Verizon engages employees on sustainability

NEW YORK: Verizon launched an employee communications campaign to encourage its 220,000 employees to recycle, reuse, and cut their energy use at work and home

NEW YORK: Verizon launched an employee communications campaign to encourage its 220,000 employees to recycle, reuse, and cut their energy use at work and home.

A new internal Web site, which went live April 7, was created with input from Verizon's first chief sustainability officer, James Gowen, who joined the company in 2009.

“Employees are a critical part of the whole sustainability initiative,” said Harry Pfaff, director of employee communications at Verizon. “You need your employees to be innovating around green and sustainability. And if they are, that will only enhance the success of the company's initiatives.”

The company is using webcasts and e-mail to communicate with employees and it also created an internal video channel, called VZ Green TV. 

In addition to providing energy and recycling tips for work and home, the employee Web site features interactive features like a “Go Green” Web page, where employees can make suggestions about the company's sustainability efforts.

Verizon is handling the campaign in-house.

The campaign is tied to Verizon's business goal of reducing its carbon footprint globally, but employee messaging also focuses on what employees and their families can do at home, said Pfaff.

“We believe if employees are going to be sustainable in their daily work, it needs to extend to their personal lives,” he added. “If they are not going to be green at home, than they're probably not going to be green at work.”

The employee outreach is part of Verizon's ongoing green program, which was introduced two years ago. Verizon also just closed its first ever “green” employee survey, which was sent to 4,000 random employees. Results haven't yet been tabulated, but the response rate was more than 25%, said Pfaff.

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