Human capital Supply chain
We procure more than $63.5 billion1 in goods and services annually from around the world, with these goods including a whole host of items such as handsets, accessories and network equipment. Sourcing these responsibly is a priority for us and one that we enforce with our Supplier Code of Conduct.
Our Supplier Code of Conduct
We expect our suppliers to comply with our Supplier Code of Conduct, which means acting with integrity, obeying all applicable health, safety and environmental laws and protecting confidential and proprietary information. Our Supplier Code of Conduct also:
- Forbids the use of child labor, forced labor and discrimination.
- Protects employees’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining, as permitted by local laws.
- Describes how suppliers should work with us on compliance and enforcement issues.
Verizon reserves the right to review or audit our suppliers’ compliance with the Supplier Code. We also incorporate ongoing compliance into our business relationships and procurement decisions.
Additionally, all Verizon employees receive training in social and environmental supply chain issues, including supplier assessments through initiatives such as green bag sessions, monthly Green Insider newsletters and on-site recruiting and engagement events. Our complete Supplier Code of Conduct is available online.
Verizon is committed to partnering with our suppliers to better the world collaboratively. In 2019, we continued to use the third-party assessment tool, EcoVadis, to evaluate our suppliers’ performance. We monitor and assess their performance in four areas:
- Labor and human rights
- Sustainable procurement
Since 2013, we have assessed 413 key suppliers. EcoVadis validates the responses and researches information from other public sources to benchmark suppliers on their performance. When weaknesses are identified, Verizon works with the supplier to create a corrective action plan to improve their current program. Both Verizon and the supplier benefit from this program.
We have committed that 80% of our assessed suppliers will be compliant with Verizon’s standards by the end of 2020. In 2019, our assessed suppliers achieved a 75% compliance rate.
We also work with Avetta, an external qualifier of supply-chain risk, to review injury rates, environmental health and safety violations, fines, corrective actions and other environmental and safety performance metrics for our suppliers working in areas most prone to environmental and safety risks. Avetta compares our data to industry benchmarks and, when weaknesses are identified, helps us work with our contractorsto review the root causes of issues and plan corrective actions. By the end of 2019, more than 2,500 contractors had registered with Avetta for screening on behalf of Verizon.
Verizon is a member of the Joint Audit Cooperation (JAC), an association of telecom operators that collaboratively audits common vendors and looks for opportunities to improve supplier responsibility across our industry. This furthers our efforts to capture not only what suppliers are pledging through their policies but also to survey their performance on-site. 639 supplier audits have been completed since JAC’s inception in 2010 with 124 audits completed in 2019.
Verizon joined JAC 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 Telecom, Orange, Telecom Italia, Proximus, KPN, Rogers, Swisscom, Telefónica, Telenor, Telia Company and Vodafone.
We encourage our partners to take steps to verify 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). Through Verizon’s membership in GeSI, we are working with other companies to identify several “clean” (conflict-free) sources for tantalum, an important conflict mineral used in various electronics, and to support pilot “bag and tag” programs that can add crucial visibility on a mineral’s ultimate source.
Verizon also joined the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), a joint initiative of the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, private sector companies and trade associations, civil society and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. The PPA works to collectively call for action to address conflict minerals concerns while delivering solutions that benefit those involved in responsible minerals trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa.
Our Conflict Minerals Policy contains more information on our approach to this issue.
Creating the networks that move the world forward means collaborating and innovating every day with diverse suppliers. By valuing diversity and inclusion in our supply chain, we position ourselves to deliver the technology that matters to our customers in a multicultural world.
We invest in programs and initiatives with community organizations to foster economic inclusion and drive positive change. Making decisions that start and end with our customers in partnership with diverse suppliers helps create the success we’ve achieved. In 2019, we spent more than $5.8 billion in goods and services with diverse suppliers, including businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans, disabled veterans, service-disabled veterans, LGBT and people with disabilities. This brings our total spend with diverse suppliers to nearly $50 billion over the past 10 years.
Verizon is a charter member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR), a coalition of 29 companies that spend more than $1 billion each year with diverse suppliers. In 2019, Verizon hosted the BDR’s Annual Summit, which provided a forum for certain Fortune 100 companies, BDR members and diverse suppliers to explore the power of collaboration, leverage learnings and drive the strategic direction of supplier diversity and inclusion in the supply chain. Our supplier diversity framework is based on strong leadership, and we’re proud to have earned numerous supplier diversity and inclusion awards. Please see our Awards and Recognitions page to learn more.
1This figure does not include Verizon Media