We depend on our executive team’s clear and visible commitment to respect human rights. This is communicated in Verizon’s Human Rights Statement, which outlines our efforts to perform ongoing human rights due diligence consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
This work is led and managed by our dedicated Business and Human Rights Program (BHRP) team under the remit of Verizon’s Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative, Legal and Public Policy Officer. Our efforts are overseen by the Corporate Governance and Policy Committee of our Board of Directors, who receive periodic updates prepared by the BHRP on information about global human rights risks and opportunities related to our company.
The BHRP is led by a dedicated team that provides centralized leadership on global strategy, business decision-making and internal and external engagement on human rights matters.
As part of Verizon’s wider Environmental, Social, and Governance group, the BHRP collaborates with a cross-functional team of lawyers and sustainability professionals that integrates effective governance and management of environmental and social risks and opportunities. The BHRP is further supported by and partners with a virtual, cross-functional team consisting of senior-level employees and experts from across the globe in key functions throughout the business that may intersect human rights issues. This includes employees in teams throughout the Public Policy, Law & Security and Global Supply Chain organizations, as well as other functions, such as Corporate Social Responsibility.
We’re committed to respecting internationally-recognized human rights. We aim to translate those principles into practical steps to be followed by our employees.
The BHRP designs targeted employee training and information-sharing briefings for teams across the company to discuss human rights policies and procedures.
In partnership with teams across the company, the BHRP conducts ongoing human rights due diligence (HRDD), as set forth in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and as embodied across the pillars of our Business and Human Rights Program, to identify, understand, and address the human rights implications of our business decisions, including our technology, products, services, and strategy.
As part of this process, we undertake Human Rights Impact Assessments (HRIAs) to more specifically evaluate and address human rights risks that may intersect with our business. This includes attention to such rights as privacy (including data privacy), freedom of expression and information, and non-discrimination, with specific attention to vulnerable groups.
The HRIA process is an essential element of our ongoing review of the human rights landscape and of Verizon’s business plans. When we conduct an HRIA, we review a number of factors, including:
The international legal and normative foundations for human rights, including rights such as freedom of expression, privacy, and non-discrimination;
The responsibility of corporations to respect human rights, as set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights;
Verizon’s business, strategy, or product plans;
The intersection points between our business strategy, products, or services and potential human rights risks;
The human rights landscape in relevant countries or regions;
Local laws, policies and practices relevant to the human rights impacts of our business practices; and
The existing and potential benefits of our products and services to society, in particular with respect to how they may advance human rights.
Based on what we learn, we identify potential human rights risks and opportunities that could arise from Verizon’s products and operations. We then make recommendations to avoid or mitigate those risks, protect our customers and users, and promote human rights with our products and on our platforms. As part of our HRDD and HRIA processes, we consult externally with a variety of local, regional, and international experts, including government agencies, human rights organizations, academics, journalists and other experts.
We value our engagement with industry peers, human rights experts, technologists, advocates, academics, investors, journalists, governments and other experts.
As one of the largest communication technology companies in the world, Verizon has a responsibility to respect and promote human rights in our business decisions, including our technology, products, services, and strategy. We also recognize that we can use our technology and innovation to foster an exchange of ideas about how companies, government, civil society, responsible investors, users, customers and others can work together to address the complex issues at the intersection of technology and human rights. We regularly engage and maintain strong relationships with these key stakeholders on human rights risks and opportunities, including the impacts of our policies, products and services.
We seek to be accountable, including by being transparent. We share information about our human rights efforts in various forms, including through this page, in our ESG Report, and in our Human Rights Statement. Our human rights efforts are also reflected in other policies and reporting, including content available through the ESG Resources Hub. We also make information available on Verizon Media’s human rights efforts.
We also provide channels through which issues related to the human rights impacts of our activities can be raised. These channels include the Verizon Ethics site (www.verizonethics.com), a 24/7 intake function that allows for anonymous reporting (where permitted by local law) via web submission, email, toll-free phone number, and physical mail.