Verizon CEO, Hans Vestberg, has asserted that climate risk is business risk, as he reaffirmed Verizon’s commitment to taking steps toward its goal to be carbon neutral in its operations by 2035. Vestberg joins world leaders this week at the 50th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting taking place in Davos, Switzerland.
Verizon’s commitment to become carbon neutral demonstrates one way the private sector can address risks posed by climate change.
Verizon plans to achieve this goal through a combination of reducing emissions and investing in renewable energy and carbon offsets. The company is also working toward sourcing or generating renewable energy equivalent to 50 percent of its total annual electricity consumption by 2025, through on- and off-site renewable investments.
Additionally, Verizon has pledged to set a Science-Based emissions reduction Target (SBT) by September 2021 to further its commitment to emissions reductions in line with the Paris Agreement.
Verizon was the first U.S. telecommunications company to issue a green bond, with funds from the $1 billion bond targeting renewable energy, energy efficiency, green buildings, sustainable water management, and biodiversity and conservation, including planting trees and undertaking other reforestation efforts in areas hit by natural disasters.
The company, which launched its formal sustainability program in 2009, also has goals to recycle 5M pounds of e-waste by 2022, reduce its water consumption by 15 percent by 2025, and to plant 10 million trees by 2030.