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Verizon Aims to Triple Alt Fuel Fleet by 2015

Verizon increased its number of alternative fuel vehicles more than six-fold last year, according to the company’s 2010-11 corporate responsibility report, and it’s looking to triple its inventory of such vehicles by 2015.

The company adopted 1,642 alternative fuel vehicles last year, with the total number of such vehicles now equalling five percent of the company’s total fleet. In 2010 Verizon bought 604 GM hybrid electric pickups, converted 370 of its existing vehicles to use biofuel and acquired eight hybrid aerial splicers. All three categories were firsts for the company.

Last year Verizon also added 501 Ford compressed natural gas vans, 148 hybrid sedans and 11 SmartWay Tractors. Now the company has 1,902 alt fuel vehicles, and it’s aiming to raise the proportion of such vehicles in its fleet to 15 percent by 2015.

The report said that Verizon’s multiple initiatives to reduce fuel consumption have resulted in a reduction of more than 9.7 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel since 2008, avoiding more than 85,000 tons of CO2 emissions. But the report did not offer year-on-year fuel consumption figures.

Verizon is a charter member of the National Clean Fleets Partnership, a White House initiative to help large companies incorporate electric vehicles, alternative fuels and fuel-saving measures into their fleets. In May the company announced that fewer than 200 Verizon employees saved more than 18,000 gallons of fuel through teleworking in just six months.

According to the report, last year Verizon earned LEED certification for 32 buildings, and conducted trials of four different “smart” building systems at 16 Verizon locations. The result was a 26.7 million kilowatt hour reduction in energy usage and a savings of $2.1 million, projected annually, the company says. It plans to expand the program to a total of 250 buildings in 2011.

As revealed earlier this year, when Verizon announced a change to its carbon intensity metric, the company’s carbon efficiency improved by over 15 percent from 2009 to 2010. It is aiming for another 15 percent improvement in 2011.

The new metric is based on the ratio of carbon emissions to the amount of data (in terabytes) moved across Verizon’s networks.

Last year Verizon also developed a profile of how it uses water at four major facilities, and identified conservation opportunities. It will test these at several facilities in drought-prone regions during 2011-12.

The company took several steps to improve the sustainability of its products last year. It teamed with Cisco and Motorola to introduce two “eco-friendly” set-top boxes for FiOS customers, and launched three “green” mobile devices: the Samsung Intensity II, LG Cosmos Touch and Motorola Citrus. Verizon also engaged its top 18 vendors in a Green Supplier Program, to identify opportunities to improve sustainability over product lifecycles, and plans to expand the program to its top 200 vendors this year.

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