Verizon Sustainability Report: Carbon Intensity Down 10%
Verizon cut its carbon intensity by 10 percent in 2012, to a monthly average of .05726 metric tons of CO2 per terabyte of throughput, and by 37 percent since its 2009 baseline, according to the company’s latest corporate responsibility supplement.
The company says that to date, its energy-efficiency measures have enabled it to increase the data on its network by 50 percent, while only increasing electricity usage by 2 percent. In 2012 energy efficiency increased by 9.3 percent year-on-year, and 32.5 percent from 2009, to a monthly average of 102.33 kWh per terabyte.
The company plans to cut its carbon intensity by 50 percent by 2020, from a 2009 baseline, the report says.
Last month the EPA named Verizon an Energy Star Partner of the Year, for its efforts on energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction.
Electricity makes up the biggest part of Verizon’s CO2 emissions profile, at 91.24 percent in 2012, versus 6.62 percent for vehicle fuels and 2.14 percent for building and other fuels.
The company’s scope 1 emissions in 2012 were 512,804 metric tons (we are presuming that is the correct unit, since the relevant table doesn’t include a unit), down 11.8 percent on 2011 levels. Scope 2 emissions were up 5.6 percent, and total scope 1 and 2 absolute emissions were up 3.8 percent. For this report Verizon measured business travel emissions for the first time, at 54,172 metric tons.
The company had a 2015 goal of 15 percent alternative-fueled vehicles, but says the market for these alternative fuel vehicles has not developed as fast as it anticipated. Vans are a key part of its fleet, and for these alternative fuel choices are extremely limited, the company says. Alternative fuel vehicles currently make up 6.2 percent of its fleet.
Verizon has decided to “reset” its goal by focusing on taking greater advantage of fuel-saving technologies in conventional vehicles, and by finding and adopting new fuel-saving practices. It will develop a metric to measure fleet efficiency, and will announce new targets this year.
But despite market conditions, the company says it is pressing ahead to find more efficient, eco-friendly solutions for its fleet. Most recently, it has collaborated with VIA Motors to develop an extended-range electric cargo van that VIA expects to deliver 100 mpg with near-zero fuel emissions. Per vehicle, that will save 750 gallons of fuel and 2.4 metric tons of carbon, Verizon says. It is now testing two of these vehicles.
In 2012, the company saved 207,653 gallons of fuel from reduced idling time. This year, it plans to implement a NetworkFleet telematics system for its entire fleet, which will run on the Verizon Wireless network.
To conserve fuel and cut down on carbon emissions in its New York City operations, Verizon has also deployed 25 “mobile garages.” Up to 10 technicians can now be dispatched to work locations in the city via a bus. Two of the buses run on compressed natural gas, and each bus replaces 10 lighter vehicles. The company says it hopes to expand this program.
Last year the company met its aim of engaging 200 suppliers in its Green Supplier surveys, collecting data on their CO2 emissions, solid waste management, water usage, packaging and performance of sub-contractors.
Based on the responses, Verizon set a goal for 40 percent of its supplier spending by 2015 to be with firms that measure and set targets to reduce their carbon emissions. It will incorporate new language into contract renewals to require suppliers to provide data and report on their environmental performance as part of an annual assessment. It also plans to create a comprehensive guidance document to help suppliers understand the assessment process and find ways of reducing environmental impact.
The company now has 26 Verizon cell sites partially powered by renewable resources. It is testing hybrid wind/solar technology on one of its buildings in Salem, Mass., in collaboration with Wing Power Energy, and partnered 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. Verizon says the results so far promise savings in fuel, emissions and operating costs. For example, at one location a hybrid power system configuration could reduce fuel consumption by more than 70 percent.
The company plans to modify accessory packaging this year to use only materials that are recycled or are certified as responsibly sourced (such as by the Forest Stewardship Council or Sustainable Forestry Initiative). It says packaging dimensions for these products are being reduced significantly – by more than 50 percent in some cases.
Verizon plans to increase its device recycling rate (devices collected per devices sold or upgraded) to 33 percent by 2015. The rate stood at 28 percent in 2012.
The company does not yet report on its operational solid waste and wastewater output, emissions other than GHGs, or on its water use. It had planned to formalize its water savings strategy, implementation plan and metrics by 2012, but has reset this as a 2013 objective.
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