After hearing from more than 30,000 consumers mobilized by Green America, telecommunications giant Verizon has quietly set a new goal to achieve 50% clean energy use by 2025. Now at 2% renewables, Verizon had previously indicated that it would only go to 4% in the foreseeable future.
Approximately 33,000 people mobilized by Green America have sent petitions urging Verizon to begin powering its networks and data centers with renewables. As participants in Green America’s Hang Up On Fossil Fuels Campaign, thousands of consumers also took direct action by contacting Verizon through social media and phone calls.
Earlier this year, Verizon had the worst showing among major telecom companies in Green America’s industry report.
Green America estimates that, based on Verizon’s reported carbon emissions, this will result in a reduction of approximately 2.8 million tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent of taking nearly 600,000 cars off the road each year. That also equals the amount of carbon that 2.9 million acres of forest could sequester in a year.
Even though Verizon is moving in the right direction, there is still much more that can be done.
The Verizon announcement comes after T-Mobile’s January 2018 commitment to reach 100% clean energy by 2021 (which will reduce over 1.2 million tons of CO2). Also earlier this year, AT&T announced its plan to purchase 830 MW of wind power, taking that telecommunications company up to 30% clean energy and cutting more than 2.6 million tons of CO2 emissions.
“Verizon management, shareholders and customers deserve credit for moving in the right direction on renewable energy,” said Green America Executive Co-Director for Consumer and Corporate Engagement Todd Larsen. “The company has gone from a meager commitment of 24 MW of new clean energy for its facilities to a commitment of hundreds of MW meeting 50% of its total energy usage.
Larsen added: “Consumers are still calling on Verizon to match T-Mobile and commit to 100% renewable energy in the near term and put purchasing agreements for wind and solar into place soon. Not only is this achievable, but it is essential for every corporation to take action to address climate change quickly to protect the planet.”
The telecom sector uses enormous amounts of energy. The four largest companies – AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile – collectively use more than three million MWh of electric power each year.
“Recent climate reports show that climate change is already impacting communities worldwide. We need bold action from all sectors to cut emissions,” said Beth Porter, Climate & Recycling Director at Green America. “On top of reducing carbon emissions, T-Mobile said it will save $100 million from the shift to renewables. Moving to clean energy is the responsible choice and a sound business decision.”
Filed Under: News, Policy