Shareholders request Verizon Communications senior management, with oversight from the Board of Directors, set company-wide quantitative targets by September 2016 to increase renewable energy sourcing and/or production
By setting goals to source renewable energy, our company would demonstrate a proactive approach to: reducing exposure to volatile energy prices; enhancing U.S. energy security; creating jobs in the United States; enhancing Verizon’s reputation; achieving its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets; and meeting the global need for cleaner energy.
The rapid growth of the digital economy has given the telecommunications sector the opportunity to drive significant change in the demand and consumption of clean energy. With the continued growth of data usage and the corresponding demand for more energy, there is a stronger emphasis on the need for companies to diversify their energy sources. Although energy efficiency is crucial for reducing emissions, there is a limit to how far operational efficiencies can carry a company relative to the reductions needed to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
The average price paid by all types of end users of electricity nationwide in 2014 was 10.45 cents per kWh according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.The average price of wind energy installed in 2014 was 2.5 cents per kWh according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Leading companies within the technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) space are increasingly turning to renewable energy to power their operations. Setting strong greenhouse gas reduction targets has also compelled them to invest in renewable energy. Eric Schmidt of Google stated “Much of corporate America is buying renewable energy in some form or another, not just to be sustainable, because it makes business sense, helping companies diversify their power supply, hedge against fuel risks, and support innovation in an increasingly cost-competitive way.”
We believe renewable energy investment is good for companies and for shareholders. While generating savings, investing in renewable energy enhances a company’s role as a corporate citizen and strengthens its license to operate – a proactive response to reputational risk.
Verizon Communications does not currently have renewable energy targets that demonstrate a proactive approach to reducing exposure to volatile energy prices, reducing reputational risk, and meeting the global need for cleaner energy. By setting new renewable energy commitments, the company can strengthen its climate change strategy.
We are concerned Verizon Communications may be lagging behind other TMT peer companies such as Intel, Microsoft, and SAP who have goals to source 100% of their energy needs from renewable sources. Industry peer Sprint will use renewables to meet 10 percent of its energy needs by 2017 and AT&T will expand its on-site renewable capacity to 45MW by 2020. These companies have demonstrated the feasibility of investing in renewable energy to reduce emissions and power their businesses.