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Released 22nd April 2013

Verizon claims to still be in an ‘immaturity stage’ in a recent report which also revealed it is taking steps to integrate financial data with social and environmental metrics to provide a clearer view of its overall performance.

The tech and communications company, a founding member of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), claims that the integrated approach will be more cohesive and efficient and help it create a sustainability strategy that is holistic, focused and more measurable.

Verizon has a ‘Shared Success Council’ made up of senior executives from across the business, which looks at how sustainability initiatives can have a direct and positive affect on profitability. CSR Sustainability Chief, Kathy Brown said that the process involves “a lot of collaboration between executives and the folks on the ground. We focus a lot on our data, and we don’t see this journey as involving any one data point. It’s a journey of doing business… and we’ve shown enormous efforts and growth.”

The company has set aggressive targets including a promise to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2020 – a target which it looks set to reach before the deadline. But the company is well aware that this momentum may be a struggle to keep going when it reaches the more difficult issues such as e-waste and conflict minerals. Verizon also acknowledges that this is not a journey it can complete alone; with a 2015 goal to operate with over 40 per cent of its suppliers that have targets and greenhouse gas emission goals.

Currently, there are only a small proportion of companies undertaking this innovative and integrated approach to sustainability, which is fast becoming the most accepted method by governments across the globe. Pulling sustainability into the same priority line with financial objectives is a hot topic of late, what with the EU Commissions latest proposal.

In a recent webinar, CSR Sustainability Chief, Kathy Brown said: “We can do a number of things at one time because our technology is powerful enough for us to find a way to do well for our shareowners and stakeholders, communities and countries in tackling the world’s problems”.

April 22nd, 2013

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