Our corporate program to save energy starts small, with efforts as simple as replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient units, and extends to developing alternative energy projects, including fuel cells, photovoltaic (VC) and solar thermal.
In some TV studios, for example, we’ve installed state-of-the-art fluorescent lighting that reduces radiant heat on the talent and cuts energy consumption by as much as 45 percent. Elsewhere, we’ve replaced old boilers and installed advanced HVAC control units and lighting systems that automatically shut down portions of a building during off-hours.
Outside the four walls of our facilities, we’re also working to decrease the environmental impact of our transportation fleet. With 13,000 vehicles, our fleet is among the largest in corporate America and presents numerous fuel-saving and emissions-reduction opportunities. This fleet includes nearly 300 hybrid vehicles, and 10 percent comprises Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (PZEV) and LEED-ranked vehicles. At Cox Communications, 90 percent of the network operations vehicles utilize a new hybrid operating system and are zero-emissions vehicles during aerial operations.
A major strategy to reduce our carbon footprint is to reduce the number of miles we travel. That’s why we’ve installed GPS systems in 5,000 vehicles that have enabled us to save more than 1 million gallons of fuel, cutting our carbon footprint by over 25 million pounds. We’re also using vehicle diagnostics and traffic-mapping technologies at Cox Communications so that drivers can reduce CO2 emissions by controlling idling time and navigating traffic for increased fuel efficiency. In the first year of use, these solutions allowed us to reduce vehicle idle time from more than 90 minutes to less than 15 minutes per day, an 84 percent decrease.
Often the best way to reduce energy use is by encouraging alternative transportation, carpooling and telecommuting options. We also support our employees who want to make their commute more eco-friendly by providing shuttles between our offices and public transportation hubs, and offering premium parking spaces for electric cars and fuel-efficient vehicles.
Our approach to waste management is a holistic one that employs three strategies: waste reduction, strategic partnerships for e-waste and customer engagement. Since 2007, we’ve recycled more than 985 tons of materials at our Atlanta headquarters alone by turning wastebaskets into recycling bins and composting cafeteria waste. In addition, all Cox newspapers are printed on recycled paper. Electronic waste, in particular, is often a disposal challenge, but our e-waste program enables us to divert an estimated 1.8 million pounds from landfills annually. This program provides ways to extend equipment life cycles and promote re-use through redeployment, remarketing and charitable donation. We also redeploy electronics with reusable value within our organization to reduce new procurement costs and materials. Finally, we’re committed to helping our customers do their part by going paperless through electronic ordering and billing processes in our broadband business.