Maybe you’ve caught a glimpse of them on the highway: Reel after reel of Corning optical cable crisscrossing the United States bound for Verizon locations, as Verizon leverages Corning's optical fiber and cable to build out its nationwide high-speed broadband network.
Teams at Corning and Verizon considered all the reels involved in transporting that cable, thought of both companies' longstanding commitment to sustainability, and saw an opportunity: What if the companies developed a return-and-recycle program of wooden shipping reels, to eliminate the disposal of wooden reels and lessen the need to manufacture new ones?
The result: More than 1.5 million pounds of wood recycled in two years, saving an estimated 795 trees.
In recognition of this commitment to sustainability, Verizon recently recognized Corning as a recipient of Verizon’s 2020 Supplier Sustainability Award.
"Corning has a long history of working with Verizon to meet our business requirements and advising on innovative substrates, formats and process efficiencies that continue to reduce our carbon footprint," said James Gowen, Chief Sustainability Officer at Verizon.
A Corning optical cable manufacturing plant in North Carolina, along with the Corning commercial team, took a leading role in working with Verizon’s supply chain and operations groups to develop the program. They created a process to marshal and consolidate empty reels for pick-up, refurbishment and re-use by Corning to ship out new product while supporting Verizon’s active, high-volume demand for fiber cable.
"At Corning, we're delighted to collaborate with customers such as Verizon who value sustainability as much as we do. That's why we are honored and grateful to receive this recognition from Verizon," said Eric J. Marinakis, vice president, sales for Corning Optical Communications. "Corning is deeply committed to lowering our natural resource consumption at every step of our processes, from our labs, to our manufacturing facilities, all the way to the customer."