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Environmental Sustainability Council

CenturyLink has facilitated collaboration across the company with the goal of identifying and implementing actionable "greening" initiatives. This collaboration aims to reduce CenturyLink's carbon footprint and evaluate the ongoing economic feasibility of our green initiatives.

Waste Recycling

CenturyLink's waste minimization and recycling program diverts millions of pounds of electronic and communications equipment from landfills each year. We recycle telecommunications equipment, such as batteries, wood poles, electronic/computer equipment, copper wire, fluorescent lamps and fleet oil/solvents.

Green Information Technology (IT) Program

CenturyLink's IT department has implemented initiatives to reduce energy consumption, save costs and reduce CenturyLink's carbon footprint. These projects include decommissioning unused servers, replacing old power hungry Uninterrupted Power Systems (UPS) equipment with more efficient UPS equipment and implementing hot aisle/cold aisle concepts with new server installations. The efforts have resulted in an estimated annual energy savings of nearly 7 million kilowatt hours per year (kWh/year), which is equivalent to 565,483 gallons of gasoline.

Network Energy Efficiency Group

The CenturyLink Network Energy Efficiency Group, a subcommittee of the Environmental Sustainability Council, has launched three initiatives in the last seven years, which have created energy savings and efficiency within the network. These include turning off excess rectifiers (both manually and automatically), as well as turning off unused converter plants. These actions have resulted in an estimated annual power consumption savings of more than 13 million kilowatt hours (kWh).

Also, in the last two years, the group initiated a switch consolidation initiative, which resulted in an annual estimated savings of more than 6 million kWh of use. Additionally, the Network Energy Efficiency Group instituted an initiative to pull common power supply unit cards from unused transport shelves, which resulted in annual estimated savings of more than 600,000 kWh for the company.


CenturyLink is a member of the EPA's voluntary SmartWay Transport Shippers program. The SmartWay program recognizes partners that set and achieve goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their freight transport operations. The program encourages using SmartWay Partner freight carriers that are improving their own fuel efficiency, which helps reduce potential environmental impacts from freight shipping activities.

Commuter Programs and CenturyLink Fleet

It is estimated that greenhouse gas emissions from transportation represent 33 percent of total U.S. emissions. CenturyLink offers the FlexPass program in partnership with the Regional Transportation District in Denver to employees. FlexPass was designed specifically for large companies that make pre-tax spending account options available to their employees.

  • Denver-area employees who commute via RTD receive a 10 percent discount when they purchase a monthly pass and sign up for the Qwest (pre-tax) Commuter Spending Account (CSA). The discounted monthly pass can be used either for bus or light rail transit.
  • RTD estimates that U.S. greenhouse gases from transportation represent 33 percent of total U.S. emissions and that the average Denver work commuter saves about $9,100 a year by taking public transit.

CenturyLink offers commuter programs in Seattle, Phoenix, and Portland, Oregon.

The CenturyLink fleet includes 464 flex fuel vehicles. In 2011, CenturyLink purchased 66 propane vehicles, a move that not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions for the company but also reduces fuel costs.

Employee Participation

Employees have told us that environment and sustainability are important to them. Therefore, CenturyLink has a "Going Green" internal Web page for employees to contribute suggestions for helping the company go green. Ideas are then evaluated based on feasibility, budget and other important factors.

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