The journey to net zero
1 July 2021

Almost all of Verizon’s operational carbon emissions come from the electricity used to power its networks. The company’s support for renewable energy and the transition to a greener grid is a key enabler to achieve its goal of net zero emissions in all operations by 2035.

Investing in a greener grid

Verizon’s network operations require a 24/7 supply of electricity to operate. It is not feasible to power network operations directly from solar or wind generation facilities during every hour of every day, so power must be sourced from national energy grids. To achieve its renewable energy goal – which is to source or generate renewable energy equivalent to 50% of its annual electricity consumption by 2025 – Verizon has focused resources on accelerating the transition to greener energy grids. Verizon is working to bring additional renewable energy to the grids by entering into long-term power purchase agreements for solar and wind power under development. The agreements, called virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs), are financially settled and can help reduce Verizon’s long-term exposure to energy price volatility. By providing the developers of renewable energy facilities with long-term revenue certainty for a project, these agreements can enable them to obtain the capital they need to construct the new solar or wind energy facility.

As of 31 December 2020, Verizon had entered into long-term VPPAs for a total of nearly 1.7 gigawatts of anticipated renewable energy capacity. The additional renewable energy capacity supported by these agreements is expected to reduce carbon emissions by an amount equivalent to removing more than 630,000 passenger vehicles from the road on an annual basis.

Green financing

In 2019, Verizon became the first US telecommunications company to issue a green bond. In the third quarter of 2020, the company fully allocated the nearly $1 billion of net proceeds of that bond and issued a second $1 billion green bond. The majority of the proceeds of the inaugural green bond were allocated to long-term renewable energy purchase agreements that support the development of additional renewable energy for the grids that power Verizon networks. It is anticipated that the investments in these renewable energy agreements, as well as on-site renewable energy projects, will enable the avoidance of 913,089 metric tonnes of CO2 annually.

Inaugural bond allocation:

  • $636.9 million in renewable energy
  • $319.3 million in green buildings
  • $36.7 million in energy efficiency
  • $800,000 in biodiversity and conservation

About Verizon

Verizon is one of the world’s leading providers of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. The company offers voice, data and video services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control. Verizon has over 133,000 employees and serves business and government customers in over 150 countries worldwide. Verizon’s purpose is to create the networks that move the world forward, and as the world emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, it must move forward towards an inclusive recovery that lifts communities to a state of economic, environmental, and social advancement that exceeds pre-pandemic levels.

Read more:

Decarbonised energy
The Green Way
Story contributor
Key numbers
metric tonnes
Emissions of CO2 avoided per year
renewable energy capacity from power purchasing agreements