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Verizon’s fleet goes green

Verizon is rolling out an additional 19 hybrid sedans to help conserve fuel and significantly reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in the Bronx. A total of 50 hybrid sedans are being added to the company’s New York fleet.

The new vehicles are among the 100 hybrid sedans Verizon is adding to its motor vehicle fleet in seven states and Washington, D.C., replacing gasoline-powered sedans. The hybrid sedans are in addition to the 100 hybrids that added at the end of 2007. By doubling to 200 the number of these vehicles in its fleet, Verizon expects to conserve an additional 16,000 gallons of fuel and cut greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 1.4 metric tons per vehicle annually.

Verizon’s new Toyota Prius hybrid sedans, compared with most traditional sedans, can travel nearly double the miles per gallon and emit less than half of the carbon. This supports the company’s goal of continuing to reduce CO2 emissions.

“Air quality is a central concern in our community,” said Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr. “It is my hope that more companies will follow Verizon’s lead and find ways to reduce their environmental impact. Verizon is proving that being green can be as good for business and it is for our children.”

Earlier this year, Verizon earned an Energy Star Award from the United States Department of Energy for its operation of one of the nation’s largest fuel cell sites in Garden City, Long Island. The Verizon call-switching center and office building is powered by an environmentally-friendly seven fuel cells that are capable of generating 200 kilowatts of electrical power per hour—enough to supply the energy needs of about 400 single-family households.

“Minimizing the impact of our operations by conserving energy, increasing our recycling rates and finding practical as well as innovative solutions to environmental challenges are a part of how we operate our business,” said Andres Irlando, senior vice president for Verizon’s New York region. “As a broadband company, Verizon makes it possible for e-commerce to flourish and for our customers to telecommute or engage in distance learning; so we understand the important role technology must play in reducing the environmental impact of our operations.”

In addition to the hybrid sedans, the company has been using 13 specially designed hybrid service-vans in Maryland and Texas since 2007. A company that specializes in hybrid-power systems retrofitted the new vehicles to Verizon’s specifications since no domestic motor vehicle manufacturer currently makes vans powered by gasoline-electric engines.

In 2007, Verizon powered down or removed obsolete equipment from more than 400 buildings, and collected 1.1 million cellular phones for refurbishing, donation and recycling. So far in 2008, Verizon has electronically delivered about 75 million bills to customers.

Verizon’s energy conservation, waste prevention and recycling efforts have over the last five years yielded an estimated average reduction of 332,295 metric tons in greenhouse-gas emissions. That’s equivalent to nearly 61,000 cars not driven for one year.

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