, we have focused on improving our overall energy efficiency to reduce both our costs and our environmental footprint.
The electricity to run our networks represents our largest energy category, accounting for more than 92% of our carbon emissions in 2012 and 2013. The carbon associated with the energy to fuel our fleet represents the second largest category at approximately 6% in 2013. The fuel to heat our buildings and run our back-up generators accounted for approximately 2% of our emissions in 2013.
We have long been focused on network energy efficiency. In 2009, we set energy efficiency standards for network equipment that continue to enable our suppliers to deliver equipment that is consistently more energy efficient than the equipment it replaces.
In our building operations, pursuit of ENERGY STAR and LEED certification has helped us to significantly reduce energy usage. To date, Verizon Wireless has 141 certified ENERGY STAR retail stores and 172 LEED certified retail stores.
We are also incorporating green strategies into our data center operations. In 2013 the savings in our six domestic data centers totaled 10.8M kWh and 21.6 million gallons of water. The savings were achieved by installing solar panels, improving air handling and fan operations, upgrading chiller units and installing lighting controls and LED lighting. The water savings was achieved through various water treatment and condenser upgrades.
Our Network Operations group completed “smart building technology” projects at 35 central offices in 2013 (34 domestic and 1 international) using Vigilent energy management systems. The projects accounted for 35 million kWh of annualized energy savings.
In 2013, we modified our generators at over 26,000 cell sites to be ready to start when needed at a lower temperature, reducing the amount of electricity required and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 42 million metric tons. The installation of HVAC economizers on select cell sites increased the use of outside air to cool the buildings, which reduced CO2 emissions by approximately 8.9 million metric tons.
Verizon is a source of inspiration for other retailers who are looking to improve building performance, reduce cost, improve comfort, and optimize operations.”Rick Fedrizzi President, CEO, Founding Chair U.S. Green Building
Since Verizon started certifying retail stores in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program in 2009, 172 of our stores have earned LEED certification.
LEED Certification indicates a building was designed, constructed, and is operated to ensure energy savings, emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and effective stewardship of resources.
Verizon Wireless was also named as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year in 2013—the first and only wireless company to win this award.
In 2013, we announced an investment of over $100 million in a solar and fuel cell energy project that will help power Verizon facilities across the country. By year-end we implemented 12.4MW of solar and fuel cells, with another 2.6MW near completion, surpassing our goal to implement 10MW. In total, the systems are expected to produce more than 89M kWh of electricity in year one to power our critical data centers, central offices, and office buildings across six states. This effort will also eliminate more than 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide— enough to offset the annual CO2 emissions from more than 1 million gallons of gas.
Additionally, Verizon expanded its partnership 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 identified for review, bringing our total to 12 (six were selected in 2012). All of the sites are far away from the utility power grid and currently use propane generators as the source of power. Initial findings are impressive, promising significant savings in fuel, operating costs and CO2 emissions. At one location a hybrid power system configuration could power the cell site with up to 89% renewable energy.
All of our energy efficiency strategies support our ultimate goal of cutting our carbon intensity—carbon emissions produced per terabyte of data flowing through our networks—in half by 2020 over the 2009 baseline.
View here for an explanation of our carbon emissions accounting methodology.
We believe that independent assurance reassures readers that the information we publish is accurate, complete and material, and therefore contributes to building trust and credibility.
We engaged Ernst & Young to perform an independent review of our 2013 carbon intensity metric and our greenhouse gas emissions reporting (Scope 1, 2 and 3). Ernst and Young completed limited assurance, in accordance with industry standards, and nothing came to their attention that would lead them to believe that our data presentation is not accurate or complete. Read Ernst & Young's assurance report.
Verizon has implemented our Networkfleet product in approximately 18,000 company vehicles. Networkfleet allows us to optimize fuel consumption, monitor for mechanical issues, and provide customized, just-in-time maintenance. Improved fleet performance not only reduces costly mechanical issues, but it also decreases fuel consumption and associated carbon emissions. Monitoring also allows us to configure the fleet so that the right number of vehicles are in the right place at the right time, reducing idling and therefore, emissions. Additionally, in 2013, we replaced approximately 1,000 full-size service vehicles with smaller mini-vans that achieve greater fuel economy than the vehicles they replaced.
|Total Green Vehicles||2,569||2,238||1,808|
* Verizon’s fleet still includes large numbers of E85 and Biodiesel capable vehicles, but biofuel is not part of our strategy going forward.
