At a Glance
Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy
Basking Ridge, NJ
Amanda Stevens identified risk mitigation opportunities in Verizon’s supply chain by increasing supplier outreach and recommending actions for moving forward.
It’s no surprise that Verizon, the largest telecommunications company in the Unites States, has a complex global supply chain. This means, however, its suppliers represent a key area for both sustainability risks and opportunities. Having already put in place a supplier engagement initiative to manage reputational risks, the company is looking to cross the finish line on its 2017 supplier target. To help meet this goal, EDF Climate Corps fellow Amanda Stevens was enlisted to work with 3% of Verizon’s assessed suppliers and evaluate the next steps in its engagement strategy.
Based off survey results and calls with Verizon’s suppliers, Amanda determined the primary barrier to meeting the 2017 goal was communication with two primary stakeholder groups:
- Suppliers. Suppliers’ understanding of sustainability issues, the survey platform and Verizon’s level of interest, was reflected in their responses and overall scores.
- Verizon Sourcing Staff. Due to Verizon’s size, communication with suppliers does not always happen between the correct contacts, and its sustainability team does not always operate with the most up-to-date information.
To overcome this challenge, Amanda developed short videos and live trainings to improve the survey process and increase baseline knowledge of sustainability issues among Verizon’s suppliers. Through training follow-up calls, she worked directly with non-compliant suppliers to help them understand how they could meet Verizon’s standards and set them up for reassessment. She then worked with sourcing staff to update the contacts in the EcoVadis database-- a 3rd party CSR platform and rating system--and developed training materials to educate new sourcing staff. Finally, Amanda drafted an implementation strategy to help ensure that Verizon’s supplier engagement focuses on the highest risk sections of the supply chain moving forward, helping to build the business case for a new target.
As of the end of her fellowship, 40% of the suppliers invited to reassess have started the EcoVadis assessment process and 27% show strong signs of meeting Verizon’s minimum standards. With Amanda’s educational resources and recommendations for future project implementation, Verizon is on track to accomplish its 2017 supplier goal and formally launch its next 5-year target to help manage supply change carbon emissions.