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Case study

Case study


Aberdeen Standard Investments
Andrew Mason, ESG Investment Director

Verizon provides communications, information and entertainment products to consumers worldwide.

We met with Verizon at the end of 2019 to discuss allegations that it had been involved in union busting and poor labour management. We encouraged the company to disclose details on its employee practices, employee opinion survey and how many of its employees are in a union.

Following the meeting, the company disclosed this information. It also highlighted that its CEO and board had identified quarterly pulse surveys of employees as a key priority, with the results to be shared among employees. This is in addition to the steps that management will take to address the areas raised in the surveys. These are positive developments, but we have asked to see further information coming out of the surveys in the future.

More recently we’ve spoken to Verizon about how it’s managing the Covid-19 pandemic. Its focus is on three areas: employees, customers and community. The majority of employees are now working from home, and the company has retrained staff with customer-facing roles. It’s also offering support to employees who are ill and facing childcare challenges. At present, 90% of Verizon employees have the ability to work from home - an increase of 50% from before the pandemic.

In addition, the company is supporting its customers with access to internet services and offering extensions to those who are having difficulty paying their bills. It has continued to provide philanthropic support to schools with IT access and is supporting communities with parental controls to keep children safe.

Another area which we’ve spoken to Verizon about is its approach to the environment. The company has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2035 for many of its emissions. It has also committed to set an approved science-based emissions-reduction target by September 2021.


“Following our request, the company has bolstered its approach to employee management.”