Since our founding, Vertical Bridge has strived to create a culture of sustainability. From eliminating paper waste and single-use plastics from our corporate headquarters to replacing building and tower lighting systems with lower-energy consuming LED systems, environmentally-conscious initiatives are a part of our daily operations. We continue to find new ways to reduce our environmental footprint, which is why we are extremely proud to be the first carbon-neutral tower company in the world.
In June 2020, Vertical Bridge became the first telecommunications tower company to be certified as a CarbonNeutral® company in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol, the leading global framework for carbon neutrality. We have remained committed to our carbon neutrality status and have been recertified every year since to date.
Building on a number of carbon-lowering tactics across our operations, we support four projects in North America. The projects reduce and remove greenhouse gases and are focused on nature-based climate solutions and resource recovery:
Each year, millions of birds cross paths with telecommunications infrastructure. Vertical Bridge protects and respects these paths by creating safer environments for migratory and nesting birds.
For many avian species, the FAA-required lights that sit atop towers can prove disruptive and confusing if the installation uses red steady-burn lights. As a result, birds may crash into towers or even be thrown from their migratory paths. Flashing lights, however, are proven to help avoid these risks while still meeting all current legal and regulatory requirements for FAA obstruction marking aircraft guidance. In fact, these installations can save hundreds, sometimes thousands of birds over the life of a tower.
Every Vertical Bridge tower meets all FAA regulations and a large percentage are topped with LED lighting. We are assessing and taking advantage of every opportunity to safely replace older, steady-burn, incandescent lights on any towers we own or manage with avian-friendly systems. Motion sensor lighting is also being deployed on shelters and compounds at the base of our towers to reduce the number of birds and bats drawn to the nighttime security lighting. Our goal is to create a tower portfolio that is lit entirely by these avian-friendly systems in the near future.
We also recognize that birds often use towers as artificial trees and create nesting areas on wireless infrastructure. With participation and input from various federal and state wildlife agencies, we have established a comprehensive policy on how to manage and maintain sites with active bird nests that account for species, seasons and even the type of tower. Our Bird Nest Checklist verifies that our sites perform to our standards and those of our customers, while ensuring that any animals nearby are minimally disturbed.
Our wildlife safety measures go beyond the tops of our towers, extending all the way down to the land that our sites sit on. We make every effort not to disturb any wildlife habitats when we deploy and manage infrastructure. Our firm has a comprehensive set of policies in place developed by our professionals in conjunction with environmental scientists and wildlife conservationists. This set of policies ensures every species throughout the United States –from mammals and birds to reptiles and even insects – are protected whenever their habitat overlaps with any current or future Vertical Bridge site.