Adopted in 2008, our statement commits us to promoting the human rights values embedded in our Commitment and Values and Codes of Conduct
Verizon operates the networks on which much of the world’s economy depends and delivers communications, data and entertainment services to millions of customers. With our global reach and extensive supply chain, it is imperative that we conduct business responsibly and with the highest ethical standards and maintain our reputation for trust and responsibility wherever we operate.
We fully understand the human dimensions of our business. We are invited into millions of customer homes each day. Over 200,000 employees live and work in the communities Verizon serves. As a result, we have a vested interest in good schools, safe neighborhoods, and strong local economies.
To earn the trust of employees, customers, suppliers and partners, we are committed to our core values of respect, integrity, accountability and performance excellence. By adhering to these values, Verizon promotes human rights and helps improve society wherever we do business. (Read more about the Verizon Credo).
Human Rights Statement
Verizon is committed to promoting the human rights values embedded in our Commitment & Values and Codes of Conduct. We strive to create an environment of respect, integrity and fairness for our employees and customers wherever we do business, and we expect that our business partners will operate the same way.
We respect the broad principles in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, many of which can be applied to how global businesses can build good relationships around the world and work successfully among different customs and cultures.
Our commitment to promote human rights values is consistent with our dedication to respect employees, value customers, strengthen communities, protect the environment and engage with stakeholders to make the right decisions for the future of our business.
Here are areas in which we are keeping this commitment to promoting human rights values wherever we operate:
We protect the human rights of our employees through strong policies, direct and open communications, management systems and training on issues such as diversity, fair employment practices, non-discrimination and freedom from unlawful harassment, and environmental health and safety.
Respect for diversity is an integral part of the Verizon culture and a critical element in our strategy to compete and deliver the best customer experiences. We recognize the competitive advantage that comes from having employees with diverse backgrounds, life experiences and points of view who can relate to customers, speak their languages and reflect our markets.
We provide competitive compensation and benefits, extensive programs for balancing the demands of work and home, a safe and challenging work environment, and ample opportunities for learning and career advancement. (Learn more about a Career at Verizon.)
Verizon is committed to the highest ethical standards, which are defined in Verizon’s Codes of Conduct (for Verizon, Verizon Business, and Verizon Wireless). We share our Codes of Conduct with customers and business partners, and we train and certify every Verizon employee to promote compliance with these standards. All Verizon employees are bound by the Code of Conduct adopted by their business.
Verizon is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining a highly qualified, diverse and dedicated work force. We strive to comply fully with all laws providing equal opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, military status, veteran status, marital status, citizenship status, or any other protected category under all applicable law. For company business, Verizon uses facilities, sponsors events, and maintains memberships only at businesses or organizations that do not have exclusionary membership practices.
Verizon does not tolerate discrimination, sexual harassment or other unlawful harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, military status, veteran status, marital status, citizenship status, or any other protected category under all applicable law. We consider harassment to include racist, sexist, or ethnic comments, jokes, gestures, or any action or statement creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
We build great networks that allow us to deliver communications, data and entertainment to our customers in ways that few companies can match. Our networks play a central role in energizing the marketplace, stimulating innovation and improving the quality of life for our customers. We use our technological expertise to develop products and services that extend the benefits of the digital age to all customers, while protecting their privacy and safety in the digital world.
Digital technology is changing the way companies collect and use information about customers. Verizon requires all employees, partners and suppliers to protect the privacy of information about our customers.
Our Privacy Principles express Verizon’s commitment to protecting customer privacy by notifying customers about how their data is being used and giving them choice and control over the use of their private information.
At Verizon, we are committed to providing products and services that are accessible to all people, including individuals with disabilities. We encourage our vendors and suppliers to develop and offer solutions that will enable our products and services to be more accessible to all.
To guide us in the effort, we embraced a set of principles in 1987 for creating products and services that are usable and accessible by the broadest range of customers, including youth, individuals with disabilities and seniors. These Universal Design Principles are now an integral part of the product design process throughout Verizon, and we employ these principles in our relationships with customers, employees, shareowners and suppliers.
Customers increasingly look to Verizon to help ensure a safe and secure online experience. Verizon’s online safety programs set the industry benchmark for child safety and help raise consumer awareness and adoption of safe computing practices. We also support programs that use technology to promote awareness and prevention of domestic violence and provide support and services to victims. Impacting the epidemic of domestic violence is a priority issue for the Verizon Foundation. In addition, we have adopted a Content Policy to help us make content decisions consistent with our values — respect for customer choice, respect for customer privacy and security, respect for customer safety, and dedication to full compliance with the law.
We ask our suppliers to uphold the human rights of workers by treating them with dignity and respect.
Verizon strives to promote a mutually beneficial business relationship with all suppliers based on the highest business standards of ethical conduct. Our Supplier Code of Conduct states that “regardless of applicable laws and regulations, suppliers must uphold the human rights of workers by treating them with dignity and respect.”
Verizon’s Supplier Code of Conduct outlines the standards of conduct applicable to companies that provide Verizon with products or services. Suppliers to Verizon must conform to all applicable health, safety and environmental laws and regulations. Suppliers must promote safe working conditions throughout the supply chain and foster environmentally responsible manufacturing processes.
We are an active member of the Global eSustainability Initiative’s (GeSI) supply-chain management software-development process. GeSI has developed a software tool that assists communications providers in evaluating the performance of suppliers. Using the GeSI tool, as of March 2009 we had conducted reviews of 20 of our top telecom equipment and other suppliers.
We support human rights in our communities by using our financial, human and technological resources to improve the quality of life, both through philanthropic and volunteer support for goals such as literacy and by acting as an exemplary employer and environmental steward wherever we are.
We focus our philanthropic efforts on three overarching areas: education and literacy, family safety and health, and employee volunteerism.
With Thinkfinity.org, our cornerstone program, and through our partnerships with national and community-based nonprofits, we are improving literacy and strengthening educational achievement for children and adults — preparing them for personal growth and success in the 21st century.
Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than $400 million in the United States and around the world to help others. In 2008, we awarded more than $68.4 million in grants to charitable and nonprofit agencies serving the needs of diverse communities. Verizon employees donated more than 600,000 hours in 2008 as part of Verizon volunteers, one of the largest corporate volunteer incentive programs in the United States.
We bring to our global markets the same values that guide our U.S. operations, including participating in activities that promote community growth. Increasingly Verizon employees around the world are finding ways to turn Verizon’s resources into tangible benefits for communities. (Read more about our global community and volunteer activities in our Corporate Responsibility Report).
Verizon is a signatory to the MacBride Principles, a code of conduct for U.S. companies doing business in Northern Ireland. The Principles require signatories to make all lawful efforts to implement fair employment practices.
Verizon is committed to reducing our environmental impact and being more efficient in our use of natural resources. We have programs focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increase recycling rates and deploying new, energy-saving technologies in our operations. (Read more about our efforts to promote environmental sustainability).
We are also working with consumers on using broadband technology to significantly reduce energy consumption and conserve resources and with policy makers on factoring broadband into 21st century global energy policies.