Verizon Communications

RATING

SECTOR

Mobile Telecommunications

WEBSITE

CONTACT

1095 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10036, USA
Telephone: 212 395 1000

STOCK EXCHANGE

LISTING

  • FTSE4Good Investment Index
  • MSCI Global Sustainability Index Series
  • 100% score, 2018 Disability Equality Index
  • 100% rating in the 2018 Corporate Equality Index
  • Nasdaq Global Sustainability Index

EMPLOYEES

135,000

CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

James Gowen

AWARDS

  • Barron’s most sustainable companies
  • Working Mother 100 Best Companies
  • 2018 Top 50 Companies for Diversity
  • The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility Award
  • America’s most responsible companies 2020

CONTENT SOURCE

FURTHER READING

Report created by Muge Acar

Verizon Communications

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

Verizon is one of the largest communication technology companies in the world. With over 150 locations, Verizon is a global leader delivering innovative communications and technology solutions that improve the way its customers live, work, learn and play. 

At Verizon, they don’t wait for the future. They build it. That’s why they built their own 5G technology to accelerate testing and drive the development of the worldwide 5G standard. And they continue to work with other technology partners to further advance 5G technology and reach important milestones on the path to full deployment, in the lab and, most importantly, in the real world where it matters most.

5G is game-changing technology. Rich, complex information will be freed to move at scarcely imaginable speeds. Those speeds, combined with lowered latency, will have far-reaching effects on every sector of the economy.

Company Sustainability Activity

Verizon’s purpose is to deliver the promise of the digital world by enabling people, businesses and society to innovate and drive positive change. Verizon will create business value by earning customers’ and employees’ trust, minimizing environmental impact, and maximizing customer growth while creating social benefit through their products and services.

With the inherent capability to address global societal challenges, Verizon technology underpins the innovation that can lead to the achievement of all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Verizon’s business solutions help bring environmental consciousness to the fore. The Verizon Connect mobile worker and fleet management software platform delivers critical data that helps drive efficiency, productivity and safety for businesses of all sizes.

By improving routes, monitoring fuel usage and tracking driver behaviour like idling and harsh driving, the Verizon Connect platform also enables companies to address climate protection and to do their part to reduce the estimated 33% of total smog-producing air pollution caused by motor vehicles.

Similarly, Verizon Intelligent Traffic Management utilizes video, smart lighting and intersection safety analytics to ease congestion and reduce the 16 billion pounds of CO2 emitted annually by motor vehicles stuck in traffic. In select cities around the country,

Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband can help introduce the next phase of these innovations, with the potential for smart communities that will attract next-gen businesses. Using IoT technology and a vast sensor network, these businesses should be well-positioned to conserve energy, reduce waste and preserve local government budgets.

Highlights

  • Verizon allocates nearly 500M$ in their first green bond report (1st U.S. telecom company to issue green bond)
  • Verizon aims to become carbon neutral by 2035
  • Verizon will set an approved science-based emissions reduction target by September 2021

Targets

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

  • Verizon aims to become carbon neutral by 2035.
  • Verizon will set an approved science-based emissions reduction target by September 2021.
  • Drive greater energy efficiency across Verizon’s operations (91% of Verizon’s emissions come from the electricity they use to power their networks).
  • Moving from older technologies to newer, more energy-efficient ones.
  • Installing energy-efficient systems and employing energy management best practices at their facilities ranging from LED lighting to high-efficiency uninterruptible power supplies.
  • Using better cooling technologies in their data centers.
  • Investing in green energy, both on site at their facilities and through Virtual Power Purchase Agreements. 
  • By 2025, reduce its carbon intensity 50% over the 2016 baseline.
  • By 2025, they aim that the equivalent of 50% of their total annual electricity consumption will be renewable energy. They have committed to adding 24 megawatts at its facilities by 2025.
  • Aim to improve the fuel efficiency of their fleet, as well as transition to alternative fuels where possible.
  • Their goal is to divert as many cell phones, set-top boxes, network devices and other electronics as possible from landfills by reusing or recycling them. 
  • Company’s priority is to reuse electronics internally, but when that’s not possible, they market these materials for reuse through approved vendors or recycle them.
  • Verizon is committed to the sustainable sourcing and use of paper. They have pledged that at least 50% of their paper sourced annually will have at least 10% post-consumer waste (PCW) content.
  • By the end of 2030, Verizon plans to plant 10 million trees in areas where they are needed most.
  • Their goal for 2019 was to sponsor the planting of 120,000 trees, including 50,000 trees in areas impacted by recent hurricanes.
  • Verizon aims at reducing its water use across its facilities. Their goal is to achieve a 15% reduction over their 2016 level (2.6 billion gallons) by 2025.

SOCIAL IMPACT

  • Verizon is moving forward to build a more connected, more accessible and greener world. They aspire to provide products and services that are safe, sustainable and improve their customers’ lives. 
  • Verizon aims to integrate accessibility considerations to the design, use and customer support features available for their products and services. 
  • Verizon is committed to serving parents through products and services that empower them to make the best decisions about how to guide and moderate their children’s online experiences.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

  • By 2021, Verizon will help provide three million students with the skills required to put them on the path to success in an increasingly tech-dependent job market and they aim to reach 350 schools by 2021.
  • The Green Team is a voluntary, grassroots effort that builds sustainability into Verizon and their goal is to have 30% of Verizon employees on the Green Team by 2022.
  • Verizon’s V Team has made a commitment to dedicate 2.5 million volunteer hours by 2025.

