As part of its Powerful Answers video series, Verizon Wireless has released several videos that not only celebrate the company’s comprehensive commitment to sustainability, but the impact an individual can make on the planet.

In the Cutting our Carbon Intensity video, Verizon Wireless states it has:

  • Reduced carbon intensity in its stores by 30%
  • Earned LEED ratings for over 100 Verizon retail stores
  • Realized savings of 12,000 kW hours of lighting and 28,000 gallons of water in each store each year
  • Gained ENERGY STAR certifications for more retail locations than any other wireless company

However, Verizon’s focus on carbon intensity reduction is not just about energy efficiency gained through technological improvements to their business.

Commitment to Sustainability

The company’s comprehensive approach impacts multiple major initiatives such as LEED Certification in data centers, renewable energy installations, investment to pursue Energy Star certification for facilities, and a number of other social and environmental programs documented in the company’s new video series.

For instance, e-waste is a significant problem worldwide and, according to the US EPA, only about 8% of cellular phones are recycled.  As described in the Community Impact video, Verizon has taken steps to alleviate this issue through sponsoring community e-waste drives and an in-store mobile device recycling program.

Walk into any Verizon Wireless store and you will see a small retail display where visitors can deposit their used mobile phones. Though it is not mentioned in the videos, the company’s Hopeline Program takes phones that are brought into retail locations, donated through community phone drives, or returned by mail, and uses the proceeds from refurbishing or recycling the phones to combat domestic violence.

Individuals Making a Difference

The overall message of many of these videos is not about Verizon Wireless’ accomplishments but that everyone – companies and individuals alike – can make a difference. The video above opens with the inspiring story of Grace, a young student who helped her school dispose of 6,903 pounds of e-waste.

With Verizon’s assistance, youngsters like Grace, community organizations, and individuals with a collection of old phones in their desk drawers are disposing of cell phones and other e-waste in a responsible way. As Grace says in the video, “We can all do much more than we think we can.” I think that’s a message we can all agree upon

Kristen Dotson is Green Building Consultant, LEED® AP BD+C, with the Seattle office of Paladino and Company and works on Verizon’s LEED certification program.

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