Earth Hour and Beyond: 600 Buildings and Five New Environmental Goals

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Earth Hour and Beyond: 600 Buildings and Five New Environmental Goals

Verizon will darken 600 buildings in 15 countries. The company also established five new environmental goals.
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To mark #EarthHour, @Verizon established five new energy goals, from device recycling to expanded carbon reporting


Verizon’s Chief Sustainability Officer Jim Gowen blogs about our participation in Earth Hour and five new environmental goals ranging from wireless device recycling targets to expanded public reporting of our carbon footprint.

Friday, March 22, 2013 - 1:45pm

CAMPAIGN: Sustainability


At Verizon, and we view Earth Hour as an important symbol of our far-reaching commitment to energy conservation and a reminder of how even small actions can have meaningful results. This year, our participation will span 15 countries and more than 2,800 employees have volunteered to participate at home.

On Saturday, March 23, at 8:30 pm local time, we will darken floors in 600 office buildings and facilities, and extinguish lights and signs outside major offices from Manhattan to Texas to California to Germany and the United Kingdom. We’ve also joined with MetLife Stadium in Rutherford, New Jersey to darken some of the electronic advertising billboards around the field.

Earth Hour is a global event designed to raise awareness of energy conservation and gain support for action on climate change. Starting in 2007, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has issued a call to turn off non-essential lights and appliances for an hour on the appointed hour. This year, Verizon and WWF partnered on an employee engagement event aimed at going ‘beyond the hour’ to maximize the impact of Earth Hour.

Verizon’s commitment to sustainable business practices gains momentum every day. As outlined in our Annual Report, we’re almost half-way to our 2020 goal of reducing our carbon intensity -- our energy use measured against the amount of data running over our networks -- to half what it was in 2009.

In addition, we’ve committed to five new environmental goals. We will

  • Recycle one-third of our consumer wireless devices by 2015.
  • Change our accessory packaging to use only paper that is recycled or comes from responsible sources by 2013.
  • By 2015, devote 40 percent of our supplier spending to firms that measure and set targets to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Expand our carbon reporting to include a major Scope 3 category: business travel.
  • Obtain 10 megawatts of energy from green sources by 2014.

These are wide-ranging, ambitious goals, but I’m confident that we’ll reach them.

For Earth Hour this Saturday, I’ve got my candles ready, and I’m looking forward to playing games with my children. I hope you’ll join with us all in this display of commitment to energy conservation.


John Columbus