Our ESG strategy

Our ESG strategy is to effectively govern and manage the environmental and social risks and opportunities that arise from our core business strategy. We believe that we will create long-term value for our shareholders by extending our network leadership through continued innovation for the benefit of both our company and society at large. We aim to provide our customers with best-in-class experiences while fostering a culture based on integrity and respect.

ShareholdersCreate long-term value through growth in both revenue and profitability.

CustomersServe our customers and provide best-in-class experiences.

EmployeesEmpower individuals to work together to collectively achieve a shared mission and purpose.

SocietyBehave responsibly and purposefully to impact society in a meaningful way.

Prioritizing our ESG issues

This report is informed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s (SASB) Telecommunications Services standard, feedback received through engagement with our institutional investors and a third-party materiality assessment.

For the materiality assessment, Verizon partnered with nonprofit organization BSR to conduct a series of internal and external interviews to evaluate the most impactful environmental, social and governance issues related to our business.

A material ESG issue is one that has the potential to impact Verizon’s long-term sustainability from the perspective of internal and external stakeholders. This is different from financial materiality, which is a threshold for influencing the investment decisions of investors.

In the matrix that follows, each issue is prioritized according to the degree to which it could potentially impact our business and society. Our ESG strategy cares for all of the listed issues.

Materiality matrix

Material environmental, social and governance issues organized by impact on society and impact on Verizon’s business.
Issue Definition
Accessibility Providing products and services accessible by anyone, regardless of ability.
Access to connectivity Extending high-quality communications access (e.g. reliability, speed, bandwidth, price) to underserved locations.
Board compensation, independence and diversity Effectively managing compensation, independence and diversity of our Board and senior management.
Child rights Respecting children's right to privacy and freedom of expression and empowering them to have positive experiences online.
Climate change mitigation Reducing the climate impact of our operations through energy-efficiency efforts and low-carbon energy generation and sourcing, as well as managing risks to our company and customers presented by climate change.
Content standards Regulating content that may be inappropriate for certain audiences, such as adult material or gambling, or that may be illegal, such as content related to child exploitation or terrorism, in addition to addressing issues such as hate speech, misinformation and variable content laws across jurisdictions.
Emergency and disaster response Leveraging our technology and resources to assist in disaster preparedness and response efforts.
Employee diversity and inclusion Creating a fair, inclusive and diverse work environment by providing equal opportunities regardless of race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran/military status, age, experiences, ways of thinking and many other dimensions.
Employee engagement Providing opportunities for employees to engage in sponsored activities, as well as providing support for community activities important to our employees.
Employee growth and development Training and development of employees with a focus on “upskilling,” including responsible approaches to addressing changing workforce needs.
Employee health, well-being and safety Promoting employee health and well-being, particularly through employee benefits, and protecting employees from risk of injury.
Ethics and compliance Maintaining integrity through ethical business behavior, including zero corruption, extortion, bribery or other illegal sales practices.
E-waste Appropriately managing e-waste, including processes to reuse and recycle products and component parts.
Freedom of association Maintaining freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Freedom of expression Maintaining the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Future pipeline of STEM talent Promoting access to high-quality science, technology, engineering and math education, as well as entrepreneurial skills development.
Handling of hazardous materials Reducing and eliminating hazardous materials used in products.
Land use Using land resources sustainably and responsibly, respecting the land rights of local communities and minimizing impacts on biodiversity.
Misuse of technology Preventing the use of products and services by our customers in ways that harm people, including the use of products and services for illegal activity (e.g., child sexual exploitation), the technological facilitation of human rights violations and/or personally negligent use, like distracted driving.
Network, mobile and data security Providing a safe and secure online experience for children and adults, including preventing fraud, identity theft, exploitation and cyber attacks.
Open internet Enabling consumer broadband customers to take advantage of all the internet has to offer through full access, full speed, fair handling of traffic, full information and high-quality service.
Packaging and logistics Reducing the raw material and waste impacts of product packaging.
Political contributions and lobbying Managing political contributions and lobbying responsibly, including being transparent about our political engagement, complying with reporting obligations and striving for consistency between our responsible business and public policy positions.
Privacy Protecting and respecting the privacy rights of our customers by employing strong policies and controls during the capture, storage and transfer of personal information.
Radio frequency emissions Minimizing the potential effects on human health from electromagnetic fields and frequency emissions.
Raw materials sourcing Managing the social and environmental impacts associated with sourcing raw materials, such as conflict minerals.
Relationship with law enforcement Collaborating with law enforcement agencies, including an appropriate response to demands for user information or content restrictions, the lawful provision of access to networks, and the development and/or sale of products, services or technologies for use by law enforcement agencies.
Responsible marketing Marketing in a manner that is honest, truthful, decent and fair.
Security Using security services to protect network assets and other facilities from theft or criminal damage.
Supplier diversity Sourcing from diverse suppliers and supporting economic development in traditionally underrepresented groups.
Supply chain energy use Managing energy efficiency and the use of low-carbon energy in product manufacturing, transportation and distribution.
Supply chain environmental impacts Managing environmental impacts in our supply chain, such as water use, wastewater, waste disposal, non-GHG emissions, etc.
Supply chain labor standards Managing labor issues in our supply chain, such as working hours, health and safety, remuneration, sexual harassment, freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Sustainable product design Enabling customers to reduce their environmental impact through energy-efficient products and reducing the lifecycle environmental impact of products and network equipment.
Sustainable product innovation Developing products and services that provide solutions to social and environmental issues, including education, health and products that support the transition to a low-carbon and circular economy.
Tax contributions Fulfilling taxation responsibilities to the economies in which we operate.
User access controls Providing customers the ability to control access to or to filter content, e.g., tools for parents to prevent children from accessing inappropriate content.

