Green America: Verizon Sets Major New Clean Energy Goal in Response to Pressure From More Than 30,000 Consumers

windmills in the distance
Verizon, A Telecom Industry Laggard at 2 Percent Renewables, Vows to Reach 50 Percent by 2025; Still Trails Behind T-Mobile’s 100 Percent Goal for 2021.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 11, 2018 – After hearing from more than 30,000 consumers mobilized by Green America, telecommunications giant Verizon has quietly set a new goal to achieve 50 percent clean energy use by 2025. Now at 2 percent renewables, Verizon had previously indicated that it would only go to 4 percent 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 percent 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 percent clean energy and cutting more than 2.6 million tons of CO2 emissions. 

 

So far, Verizon has not announced any purchase agreements with wind or solar farms that will help the company meet its 2025 goal. Green America is asking all telecom companies to commit to 100 percent clean energy by 2025.

 

Green America Executive Co-Director for Consumer and Corporate Engagement Todd Larsen said: “Verizon management, shareholders and customers deserve credit for moving in the right direction on renewable energy. 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 percent of its total energy usage.  Consumers are still calling on Verizon to match T-Mobile and commit to 100 percent 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 3 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.”

 

ABOUT GREEN AMERICA

 

Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today’s social and environmental problems. http://www.GreenAmerica.org

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Max Karlin for Green America, (703) 276-3255, or mkarlin@hastingsgroup.com.