Verizon Honors Ericsson with Top Performance Award for Corporate Social Responsibility

By: James Gowen
"Good suppliers help make Verizon a better company." - James Gowen, Verizon CSO
Verizon's Jim Gowen and Ericsson's Elaine Weidman-Grunewald

Verizon believes that our company is not only judged by who we are and what we do, but also by the conduct and character of those companies with whom we do business. Thus, acting to transparently ensure that the corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and practices of our supply chain partners are beneficial to our customers, the communities we serve and the environment that surrounds us, is good for Verizon and our suppliers.

In 2013, we assessed the CSR policies and practices of nearly 200 of Verizon’s top suppliers – based on their industry, the dollar value of our spending with them, their geographic scale and the size of their business. We looked at their policies for ethical, environmental, social, human rights, labor and safety standards and practices that are embodied in the Verizon Supplier Code of Conduct. Then, we took it a step further, reviewing their actions in those areas and examining the results of CSR-related actions.

Among all of these responsible firms, one company, Ericsson, rose to the top with the highest CSR score among its peers – driven by its robust CSR management system, its comprehensive policies, its actions and its results.

Today on Earth Day, it was my honor and pleasure to present Verizon’s first Top Performance Award for Corporate Social Responsibility to Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for Stockholm, Sweden-based Ericsson.

Good suppliers help make Verizon a better company. Working with a world-class and responsible supplier like Ericsson, makes us a better company everywhere we do business around the globe.

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.