Telecom giant Verizon announced today the launch of “Citizen Verizon,” its new corporate responsibility plan. The new plan encompasses several key focus areas, covering environmental, with a commitment to carbon neutrality by 2035, and social, pledging to train millions of youths in digital skills, and aiding small businesses to succeed in the digital economy.

In conjunction with the new sustainability plan, Verizon also announced the inaugural “Citizen Verizon Assembly: Charging Social Change Forward” event, to take place July 28th, bringing together business leaders, activists and thought leaders. The event will focus on the importance of corporate responsibility to address the most pressing global economic, environmental and social issues.

The new plan focuses on the key sustainability areas of digital inclusion, climate protection and human prosperity, with pledges including:

Digital Inclusion

  • Verizon will provide 10 million youths with the digital skills training necessary to thrive in a modern economy and provide 1 million small businesses with resources to help them thrive in the digital economy by 2030.
  • Verizon is creating an education platform geared towards grades K-12 that will address the new hybrid learning models emerging from COVID-19. The platform will support district leaders, teachers, parents and students; enhance teacher resources with a focus on remote learning and expert tech guidance for districts; provide parents with digital literacy training; and offer engaging content for under-resourced youth. According to the company, the new program builds on Verizon’s long-standing commitment to corporate responsibility, which includes creating a greener world and impacting over 350,000 students in low-income schools across the country through next-gen technology.
  • By 2030, Verizon will provide 1 million small businesses with resources to help them thrive in the digital economy.

Climate Protection

  • Verizon has pledged to become carbon neutral in its operations by 2035 by reducing emissions, investing in renewable energy and purchasing carbon offsets.
  • Verizon has committed to deploying 24MW of additional on-site renewable energy by 2025 and to planting 10 million trees by 2030.

Human Prosperity

  • Verizon will prepare 500,000 individuals for the jobs for the future by uplifting individuals through skills training and job advancement tools.

Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon, said:

“With Citizen Verizon, our team is making a significant commitment to move the world forward through the power of action and technology. There has never been a more critical moment to demonstrate the power of purpose. To continue being one of the world’s technology leaders, we must address the economic, environmental and societal issues that are most pressing.”

Additionally, Verizon outlined the efforts the company has made through the COVID-19 crisis to support customers, employees, stakeholders and society. According to Verizon, the company and the Verizon Foundation have provided over $55 million in contributions and donations to COVID-19 relief efforts in the U.S. and around the world, supporting more than one million people, from small business owners and first responders to under-resourced youth, and building a more resilient society.