Last week, Verizon announced that it will be contributing to Hawaii's sustainability goal of switching to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. In 2015, Hawaii mandated that all its electricity must come from renewable energy sources, making it the first state in the country to commit to such an impressive goal. To that end, Verizon will provide Hawaii with smart sensors powered by Verizon's network allowing them to gather real-time data on their power grid more effectively. This technology will allow Hawaii to better integrate rooftop solar throughout its territory, which could allow the state to reach their renewable energy goal sooner than 2045.
By partnering with Hawaii, Verizon is contributing to the sustainability of our planet. However, it should not forget its own climate impacts. As a leading US company in the telecom industry, Verizon has a significant impact on the environment. Ninety eight percent of the power for Verizon’s massive data centers and networks comes from fossil fuels, which are drivers of climate emissions worldwide.
“Humanibility” is Verizon's new program that enables humans to use its technology to improve the world in sustainability, education, and healthcare sectors. But Verizon should not forget its own “Humanibility”, and how it could do more in this world directly – starting with the purchase of far more clean energy. This year, T-Mobile committed to 100 percent clean energy by 2021 and AT&T is adding 830 MW of clean energy (about 30 percent of its power). Clearly, it’s time for Verizon to move beyond its measly 24 MW of clean energy that represents about two percent of its power.