High impact on society / Low impact on our business

  • Accessibility

    Definition:

    Providing products and services accessible by anyone, regardless of ability.

  • Tax contributions

    Definition:

    Fulfilling taxation responsibilities to the economies in which we operate.

High impact on society / Medium impact on our business

  • Child rights

    Definition:

    Respecting children's right to privacy and freedom of expression and empowering them to have positive experiences online.

  • Content standards

    Definition:

    Regulating content that may be inappropriate for certain audiences, such as adult material or gambling, or that may be illegal, such as content related to child exploitation or terrorism, in addition to addressing issues such as hate speech, misinformation and variable content laws across jurisdictions.

  • E-waste

    Definition:

    Appropriately managing e-waste, including processes to reuse and recycle products and component parts.

  • Freedom of expression

    Definition:

    Maintaining the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

  • Misuse of technology

    Definition:

    Preventing the use of products and services by our customers in ways that harm people, including the use of products and services for illegal activity (e.g., child sexual exploitation), the technological facilitation of human rights violations and/or personally negligent use, like distracted driving.

  • Political contributions and lobbying

    Definition:

    Managing political contributions and lobbying responsibly, including being transparent about our political engagement, complying with reporting obligations and striving for consistency between our responsible business and public policy positions.

  • Relationships with law enforcement

    Definition:

    Collaborating with law enforcement agencies, including an appropriate response to demands for user information or content restrictions, the lawful provision of access to networks, and the development and/or sale of products, services or technologies for use by law enforcement agencies.

High impact on society / High impact on our business

  • Access to connectivity

    Definition:

    Extending high-quality communications access (e.g. reliability, speed, bandwidth, price) to underserved locations.

  • Climate change mitigation

    Definition:

    Reducing the climate impact of our operations through energy-efficiency efforts and low-carbon energy generation and sourcing, as well as managing risks to our company and customers presented by climate change.

  • Employee diversity and inclusion

    Definition:

    Creating a fair, inclusive and diverse work environment by providing equal opportunities regardless of race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran/military status, age, experiences, ways of thinking and many other dimensions.

  • Employee growth and development

    Definition:

    Training and development of employees with a focus on “upskilling,” including responsible approaches to addressing changing workforce needs.

  • Network, mobile, and data security

    Definition:

    Providing a safe and secure online experience for children and adults, including preventing fraud, identity theft, exploitation and cyber attacks.

  • Privacy

    Definition:

    Protecting and respecting the privacy rights of our customers by employing strong policies and controls during the capture, storage and transfer of personal information.

  • Sustainable product innovation

    Definition:

    Developing products and services that provide solutions to social and environmental issues, including education, health and products that support the transition to a low-carbon and circular economy.

Medium impact on society / Low impact on our business

  • Handling of hazardous materials

    Definition:

    Reducing and eliminating hazardous materials used in products.

  • Land use

    Definition:

    Using land resources sustainably and responsibly, respecting the land rights of local communities and minimizing impacts on biodiversity.

  • Raw materials sourcing

    Definition:

    Managing the social and environmental impacts associated with sourcing raw materials, such as conflict minerals.

  • Supply chain energy use

    Definition:

    Managing energy efficiency and the use of low-carbon energy in product manufacturing, transportation and distribution.

  • Supply chain environmental impacts

    Definition:

    Managing environmental impacts in our supply chain, such as water use, wastewater, waste disposal, non-GHG emissions, etc.

Medium impact on society / Medium impact on our business

  • User access controls

    Definition:

    Providing customers the ability to control access to or to filter content, e.g., tools for parents to prevent children from accessing inappropriate content.

  • Freedom of association

    Definition:

    Maintaining freedom of association and collective bargaining.

  • Radio frequency emissions

    Definition:

    Minimizing the potential effects on human health from electromagnetic fields and frequency emissions.

  • Open internet

    Definition:

    Enabling consumer broadband customers to take advantage of all the internet has to offer through full access, full speed, fair handling of traffic, full information and high-quality service.

  • Board compensation,
    independence and diversity

    Definition:

    Effectively managing compensation, independence and diversity of our Board and senior management.

  • Supply chain labor standards

    Definition:

    Managing labor issues in our supply chain, such as working hours, health and safety, remuneration, sexual harassment, freedom of association and collective bargaining.

  • Sustainable product design

    Definition:

    Enabling customers to reduce their environmental impact through energy-efficient products and reducing the lifecycle environmental impact of products and network equipment.

  • Emergency and disaster response

    Definition:

    Leveraging our technology and resources to assist in disaster preparedness and response efforts.

Medium impact on society / High impact on our business

  • Employee engagement

    Definition:

    Providing opportunities for employees to engage in sponsored activities, as well as providing support for community activities important to our employees.

  • Employee health, wellbeing and safety

    Definition:

    Promoting employee health and well-being, particularly through employee benefits, and protecting employees from risk of injury.

  • Future pipeline of STEM talent

    Definition:

    Promoting access to high-quality science, technology, engineering and math education, as well as entrepreneurial skills development.

Low impact on society / Low impact on our business

  • Security

    Definition:

    Using security services to protect network assets and other facilities from theft or criminal damage.

Low impact on society / Medium impact on our business

  • Packaging and logistics

    Definition:

    Reducing the raw material and waste impacts of product packaging.

  • Responsible marketing

    Definition:

    Marketing in a manner that is honest, truthful, decent and fair.

  • Supplier diversity

    Definition:

    Sourcing from diverse suppliers and supporting economic development in traditionally underrepresented groups.

Low impact on society / High impact on our business

  • Ethics and compliance

    Definition:

    Maintaining integrity through ethical business behavior, including zero corruption, extortion, bribery or other illegal sales practices.