One man with Verizon behind him made energy efficient network equipment a reality for the telecom industry.
With a basic change in our purchasing practices, Verizon has lifted the entire telecom industry to a higher level of energy efficiency.
The change began in 2009, when measurements determined that equipment used to power our network accounted for a significant portion of Verizon’s energy use. The employees charged with investigating the situation recognized the potential for large savings in both energy and dollars.
At the time, there were no industry benchmarks regarding the energy consumed by network equipment. “There had been some talk in the industry, but nothing was happening on this front,” said Todd Talbot, one of two employees charged with exploring the situation. “We decided to make it happen.”
Verizon set the bar by requiring suppliers to increase the efficiency of their products by 20 percent. “We were big enough to influence the market. We didn’t have to wait for industry consensus,” Talbot said.
The result is an example of how a company Verizon’s size can be a game-changer when it comes to promoting sustainable practices. With suppliers adapting to our requirements, all telecom companies began using the energy-efficient products. The new network components not only aid the environment, they feature the added attraction of lower network operating costs.
Talbot said some suppliers were hesitant to participate at first, but now that there’s industry demand for energy-saving equipment, it’s a win-win for network operators and firms that sell components.
Since Verizon established our initial benchmarks with suppliers, we have updated our requirements and extended them to cover additional network equipment. Talbot is now evaluating our wireless network for similar opportunities to work with suppliers to lower energy use in this growing space.