Progress

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

  • In 2019, Verizon held 58 e-waste recycling events for their employees and the community. Through these events, they exceeded their 2009-2020 goal to collect 4 million pounds of e-waste.
  • In 2019, Verizon had EV (electrical vehicle) charging stations in 71 locations

COMMUNITY IMPACT

    • In 2019, 33,776 employees in 49 countries and territories were part of the Green Team.
    • By the end of 2019, Verizon employees had volunteered more than 173,700 hours of their time to nonprofits across the U.S.
    • To date, Verizon has committed to more than $50 million in contributions and donations to nonprofits directed at serving students, healthcare workers, first responders and small businesses in the U.S., as well as international relief efforts
      • Their financial commitments include contributions to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, focused on supporting small businesses; the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) COVID-19 Response Fund and Direct Relief, centered on supporting healthcare workers on the front lines; the World Health Organization and UN Foundation Solidarity Response Fund to aid in COVID-19 relief; and contributions to the American Red Cross and international Red Cross organizations. In addition, Verizon Media is donating $10 million of advertising inventory to support mental and public health response efforts.
      • Verizon has also provided support to educators and students throughout the U.S. through its network and philanthropic donations. Their partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District has provided internet connectivity to thousands of students who don’t have internet access at home, enabling the district to continue delivering instruction despite school closures. 
      • Through Verizon Innovative Learning, the company has provided free laptops and tablets with data plans, tripling the program’s normal data allowance to provide up to 30GB per month through June 30. This has provided increased access to remote instruction to as many as 116,000 students and teachers.
      • In addition, Verizon donated $5 million to support No Kid Hungry Responds: Coronavirus.
      • To reduce exposure to Covid-19 for their retail staff, Verizon temporarily closed 70% of corporate-owned retail locations and identified temporary work assignments for retail store employees whose stores were closed. For employees who must deploy outside their homes to meet critical customer needs, they implemented a significantly enhanced compensation plan. 
      • Verizon has enacted a range of enhanced employee benefit policies, including a COVID-19 specific leave of absence policy offering 100% of pay for up to eight weeks and then 60% of pay beyond eight weeks for employees who are unable to work because they are providing care to loved ones or themselves.
    • The Verizon Foundation announced $300,000 in donations in September 2020 to support immediate relief efforts across communities in California, Oregon and Washington impacted by the wildfires, as well as hardest hit areas of Alabama and Florida impacted by Hurricane Sally

Certificates

  • LEED Certificate (357 buildings)
  • Energy-Star (278 buildings)
  • (ISO) 14001(in some markets)
  • OHSAS 18001

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance

SDG 4

  • Verizon’s education initiative, Verizon Innovative Learning, provides students with free technology, free internet access and technology-driven curriculum to transform the learning experience. They aim to Reach 350 underserved middle schools and bring 5G to 100 underserved middle schools by 2021 (SDG 4.4).

SDG 7

  • Verizon is supporting the transition to a greener grid by making substantial investments in renewable energy. They aim to source or generate renewable energy equivalent to 50% of total annual electricity consumption by 2025 (SDG 7.2). Verizon is actively working to improve the energy efficiency of its operations, including its global network. They target being carbon neutral in their operations by 2035 (SDG 7.3).

SDG 8

  • Their connected solutions help its customers save energy and reduce their carbon emissions. By 2022, Verizon’s networks and connected solutions will save more than double the amount of global emissions that their operations create and they have committed to setting an approved science-based emissions reduction target by September 2021 (SDG 8.4).

SDG 13

  • Verizon takes a multifaceted approach to prepare for and respond to climate-related hazards and natural disasters. They are continually strengthening the resilience of their networks to enable communities affected by disasters to have access to the networks when they need it the most. Verizon’s 2019 TCFD Report (SDG 13.1).
  • The Verizon Green Team is a grassroots collective of employees dedicated to environmental stewardship. The Green Team raises awareness of climate-related issues and provides both educational and volunteer opportunities. 30% of Verizon employees will be Green Team members by 2025 (SDG 13.3).

SDG 16

  • Verizon has developed strong policies, processes and systems to address corruption and bribery by employees, suppliers and third-party agents. They have established the Business & Human Rights Program that aims to identify and address the human rights impacts of its core business strategy, operations, products and services which is guided by UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Their global pro bono legal program established a decade ago, promotes access to justice by enabling their volunteers to provide free legal services to returning veterans, survivors of domestic violence, refugees and many others.

Evaluation

Verizon Communications is committed to sustainability. It holds certificates, awards, establishes clear goals and communicates on progress with clear evidence and data.

Their goals include improving education across communities, reducing their environmental impact, creating diverse yet equal work environments while providing safe and private access to the internet and data.

In addition, Verizon is compliant with the the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They have received a rating of B.

Analyst Outlook: Neutral

Verizon clearly communicates its targets and progress toward SDGs. We expect big things to come from Verizon regarding sustainability in the future.

Key Points

  • Verizon’s technology and assets can have a unique impact in addressing SDG 4: providing young people with relevant skills for good jobs and entrepreneurship, and SDG 8: promoting an environmentally sustainable economy. They have set aggressive targets to guide their actions, and they are measuring their impact.
  • Verizon Intelligent Traffic Management ease congestion and reduce the 16 billion pounds of CO2 emitted annually by motor vehicles stuck in traffic.
  • Employees actively participate in Verizon’s sustainable activities: they had volunteered more than 173,700 hours of their time to nonprofits across the U.S., participated on 58 e-waste recycling events.
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