Verizon is a provider of communications, information, and entertainment products and services. The company services residential customers, businesses, and government agencies and operates in two primary segments: Verizon Wireless and Wireline.
Impacts and Opportunities for Telecommunications Companies
By 2020, information and communication technology (ICT) enabled solutions offer the potential to reduce annual emissions by an estimated 9.1 gigatons carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, or 16.5% of the total projected CO2 equivalent for 2020 (Global e-Sustainability Initiative. “GeSI SMARTer 2020: The Role of ICT in Driving a Sustainable Future,” December 2012. Accessed February 14, 2014. http://gesi.org/SMARTer2020).
Verizon recently made several strategic acquisitions in its ICT solution portfolio, including Hughes Telematics, which provides remote commercial fleet management solutions that increase transport and logistics efficiency, resulting in reduced fossil fuel use.
Global mobile data traffic reached 1.5 exabytes per month at the end of 2013, up from 820 petabytes per month at the end of 2012. By 2014, voice will account for less than 5% of all mobile traffic and video streaming will increase to approximately 66% (Cisco. “Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013–2018,” February 5, 2014. Accessed February 14, 2014. http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/white_paper_c11-520862.html)
Verizon’s two primary business segments, Wireless and Wireline, position the company to potentially capitalize on market growth in mobile traffic and video/data streaming.
Energy use is anticipated to rise due to the growth of mobile users overall, as well as an increase of devices per user. However, energy efficiency improvements are expected to reduce the carbon footprint per user by 20% in 2020 from a 2007 baseline (Ericsson. “Ericsson Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report 2012,” April 2013. Accessed February 14, 2014. http://www.ericsson.com/res/thecompany/docs/corporate-responsibility/2012/2012_corporate_responsibility_and_sustainability_report.pdf).
Verizon, in an effort to reduce its carbon intensity (CO2/terabyte) has installed energy efficient equipment in its data centers to increase cooling efficiencies, decommissioned 1700 servers through a virtualization project, and is able to turn servers on or off through remote monitoring. Additionally, Verizon also requires its suppliers to provide new network equipment that is 20% more efficient than what it replaces. As a result of these and other efforts, the company has reduced its carbon intensity by 37% from 2009 to 2012.
Areas for Improvement
Strengthened Supplier Standards
Verizon has established environmental standards for its suppliers, however, Portfolio 21 has requested that the company improve the transparency requirement in its supplier questionnaire in order to ensure compliance.
Portfolio 21 has asked Verizon to strengthen the key performance indicators in its Corporate Sustainability Report with additional data points and specific reduction goals.
Excessive CEO Compensation
CEO pay practices at Verizon are of concern, and this is an area Portfolio 21 is continuing to monitor. In 2012 the company was criticized in two separate instances for excessive CEO compensation. The Communications Workers of America, Jobs with Justice, and other organizations publicly criticized the Board for approving a 200% increase in compensation for its CEO while the company made cuts to workers’ compensation.
Industry: Telecommunication Services
Country: United States
To the best of our knowledge the above information is accurate and was obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Neither the information presented above nor any opinion expressed shall be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy the security. The views expressed are those of portfolio management as of 2/28/14 and may not reflect current opinions or subsequent events.