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Verizon expands initiatives to reduce global climate impact

Verizon set a goal to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2035 and committed to source or generate renewable energy equivalent to 50 per cent of its annual electricity consumption by 2025.

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Verizon will plant a tree for every one of its eco-friendly accessory sold this year
Verizon will plant a tree for every one of its eco-friendly accessory sold this year

Verizon has announced new goals to advance its sustainability initiatives including science-based targets and new carbon avoidance.

 

The communications company has also launched a new social impact innovation programme called Forward for Good Accelerator and is inviting applications from start-ups in any sector.

 

The initiatives are part of Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement.

 

Value chain emissions

 

Verizon announced two new science-based emissions reduction targets, committing to a 53 per cent reduction in its operational emissions between 2019 and 2030, and a 40 per cent reduction in its value chain emissions between 2019 and 2035.

 

These targets have been approved by the Science Based Target initiative and support the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the company reports.

 

The company also announced a new goal that by 2030, its solutions will help avoid 20 million metric tons (MT) of CO2e annually, the amount equivalent to removing more than 4.3 million passenger vehicles from the road on an annual basis.

 

In 2020, Verizon claims its solutions enabled the avoidance of 12 million MTs of CO2e. The emissions avoided represent approximately 2.8 times the emissions generated by Verizon’s operations.

 

“Sustainability is in Verizon’s DNA, and we’re committed to doing our part to reduce our environmental impact,” said James Gowen, chief sustainability officer and senior vice president, supply chain operations, Verizon.

 

“Our climate commitments and goals are ambitious, but the steps we’re taking now to reduce our carbon emissions and invest in renewable energy will help us become net zero in our operations by 2035.”

 

In 2019, Verizon set a goal to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2035 and committed to source or generate renewable energy equivalent to 50 per cent of its annual electricity consumption by 2025.

“Our climate commitments and goals are ambitious, but the steps we’re taking now to reduce our carbon emissions and invest in renewable energy will help us become net zero in our operations by 2035”

In January 2021, Verizon reported it became a leading corporate buyer of US renewable energy, entering into 13 long-term renewable energy purchase agreements totalling nearly 1.7 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity since December 2019.

 

Verizon also activated more than 8 megawatts (MW) of additional on-site solar energy at eight of its facilities during 2020. Since 2013 the company has installed more than 28 MW of green power at 26 on-site locations.

 

Launched in partnership with innovation agency Alley, the start-up accelerator programme, Forward for Good, is aimed at driving meaningful social change through leading-edge technologies such as 5G, MEC, AI and XR.

 

Start-ups accepted into the 16-week programme will receive access to a wealth of resources provided by Verizon, including education, technology enablement, networking and non-dilutive funding to scale their technology solutions.

 

The multi-year accelerator programme is expected to feature two cohorts per year, with each cohort focused on addressing a specific social impact issue.

“Verizon is going beyond our climate impact to help communities to not only adapt to the changing climate, but reimagine how we live, work and innovate for a brighter future for everyone”

The first cohort is expected to begin in June 2021 with a focus on technology solutions that help communities build resilience and thrive as the climate changes, with a focus on advancing climate justice for populations who disproportionately bear the impacts of climate change.

 

Start-ups from any sector are invited to apply, including but not limited to: agriculture; clean technology; water; human health and safety; food and shelter; ICT; mapping; finance; administration and data solutions. Applications are being accepted through 30 April 2021.

 

“We know the power of our technology and we’re partnering with innovators to bring technology-based solutions to a range of challenges facing communities now and moving forward,” added Rose Stuckey Kirk, Verizon’s chief corporate social responsibility officer leading this climate justice effort.

 

“Verizon is going beyond our climate impact to help communities to not only adapt to the changing climate, but reimagine how we live, work and innovate for a brighter future for everyone.”

 

Last year, Verizon pledged to sponsor the planting of 20 million trees by 2030. The company has planted more than six million trees since 2009. To advance its efforts, the company said it will plant a tree for every Verizon eco-friendly accessory sold this year, up to one million trees.

 

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