At Comcast, we are focused on reducing energy usage, both by our customers in the home and by our business operations. We are also reducing energy consumption and waste by operating the tenth-largest commercial fleet of hybrid vehicles in the United States.
Comcast Supply Chain
The Comcast Supply Chain team works to maintain an environmentally sound workplace and partners with our vendors to implement and promote green initiatives across the company. This includes recycling, repurposing and waste reduction programs. We require our vendors to be in compliance with all relevant laws relating to environmental protection, occupational safety and health, resource conservation, hazardous waste transportation, toxic substances, water pollution and clean air, among many others.
Comcast Center, our corporate headquarters in downtown Philadelphia, is one of the tallest LEED-certified buildings in the United States. Constructed with materials containing high levels of recycled content, it uses high-performance glass, sunscreens and louvers to reduce lighting and cooling expenses by blocking 60 percent of the sun’s heat while allowing 70 percent of daylight into the building. Water-saving fixtures save 3 million gallons of drinking water every year, using 41 percent less water than a typical office building. All parking is underground, eliminating exposed heat-absorbing asphalt, and the open plaza surface is shaded by trellises and trees, reducing the urban "heat-island" effect. Comcast Center also operates a year-round recycling program and is cleaned with Earth-friendly products.
Many of our warehouse facilities around the country have installed, or are in the process of installing, equipment to bundle unused cardboard for recycling. As a result, our warehouses have reduced waste, in some cases by more than 50 percent. It takes significant resources to grow and be one of the world’s leading media, entertainment and communications companies, but we’re taking steps at each of our 12 national data centers to reduce the amount of space and energy requirements. Using new technologies, we’re able to equip existing servers to handle multiple applications instead of needing to add more servers.
We operate the tenth-largest commercial fleet of hybrid vehicles in the United States. With more than 6,300 hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles in our fleet, we saw a reduction of 60,000 gallons of unleaded gas and more than a 25 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in 2011 alone. Our new vehicle procurement is 80 percent alternative fuel capable, with all vans and light-duty pickups being flex-fuel-capable and the inclusion of hybrid passenger vehicles in our fleet. Moving forward, we’re continuing to purchase alternative fuel vehicles while exploring new technologies with automobile manufacturers.
Many of the set-top boxes that deliver our video services in customers’ homes today are on the ENERGY STAR Set-Top Box Qualified Product List, and nearly 100 percent of the boxes we will buy in the future will be ENERGY STAR compliant. Each of the more than 20 million digital transport adapters deployed as part of our all-digital transition also meet ENERGY STAR requirements.
Combining consumer trends with our interest in sustainability also has resulted in more than 20 percent of all new connects to Comcast cable services being done by customers using our redesigned Self-Install Kits. The kits and packing materials are 100 percent recyclable and let customers install or upgrade products and solve problems online without requiring a visit from a Comcast technician.
With EcoBill, customers can view and pay their bills online — from any computer, any time. By not receiving a paper statement in the mail every month, it’s a free, easy and secure way to be environmentally friendly. The EcoBill program conserves more than 84 million sheets of paper and 137 million envelopes on an annual basis.
With enhanced training, our technicians are successfully installing services to more customers and repairing more service issues the first time, and that means fewer trucks on the road. For example, from 2010 to 2011, these efforts reduced the number of truck rolls to customer homes by 4 million, saving about 2 million gallons of gasoline.
And we’re implementing new workforce models that are reducing the need to construct or expand call centers while also reducing carbon emissions related to commuting. About 5 percent of our customer care agents work in virtual positions from home, and we expect to increase that number in the future.