Corporate Responsibility
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Human Rights at Verizon

Adopted in 2009, our statement commits us to promoting the human rights values embedded in our Commitment and Values and Codes of Conduct

In June 2013, minor updates were made to our Human Rights Statement:

  • References were added to the Verizon Credo and Shared Success strategy.
     
  • The text now aligns with the revised Supplier Code of Conduct and other human rights-related policies and processes.
     
  • Listings of related policies and programs were simplified.

Verizon is a global solutions provider that operates networks that help drive much of the world’s economy. Our high-speed global Internet backbone and extensive network of data centers and connection points provide us with a strong foundation for delivering wireless, strategic and security services, video and broadband services to millions of customers around the world. This infrastructure enables our users to connect, communicate and share information and ideas.

We appreciate the human dimensions of our business. We know that we are deeply embedded in the lives of our customers, and we are committed to putting them first.

Verizon is an employer of choice that respects the individual, inspires excellence and encourages the full range of talent in people. We invest in the human and intellectual capital that keeps our company strong and competitive. Because over 180,000 employees live and work in the communities that we serve, we have a vested interest in good schools, safe neighborhoods, and strong local economies. We are committed to being a responsible member of communities.

We also recognize that with our expansive global network and extensive supply chain, it is imperative that we conduct business responsibly and with the highest ethical standards and that we maintain our reputation for trust and responsibility wherever we operate.

Through our Shared Success strategy, we build long-term value for our shareholders and leave a positive and lasting mark on society. Our products are the glue for communications that enable individuals, governments and businesses to benefit and enhance society.

To earn the trust of employees, customers, suppliers and partners, we maintain 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.

Human Rights Statement

Verizon is committed to promoting values that foster human rights. This commitment is expressed in our Credo, Commitment & Values, and Code 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 our business partners to 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 and the future of our communities.

Here are areas in which we are keeping this commitment to promoting human rights values wherever we operate:

Valuing Our Employees

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.

Verizon Credo

We are committed to ensuring Verizon is an employer of choice that respects the individual, inspires excellence and taps the full range of talent in people. The Verizon Credo captures our culture in words and reminds us that integrity, customer needs, urgency and teamwork need to be the foundation of everything we do.

Compensation and Benefits

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. (Read more at verizon.com/jobs)

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Commitment

Verizon is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining a highly qualified, diverse and dedicated work force. We comply fully with all laws providing equal opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, disability, marital status, citizenship status, veteran status, military 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, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, disability, marital status, citizenship status, veteran status, military status or any other protected category under all applicable law.

Verizon Code of Conduct

Verizon is committed to the highest ethical standards, respect for diversity and inclusion, and providing a safe workplace for all employees. Our commitment is outlined in Verizon's Code of Conduct. (please see verizon.com/codeofconduct and aboutus.verizonwireless.com/pdfs/Code_of_Conduct.pdf). We share our Code of Conduct with customers and business partners, and we promote compliance by training and certifying every Verizon employee on these standards.  All Verizon employees are bound by the Code of Conduct.

Verizon provides robust resources to help employees raise questions or concerns and get information about ethical matters, policies, procedures and applicable laws. These resources include the Verizon Ethics and EEO GuideLine and the Verizon Wireless Compliance Guideline, which are available 24 hours-a-day; a Security Control Center operated by Verizon’s Security organization which employees can reach 24-hours-a-day to report or inquire about issues such as international cyber-security and legal compliance; a reporting/inquiry channel for accounting matters managed by Verizon’s Internal Audit group; and Environmental and Safety Hotlines for reporting emergencies, arranging for waste disposal or getting on-site help from the company’s environmental and safety specialists.

There is zero tolerance at Verizon for unethical business practices such as bribery. Verizon instructs its employees to avoid even the appearance of improper influence. We have implemented anti-corruption compliance training to provide guidance and practical examples to help employees understand and comply with various anti-bribery laws, including the UK Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Valuing Our Customers

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 our customers.

Accessibility

At Verizon, we are committed to providing products and services that are accessible, including to 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 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.

Protecting Customers’ Privacy

Digital technology is changing the way companies collect and use information about customers. Verizon requires its employees and encourages its partners and suppliers to allow customers to maintain privacy protections for their information.

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.

Freedom of Expression

Verizon respects freedom of expression and our customers' ability to freely access and disseminate the lawful content of their choosing in a manner that respects others’ use of the network and that complies with the law. Verizon supports sound industry practices for safeguarding children and the intellectual property rights of content owners, as well as the privacy and security of our customers (see Verizon's Content Policy).

