More environmentally friendly Verizon sedans will soon be making their way through California's communities. Ten hybrid sedans will replace traditional vehicles in Verizon's local fleet, for an estimated annual reduction in carbon emissions of more than 26 metric tons. Verizon is rolling out 100 new hybrid sedans in metropolitan areas across the country.
With engines that run on gasoline and electricity, hybrids are more fuel- efficient than vehicles equipped with traditional engines. The Toyota Prius sedans being added to Verizon's fleet can travel nearly double the miles per gallon and emit less than half of the carbon of most traditional sedans.
Verizon's use of hybrid vehicles across the country will annually reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by an estimated 263 metric tons and conserve nearly 30,000 gallons of fuel.
"California's clean energy policies are the most aggressive in the United States and are motivated largely by the concerns of global warming," said California Public Utilities Commission President Michael R. Peevey. "I am very pleased that Verizon is adding hybrid cars to its fleet. Efforts like these will help us to decrease the carbon footprint of companies doing business in California and serve as a model for the rest of the nation."
Verizon West Region President Tim McCallion said, "This will reduce the amount of CO2 emitted in California and serves as another example of Verizon's continued commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our offices, our plants and our vehicle fleet."
Last year, Verizon began using 13 specially designed service vans with environmentally friendly hybrid-engine systems in Maryland and Texas. No domestic motor vehicle manufacturer currently makes hybrid vehicles in the van category, so Verizon worked closely with a company that specializes in hybrid- power systems, and it retrofitted the new vehicles to Verizon's specifications.
In 2006, Verizon reduced the greenhouse-gas emissions of its operations by more than 334,000 metric tons, about the same as keeping more than 72,000 cars off the roads for a year. Verizon's commitment to green energy practices include pursuing network equipment and building energy-reduction initiatives; using alternative energy sources in the network, buildings and vehicle fleet; and promoting the company's technology as an alternative to travel, among other efforts. In 2006 alone, Verizon processed about 70 million consumer bills online, sparing approximately 6,000 trees by reducing the amount of paper used.
Other examples can be found in New Jersey and Texas, where Verizon has trialed the use of 20 percent bio-diesel fuel to power service vehicles. The fuel is a domestic, renewable resource that is biodegradable, nontoxic and is projected to reduce greenhouse gases. Also in those two states, Verizon has been using environmentally friendly lubricants made from vegetable oils as part of the process to cut sections of fiber-optic cable where the company is installing and maintaining its digital all-fiber-optic FiOS services. These lubricants are far more biodegradable than the traditional versions.