Paladino was engaged by Verizon Wireless to develop a LEED Volume Certification Program that would allow the company to establish a LEED rated store prototype in the place of its previously existing non-green standard design. The LEED Volume Program is part of a wider Verizon energy-reduction commitment that addresses company-operated buildings and network equipment. As the company planned to construct several hundred stores each year with the assistance of multiple architects, engineers, construction project managers and commissioning agents, success of the effort relied heavily on the ability of the Verizon store construction teams and other consultants to learn how to implement the new LEED prototype design and manage LEED commissioning, construction and documentation requirements.

Paladino worked with Verizon Wireless since 2008 to develop and grow their LEED stores program. The engagement first began on the West Coast stores, which needed to streamline a greening of their Communication Stores portfolio, in part to meet proposed CALGreen building code requirements. Because the LEED Volume program was in the middle of its pilot period and not open to new applicants, Paladino developed a custom approach for the division that set the stage for their eventual entry into Volume by creating the same quality control and educational standards and materials that would allow the company to implement green standards across their pipeline of new construction projects.

Paladino took on the project as a change management effort, embedding LEED and sustainable expertise into the supply chain by retraining and educating Verizon Wireless teams how to manage green projects. This was achieved through three education channels which included:

  • On-Project Teaching: A pilot program of several stores was managed and implemented by Paladino, to give project teams visibility into what would eventually be expected of them. On-project teaching provided real-world context and multiple training opportunities to coach teams facing specific project-based challenges.
  • Structured Training: Structured training modules were developed and delivered to project teams during training summits attended by all members with responsibility for some portion of the store supply chain. This included training architects, engineers, construction managers, commissioning agents and others responsible for real estate transactions and leasing.
  • On Call Coaching and Peer Review: Once teams are trained, Paladino provides on call coaching through phone calls, email and short correspondence, and also performs peer review of team created deliverables.

The result is a comprehensive re-skilling program that positioned Verizon Wireless to manage its program, and that built the expertise and knowledge of teams to bring increased value to company efforts.

In 2011, Verizon became the first and only wireless retailer to certify their prototype in the LEED Volume program, making any Verizon Wireless Communication Store constructed using the pre-certified design capable of earning a LEED Silver or higher rating. In reviewing the Verizon Wireless application, Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) staff stated that it was the most complete and well prepared application they had ever seen, using it as the standard against which they now assess other applications.

Each LEED-certified Verizon Wireless Communications Store is expected to deliver, on average, the following environmental benefits and associated cost savings:

  • 12,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year energy savings from lighting
  • 28,000 gallons of water per year
  • 28 tons of construction waste diverted from landfills

These efforts support Verizon Wireless in meeting its goal of reducing its carbon intensity by 50 percent by 2020. Verizon Wireless has more than 350 LEED certified retail stores.