Capacity Media, Melanie Mingas
The largest privately-owned communications infrastructure company in the US has been certified carbon neutral by The CarbonNeutral Protocol.
Certified this month, Vertical Bridge is the first telecommunications tower company in the world to reach net zero emissions, through a combination reduced resource use and offsets.
Calling it “an unprecedented step forward for the communications infrastructure sector”, the company addressed energy consumption across offices, tower operation and construction, and also considered the impact of business travel.
Vertical Bridge further said it is supporting four projects in North America “to offset its unavoidable carbon emissions”, spanning grassland preservation, methane capture at landfills, conservation and reforestation.
“We are extremely proud to be recognised as a carbon-neutral company, and even more so to be the first carbon-neutral tower company in the world. This is just the first step, and we are committed to continuing to decrease our carbon footprint and to supporting additional carbon-reduction projects,” said Bernard Borghei, co-founder and executive vice president of operations for Vertical Bridge, who led the initiative (pictured).
“As the communications infrastructure sector prepares to deploy a record number of assets to support 5G networks, it is critical that we find ways to continue to mitigate environmental impact. We believe that achieving sector-wide carbon neutrality is possible and that our actions build upon the meaningful strides the wireless industry has taken thus far. We hope we are just the first of many in our sector to take this important step.”
The CarbonNeutral Protocol defines carbon neutrality as “The state achieved when the unabated GHG emissions … are compensated or balanced by emission reductions established under recognised carbon standards of an equal amount outside the boundary to achieve a status of zero for a defined period of time”.
CarbonNeutral Protocol says that neutrality is part of the transition towards a net zero emission global economy and, since its inception in 2002, it has certified projects for Microsoft, Sky, Logitech, Hirdaramani Group and VMWare, among others.
At Vertical Bridge CarbonNeutral certification is the latest development under an ongoing ESG and social responsibility scheme that also includes the Vertical Bridge Charitable Network. VBCN has donated more than $5.11 million and contributed nearly 6,000 volunteer hours since its launch in 2014.
“Being a profitable and at-scale company doesn't mean much if you don't foster the right culture. That's why philanthropy is such a big component of Vertical Bridge and why it's an employee-driven program,” said Alex Gellman, co-founder and CEO of Vertical Bridge.
“As we thought about our company's growth and overall social responsibility goals, becoming carbon neutral was a natural progression and something everyone at Vertical Bridge would be excited to be a part of. I am tremendously proud of our entire team's continual efforts to make a difference and look forward to seeing these programs continue to grow.”