Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) announced the publication of its 2019 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, which provides information on how Verizon is addressing the ESG matters that the company and its stakeholders view as the most important to its business.
Amidst a global pandemic, Verizon remains committed to its corporate purpose to create the networks that move the world forward and to usher in a new era of sustainable innovation and inclusive growth. While Verizon shares information about its ESG performance through a number of channels, including various reports, press releases and conversations with stakeholders, the annual ESG Report consolidates and summarizes the most important aspects of the company’s work in these areas.
“Verizon believes effective management of ESG considerations underpins the long-term success of our company and our ability to deliver value for all of our stakeholders – our shareholders, customers, employees and the communities in which we live and work,” says Beth Sasfai, Verizon’s Chief ESG Officer. “We are excited to share our 2019 ESG Report as an integral touchpoint of our commitment to transparently communicate about ESG integration across our business through robust governance systems and risk management and controls.”
The report focuses on ESG activity from January 1-December 31, 2019, unless otherwise noted, and highlights milestones in several of Verizon’s strategic ESG focus areas:
- Verizon created a new role dedicated to enhancing the company’s sustainability reporting and engagement on ESG issues that align with its core business strategy. The Chief ESG Officer heads a cross-functional team focused on governance, reporting, human rights, environmental sustainability and digital safety.
- Verizon completed an analysis of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets as they relate to the company’s business and resources and identified those SDGs where Verizon can make a unique and significant impact.
- To help fund many of the green initiatives that will contribute toward achieving the company’s carbon neutral goal, Verizon launched a $1 billion green bond in 2019, the first to be issued by a U.S. telecommunications company.
- The company recently signed long-term virtual power purchase agreements that will bring more than 380 MW of anticipated renewable energy to the grids where Verizon operates.
- The company has enhanced its ability to manage digital safety challenges across the business by establishing a digital safety lead who is part of the new ESG group.
- Verizon invested $2.6 billion in 2019 to provide healthcare benefits and services to employees and eligible retirees.
- Verizon brought 5G technology to select classrooms in the third quarter of 2019, giving students and teachers the opportunity to be at the forefront of cutting-edge technology.
- Verizon employees volunteered 173,700 hours to nonprofit causes in 2019, in addition to donating $7.8 million in employee giving through the company’s matching gifts program.
Additionally, in response to investor interest, Verizon’s 2019 ESG Report was prepared with reference to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) framework. The SASB index, featured in the appendix of the report, outlines how existing disclosures align with the recommended metrics for the SASB Telecommunications Services standard.
The 2019 ESG Report follows the company’s announcement of its first TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) report, which provides Verizon’s stakeholders with a better understanding of how the company is mitigating climate change risks and proactively pursuing the opportunities of the transition to a low-carbon economy.
View the full 2019 ESG Report here.