We also understand that our products represent a significant component of our environmental footprint. While we do not manufacture the devices we sell, we work with our suppliers to encourage greener designs and to offer responsible reuse and recycling options for customers when they look to switch out devices.
Our device recycling program allows customers to trade-in phones, tablets, and other wireless devices—regardless of when or where they were purchased—at our stores or online for a Verizon gift card that they can use toward a purchase or to pay their bill. We make a contribution to our HopeLine program for every phone recycled through this program. Our goal: a 33% recycling rate by 2015. We’ve kept 850 tons of e-waste out of the landfill since 2010.
In addition, we have placed a significant focus on reducing the packaging associated with cell phone accessories—chargers, batteries, ear phones, etc. In 2013, Verizon Wireless switched its packaging for Verizon-branded accessories to materials sourced from post-consumer waste sources.
We also have internal recycling programs that focus on the proper disposition of old network equipment, lead acid batteries, and office paper and cardboard, all to reduce the landfilling of material and to turn our waste into raw materials for other processes.
Verizon also set the goal to recycle 2 million pounds of e-waste by 2015 at our public Recycling Rallies, which expand the impact of our recycling beyond our operations into communities. 1.5 million pounds of e-waste have been collected since 2010.
Our HopeLine program, which turns no-longer-used cell phones into lifelines of support for domestic violence victims and survivors, has also delivered significant recycling benefits since 2011.
Since the program began in 2001, we have collected more than 10.8 million phones through our stores and other points nationwide. More than 2.43 million phones have been disposed of in an environmentally sound way. The remaining units were refurbished, which has funded more than $21.4 million in cash grants for domestic violence organizations across the country.
Verizon has long used post-consumer recycled papers in its direct mailings to consumers. In 2013 the use of these products resulted in annual savings of more than 115 metric tons of greenhouse gases and more than 455 tons of wood.
In 2013, we began an internal certification process to Green Certify our cafeterias based on four criteria: reusable mug programs, waste tracking, recycling programs, and fryer oil recycling.
|Verizon Recycling, 2013||Weight (lbs.)|
|Lead acid batteries||8.35 million|
|Telecom equipment||32.46 million|
|Paper and cardboard||55.46 million|
|* Alkaline, nickel cadmium, nickel iron, nickel metal hydride, carbon zinc, zinc air, lithium ion, lithium metal, and magnesium.|
Our commitment to sustainability extends throughout our supply chain.
Since 2011 we have conducted an annual Supplier Sustainability Assessment to evaluate our suppliers’ sustainability strategy, greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions, solid waste management, water use and management, packaging practices, and sustainability in subcontracting.
We established a goal that, by 2015, 40% of our supplier spending would be with firms that measure and set public targets to reduce CO2 emissions. By the end of 2013, more than 50% of our spending met the criteria.
Our new goal: 55% by 2015.
We’re committed to responsible business practices including identifying key environmental information for our devices.
Our ECO Specs label went into effect last year on a selection of our cell phones. Customers can spot key environmental information at a glance—energy efficiency, percentage of recycled content in the Verizon-branded accessory packaging, percentage of recycled content in the device, compliance with our standards on hazardous toxins in the plastics and batteries, and compliance on our standards for the recyclability of the device and its components.
Our ECO Specs label will eventually be included on all cell phones, tablets, and accessories.
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. Below please find the energy usage of Verizon's active STB models.
|Make||Model||Type||Features||On Power (W)||Sleep Power (W)||APD Power (W)||TEC (kWh/yr)|
|Motorola||7100 P2||Cable||AVP, CC, HD, HNI||15.6||N/A||N/A||122|
|Motorola||7232 P2||Cable||AVP, CC, HD, HNI, DVR, MR, MS||22.7||N/A||N/A||213|
|Cisco||335 P2||Cable||AVP, CC, HD, HNI||16.2||N/A||N/A||122|
|Cisco||435 P2||Cable||AVP, CC, HD, HNI, DVR, MR, MS||22.5||N/A||N/A||213|
|Shortcut Feature Name|
|ADP||Automatic Power Down enabled by default|
|AVP||Advanced Video Processing|
|DVR||Digital Video Recorder|
|HNI||Home Networking Interface|