Verizon's latest corporate responsibility report highlights how the company is using its technology, resources and employees to address societal challenges such as improving health care, increasing energy efficiency and conservation, and playing a role in the recovery of the nation's economy.
The recently released, 53-page report features a letter from Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg in which he explains that the company's sustained history of corporate citizenship has been nourished by a belief that providing better ways to communicate is inherently valuable to society.
"Few companies touch as many lives, or reach as many communities, as Verizon," Seidenberg wrote. "[Verizon's] networks are critical not just to Verizon's growth but to that of the economy as a whole in that they are a platform for the creativity, innovation and productivity that lie at the heart of true, sustainable value creation."
The featured areas of the document - the company's fifth annual corporate responsibility report - include:
- Internet Safety - Verizon is focused on providing the best tools available to help customers have safe and secure experiences using all the company's products. In 2008, the company began offering free Parental Controls (www.verizon.net/parentalcontrol) service via Verizon Online. These free tools help parents protect children while on a mobile phone or watching TV. Verizon also continues an effort launched three years ago with the Partnership for a Child-Safe Internet, in which state attorneys general and company officials educate law enforcement agencies and community organizations and others about creating a safe online environment for children.
- Education - In 2008, the Verizon Foundation's Thinkfinity.org attracted nearly 25 million visitors. The free Web site offers more than 55,000 educational resources across eight academic disciplines for teachers, community programs, parents and students. Last year alone, 28,000 teachers were trained to use Thinkfinity.org in the classroom.
- Environment - Verizon's total energy reduction measures in 2008 reduced greenhouse-gas emissions by 83,900 metric tons. Verizon conducted a successful pilot project to install software that automatically senses when computers are not in use and puts them in "sleep" mode. Full rollout of this program in 2009, covering approximately 100,000 computers will deliver $7 million in energy savings. Verizon has increased its use of solar and fuel cell technology for backup power. Effective Jan. 1, Verizon established an Energy Star-like standard for telecom equipment, requiring the company's vendors to provide equipment that is 20 percent more energy efficient than the previous generation of equipment.
- Philanthropy - In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since 2000.
Verizon's commitment to corporate responsibility was recognized earlier this year by Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine and The Big Money, a Web site that focuses on aspects of economics and money.
CRO magazine ranked Verizon No. 32 on the publication's 100 Best Corporate Citizens List. Verizon is the only telecommunications company on the list. Verizon received its highest CRO score for philanthropy, ranking 9th in that category.
Verizon ranked 40th on The Big Money's Socially Responsible Investing Stock Screener, out of 500 publicly traded companies in the U.S. IW Financial, which specializes in environmental, social and governance issues, was contracted by The Big Money to compile the list and rank companies according to social responsibility criteria including the companies' policies covering gays and lesbians, the environment and treatment of employees.
A copy of the entire Corporate Responsibility Report is available at http://220.127.116.11/images/vz_uploads/verizon_cr_report_2008-2009.pdf. For more information about Verizon's commitment to corporate responsibility, visit http://responsibility.verizon.com/. To learn more about Verizon's commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its operations and that of its customers, visit http://newscenter2.verizon.com/kit/green-press-kit/.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 86 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 237,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.