It’s hard to know what to make of Verizon, brand-wise. Yeah, they’ve got the “Can you hear me now” dude and the FiOS guy who keeps owning that Galifinakisian cable guy in the commercials, and everyone knows what services they provide and all that, but they’re not the first to come to mind when the subject is green corporations. Which is strange, since whatever one might think of their cell phone service, Verizon actually is fairly green for a mega-corp. From the super-green renovation of the stubbornly un-certified Verizon Building on down, though, Verizon is comparatively reticent about its greenness. Not to say that they don’t put out press releases when they open a LEED-CI Gold store in Chandler, Arizona — believe me, they do — but Verizon is not nearly as intent on letting you know how green they are as, say, Whole Foods. Which makes sense, given that Whole Foods is selling organic kohlrabi and Verizon is selling the nation’s largest 3G network or whatever. But of all the instances of Verizon soft-pedaling its sustainability, perhaps none is more amusing than the recent opening of their LEED-CI Gold-hopeful Verizon Wireless store at the LEED Platinum One Bryant Park. That is, in the Bank of America Tower… and across the freaking street from The Verizon Building.
But while Verizon might be selling themselves short somewhat on this one, their super-green store at One Bryant Park deserves plenty of praise. While it’s not notably more impressive in its sustainability than, say, the Chandler, AZ branch, the Verizon Wireless store has plenty to offer. I know this because of, yes, a Verizon press release. A press release that includes one paragraph on the store’s forward-thinking recycling policies and superior air quality, and five other grafs and four bullet points detailing things that have nothing to do with the store’s LEED certification. For a communications company, Verizon is surprisingly not-that-good at communicating information about its apparent dedication to sustainability. But they deserve some praise for it all the same.