Verizon Issues First Corporate Responsibility Report: 'Making Connections . . . Improving Lives'

NEW YORK - Verizon today issued its first corporate responsibility report, "Making Connections . . . Improving Lives," which reviews the company's 2004 accomplishments and highlights new challenges and opportunities.

The 48-page report is available online at a new Verizon Web site, www.verizon.com/responsibility, where the public can learn more about the company's corporate responsibility commitment and initiatives, and submit comments and suggestions.

"We believe in the power of communications to change people's lives for the better. By engaging in the business of communications every day, Verizon and our employees improve the quality of life for our customers," said Tom Tauke, executive vice president of Verizon Public Affairs and Communications. "Making Connections ... Improving Lives" demonstrates our commitment to helping to improve our communities and, most important, to be accountable and transparent in the way we do business."

He added: "We have a strong legacy of corporate citizenship, and we view this report and the Web site as tools to initiate dialogues within Verizon and with the communities we serve about who we are, what we believe and where we're going."

The report reviews six areas that make up Verizon's approach to corporate responsibility: ethics and governance; service and innovation; empowering employees; promoting community growth; protecting the environment; and partnering with communities.

    The report provides highlights of the company's performance, including:

  • Investments of upwards of $13 billion a year in technology

  • A comprehensive Code of Business Conduct that has become a model for other companies

  • Protecting customer privacy. Verizon was one of the first corporations to adopt privacy principles and to create the office of chief privacy officer.

  • Introducing innovative products that enable customers to harness the power of new broadband communications technology, including FiOS, a suite of services offered over the company's fiber-to-the-premises network; and VoiceWing, a voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) broadband service.

  • Verizon's progress in creating a diverse work force

  • Reduction in Verizon's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and providing wired and wireless services such as videoconferencing and distance learning that enable customers to minimize the impact of their activities on the environment.

The report also discusses the company's philanthropic efforts through the Verizon Foundation, which is one of the 15 largest corporate foundations in the United States, has an annual budget of almost $75 million and awarded more than 21,000 grants to nonprofits in 2003.

"Making Connections . . . Improving Lives" also reports on the company's signature program, Verizon Reads, which annually contributes about $17 million toward literacy programs nationwide.

"As we state in the report, we will continue to deploy new broadband networks, introduce new services and educate our customers about how our services can connect them to their communities and improve their lives," Tauke said. "We plan to further integrate corporate responsibility considerations into our daily decision-making and to develop goals to guide our performance. We're proud of the impact our company and our employees have had in our communities, and we look forward to reporting our continued progress in future reports."

Verizon Communications Inc.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. With a diverse work force of approximately 208,000, Verizon has four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband, nationwide long-distance and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 42.1 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.