Verizon is committed to partnering with our suppliers to better the world collaboratively. We use EcoVadis and Avetta, third-party platforms, to assess our suppliers’ corporate responsibility – their safety and environmental performance. Since 2013, we have invited 448 key suppliers to the EcoVadis platform. EcoVadis assesses four key areas: environment, fair labor practices, ethics and fair business practices, and supply chain. EcoVadis combines supplier questionnaire input with public data to benchmark suppliers on their corporate responsibility performance. When weaknesses are identified, Verizon works with the supplier to create a corrective action plan to improve their program. Both Verizon and our suppliers benefit from this program. Verizon’s minimum goal is that 80 percent of the assessed suppliers will complete the EcoVadis assessment by 2020 and receive a passing score.
Avetta, an external qualifier of supply chain risk, reviews injury rates, environmental health and safety violations, fines, corrective actions, and other environment and safety performance metrics for Verizon’s suppliers working in areas most prone to environmental and safety risks. Avetta compares the data to industry benchmarks and, when weaknesses are identified, Verizon works with contractors to review root causes and plan corrective actions. More than 2,500 Verizon contractors have been screened by Avetta.
Verizon is also a member of the Joint Audit Cooperation (JAC), an association of telecom operators that collaboratively audits their common suppliers and looks for opportunities to improve corporate social responsibility across the Information and Communications Technology industry. JAC supplements Verizon’s supply chain CSR program by investigating suppliers’ actual performance on site to ensure that they are living up to what they pledge in their policies. Since its inception in 2010, JAC has completed 482 on-site supplier audits – 116 in 2018. Verizon joined the group in 2013 as the first U.S.-based member and serves on both the Leadership Assembly and Operational Board. Other members include AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, KPN, Orange, Proximus, Rogers, Swisscom, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, TeliaSonera, and Vodafone.
We encourage our partners to take steps to ensure that their products do not include materials that either directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (or in any adjoining country). Our Conflict Minerals Statement contains more information on our approach to this issue and is available here: verizon.com/about/our-company/company-policies/conflict-mineral.
We’re working to use the power of digital technology to give people and society the ability to drive positive change, and we understand that in order to achieve this mission it is imperative that we collaborate with diverse suppliers and partners. That’s how we’ll deliver solutions and outcomes that meet the needs of a multicultural world, and we’re committed to making diverse businesses an essential part of our value chain. These suppliers and partners help us connect with customers in new and innovative ways and contribute to our diverse communities, in an ever-evolving marketplace.
Verizon has long been a recognized leader for supplier diversity. In 2018, we purchased more than $5 billion in goods and services with diverse suppliers, including businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans, LGBT and people with disabilities. This brings our total to $35B spent to date with diverse suppliers, directly and indirectly, since 2011. Verizon is a charter member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, a coalition of 28 companies that each spends more than $1 billion every year with diverse suppliers.
We operate a robust set of supplier diversity initiatives that include designed collaboration with executive champions from across our business. This creates opportunities for diverse businesses, advocacy and outreach. You can read more about our supplier diversity program here: verizon.com/about/our-company/supplier-diversity.
We’re proud to have earned numerous supplier diversity and inclusion awards. In 2018, these recognitions included: