-- Funding will provide small businesses with tools and education to help them reduce their carbon emissions
-- Initiative underscores Citizen Verizon, the company's responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement
Today, Verizon announced a $1 million grant to We Mean Business, a global coalition of nonprofit organizations working with the world's most influential businesses to take action on climate change. The funding will help the We Mean Business coalition to provide one million small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) globally with tech-enabled carbon footprint quantification tools and the necessary education to enable a 50% reduction of their carbon emissions by 2030--with the goal to become net zero before 2050. This initiative underscores Citizen Verizon, the company's responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement.
"Small and medium businesses account for the majority of businesses worldwide, giving them a unique opportunity to enact significant impact on climate change," said Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at Verizon. "Through Citizen Verizon, we are committed to helping these businesses thrive, especially those with minority ownership, and providing the tools to have a long-lasting impact on their sustainability efforts."
A portion of the funds will help to support climate curricula and online emissions assessment tools, online classes, and coaching for 10,000 SMEs ready to move to climate implementation.
"Mobilizing SMEs to cut emissions is critical to addressing the climate crisis," said Maria Mendiluce, CEO of We Mean Business. "For major corporations to deliver on their climate commitments they need to work with suppliers to reduce emissions at pace. We are delighted to be partnering with Verizon to provide tools and resources for SMEs to get started on their journey to net-zero through the SME Climate Hub; a new initiative launched this week, with support from Amazon, by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, Race to Zero and the We Mean Business coalition."
Verizon's own sustainability goals are to source or generate renewable energy equivalent to 50% of its total annual electricity consumption by 2025 and be carbon neutral in its operations by 2035. Earlier this year, the company joined The Climate Pledge - a commitment co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early.
"We congratulate Verizon on the announcement of their support for the We Mean Business coalition," said Kara Hurst, VP, Sustainability, Amazon. "Through this very generous contribution, the We Mean Business coalition can continue to deepen its commitment to mobilize global supply chains, including small and medium enterprises, to take and scale-up measurable and direct action on climate change."
Verizon is also supporting the transition to a greener grid by making substantial investments in renewable energy. The company recently announced the pricing of its second $1 billion Green Bond offering, with net proceeds being used primarily for long-term renewable energy purchase agreements, which support the construction of solar and wind facilities that will bring new renewable energy to the grids that power its networks.
As a leading technology company, Verizon is committed to integrating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including:
-- SDG4: Quality education
-- SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy
-- SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
-- SDG 13: Climate action and
-- SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions.
To learn more about how Verizon is helping to deliver on its mission to move the world forward, visit: verizon.com/citizenverizon.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is celebrating its 20th year as one of the world's leading providers of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $131.9 billion in 2019. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers' demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.
About the We Mean Business coalition:
We Mean Business is a global coalition of nonprofit organizations working with the world's most influential businesses to take action on climate change. The coalition brings together seven organizations: BSR, CDP, Ceres, The B Team, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Together we catalyze business action to drive policy ambition and accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Find out more at: wemeanbusinesscoaltion.org.
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