07/13/2010 08:56 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Verizon's New Green Store? How Smart?

Verizon Wireless has announced the opening of the company's new state-of-the-art green store in the Bank of America Tower, located at One Bryant Park in Manhattan. Developed and constructed by The Durst Organization, the Bank of America Tower has received Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification designated by the United States Green Buildings Council (USGBC).

In addition, Verizon is seeking a Gold Certification for Commercial Interiors from the USGBC. Some green features included are improvements made on energy and water efficiency, CO2 emissions, indoor air quality, and recycling.

Any attempt towards better energy efficiency is always a welcome development and The Durst Organization has continually met this challenge head on. The Bank of America Tower is certainly proof that Durst will continue to lead the future of building construction.

Verizon, although looking to green up its image by building a more energy-efficient retail outlet, might be missing the bigger picture. As cellular communication gets more and more sophisticated, the amount of energy necessary to operate one is getting more and more severe. The days of the simple cell phone used only to make calls are a thing of the past. As funny as it may sound, a cell phone's original purpose is now considered quaint. The truth of the matter is that with the number of smart phones now being used, there is no way to consider the cell phone as an energy-efficient way to communicate.

Cellular and smart phone technology is a terrific development in the ways the world is connecting, but it is also another considerable drain on our resources. Building a store that has an energy-efficient interior will not necessarily make up for the amount of fossil fuels we are using because we are plugged in 24/7. The devices being sold use a whole lot more energy than what is being saved in a retail outlet.

Perhaps Verizon, among all the other wireless carriers could promote a one hour "turn off your cell phone" drive. That would certainly make a bigger impact in the short and long run.

Jonathan A. Schein is CEO of ScheinMedia, publisher of