Working with Our Suppliers

Verizon aims to advance human dignity, reduce waste, improve efficiency, and reduce our carbon footprint, and we encourage these same best practices among our diverse base of suppliers. We recognize the importance of integrating ethical, social, and environmental factors into our global procurement practices. We also realize that one of our most effective tools is to lead by example. Our goal is to drive excellence in these areas throughout our own institution and to positively influence our supplier institutions.

Supplier Code of Conduct

Verizon strives to promote a mutually beneficial business relationship with all suppliers to assure that the impacts of Verizon’s supply chains are positive ones.

Verizon’s Supplier Code of Conduct reflects Verizon’s high expectations for its suppliers, including with respect to ethical business conduct, fair labor practices, health and safety, information security, and environmental stewardship.

Sourcing of Conflict Minerals

We support efforts by our suppliers to responsibly source conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold) by enhancing supply chain transparency for these conflict minerals. We are working with our suppliers and with organizations such as the wireless industry’s trade association (CTIA), the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), a coalition of private-sector companies, and the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (see Verizon's Statement on Conflict Minerals), all with the goal of achieving “conflict-free” mineral supply chains. More detailed expectations for our suppliers regarding conflict minerals can be found in our Supplier Code of Conduct.

Valuing Our Communities

We support human rights in our communities by using our financial, human and technological resources to improve their quality of life, both through philanthropic and volunteer support for goals such as literacy and healthcare, and by acting as an exemplary employer and environmental steward wherever we are.

Shared Success

Under the rubric of “shared success,” we are using our technological and philanthropic resources to address critical unmet needs of our communities in smart energy and healthcare; to deliver shared solutions in education, healthcare and sustainability to our communities; and to minimize the environmental impact of our operations and supply chain and facilitate the transition to a low-carbon sustainable economy.

Family Safety

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, promote prevention and education, and provide support and services to victims. Impacting the epidemic of domestic violence is a priority issue for the Verizon Foundation.

Philanthropy and Volunteer Activities

The Verizon Foundation helps people to live healthy, safe and independent lives by addressing disparities in education, healthcare and sustainability. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon's employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.8 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities.

With Thinkfinity.org, our cornerstone program, and through our partnerships with some of the world’s most reputable cultural and scientific institutions, we are improving literacy and strengthening educational achievement for children and adults — preparing them for personal growth and success in the 21st century.

(Read more about our community and volunteer activities in our Annual Report: Financial and Corporate Responsibility Performance.)

Environmental Sustainability

Verizon is committed to being more efficient in our use of natural resources. We have programs focused on reducing carbon gas emissions, increasing recycling rates and deploying new, energy-saving technologies in our operations.

We are also working with policymakers, thought leaders, consumers and business customers to educate them on the role broadband and wireless technology can play in making our country’s energy infrastructure more intelligent.

We are finalizing an energy policy statement that highlights what we are doing to promote energy efficiency in our business and through the use of our products and services.

By making our operations more sustainable, we are also using our scale and technological know-how to introduce innovative energy solutions throughout our supply chain and network infrastructure.

We have developed a metric called carbon intensity that measures energy use per terabyte of data flowing through our networks. In this way we can accurately gauge our progress in energy efficiency even as our business grows. Using this standard, we set a goal of reducing our carbon intensity by 50 percent by 2020, compared to a baseline measured in 2009. We have already cut our carbon intensity by 37 percent, through help from new network equipment, energy-efficient requirements and aggressive energy efficiency initiatives in our buildings.

We collaborate with our top suppliers to collectively improve our environmental performance. By focusing on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions, solid waste management, water, and packaging, our goal is to improve the environmental performance of our company and the top 50 suppliers in our supply chain. However, environmental stewardship is an expectation for our suppliers of all sizes, and by 2015 we will devote 40 percent of our total supplier spending to firms that measure and set targets to reduce their own carbon footprint.

We Want to Hear from You

We want to hear from you on Human Rights concerns. You should contact our Office of Ethics and Business Conduct through the Verizon Ethics and EEO GuideLine at 800-856-1885 (U.S.), (+)800.0.624.0007 (outside the U.S.), or online at www.verizonguideline.com. Your question or concern will be documented and submitted to Verizon where an immediate assessment will occur to assure a prompt and effective response.

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