The Sustainability Thought Leaders of Tomorrow, Here Today

By: James Gowen

At Verizon, we're always challenging ourselves to find new ways to further reduce our carbon footprint and help our partners and customers do the same. To help reach that goal, we often collaborate with a number of sustainability innovators and thought leaders, which includes our long-standing valued relationship with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

The EDF is a national nonprofit organization that helps develop solutions to the nation’s most critical environmental problems. Today, the EDF announced that, once again, Verizon has signed up to cut energy costs through a unique EDF initiative -- the EDF Climate Corps.

The EDF Climate Corps is a program that helps organizations more efficiently use energy, but in a unique way -- by training bright young leaders and embedding them in companies such as Verizon, as well as universities and cities across the U.S. As part of the EDF Climate Corps, these well-trained students work to help improve the energy performance of the businesses and communities they serve.

Victoria Mills, Managing Director at EDF explains that the EDF Climate Corps “...is powered by a new generation of leaders with the skills and passion to make a difference. That’s why leading organizations turn to EDF Climate Corps year after year to take their energy management efforts to the next level."

These students are truly helping transform energy usage. In fact, each participating organization the EDF Climate Corps has assisted has, on average, found $1 million in energy savings.

As a third-year participant, Verizon looks forward to hosting its next fellow from the EDF Climate Corps. It's one more way we can work collaboratively to find powerful answers to America’s energy challenges. This opportunity allows us to share our knowledge and work in sustainability, and gain a fresh perspective from another future leader of a greener tomorrow.

James "Jim" Gowen is a change agent. Since taking on the complementary roles of vice president of Supply Chain Operations and chief sustainability officer for Verizon in 2009, he has enlisted more than 10,000 employees in 23 countries to help reduce the company’s environmental footprint.

Gowen oversees “green” initiatives across Verizon including the introduction of a carbon intensity metric, fuel and energy reduction, employee and supplier engagement, paper suppression, waste reduction and recycling. In his supply chain role, Gowen leads centralized operations with responsibility for more than $2.5 billion in annual through-put.

Gowen earned his master's degree in business administration from Long Island University and his bachelor's degree from Manhattanville College. He is located in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.