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Product, Service & Design Innovation
2024 Outlook:
Sustainable Businesses Must Partner and Help Sustain Others

Through Citizen Verizon, we have the opportunity and obligation to leverage our technology to drive positive societal impact across key areas: Digital Inclusion, Climate Protection and Human Prosperity.

Part of being a responsible business means supporting and assisting fellow businesses looking to change the world for the better by helping individuals, communities and economies at large. Amid the current COP28 discussions, there is an underlying international request to “do your part” in developing equitable solutions that inspire ambition, drive innovation, update nationally determined contributions, increase corporate investments and work collectively to bring other climate policy instruments to market — if the world wishes to meet its climate targets by 2050. Climate change is a global challenge that impacts everyone; but it does not impact everyone equally — inequities related to race, gender, age, disability, income and other factors put certain populations at increased risk.

At Verizon, everything we do is driven by Citizen Verizon — our responsible business plan that leverages the power of technology, rooted in social innovation, to drive economic, environmental and social advancement. This includes addressing issues related to climate protection by working with partners on programs to help drive climate equity and ensure that the most vulnerable communities are protected from adverse climate events.

Through Citizen Verizon, we have the opportunity and obligation to leverage our technology to drive positive societal impact across key areas: Digital Inclusion, Climate Protection and Human Prosperity (preparing unemployed / underemployed individuals for digital jobs to help increase their economic mobility). We are fortunate to work with a robust ecosystem of partners to continue scaling and evolving our initiatives; this includes activities that help in-need communities build resilience to increasingly severe climate events.

Verizon’s technology, networks and support can help advance climate equity by enabling progress and innovation against climate change and helping ensure all people thrive. Digital inclusion and digital equity are climate-justice issues. Ensuring individuals have access to digital resources, connectivity and training in their academic lives and beyond is imperative — including developing pathways for entrepreneurship, small business ownership and/or preparing for tech careers.

Verizon realizes that our nation’s most vulnerable communities are unfortunately the communities that are most adversely impacted by climate change. That is why a focus in many of Verizon’s climate initiatives is to support entrepreneurs and startups that are innovating tech-based climate solutions that reach vulnerable populations. For example, our Climate Resilience Prize focuses on identifying proven companies that are using advanced tech — such as 5G — to power on-the-ground climate solutions while also fostering their creativity in strengthening targeted solutions in community infrastructure, ecosystems and more. This approach not only helps communities more effectively adapt to climate change, but also prepare for and respond to climate events, ultimately reducing their overall impact.

This year (2023) marked the second year of the Climate Resilience Prize — which awarded a total of $500,000 to four innovative, climate-tech solutions providers; and Verizon will continue supporting them in scaling their businesses through consulting and guidance. To date, through the Climate Resilience Prize, Verizon has invested $1 million in climate startups and companies across the United States.

The four companies below were selected as 2023 Verizon Climate Resilience Prize winners for their tech-powered, scalable and reliable solutions that advance climate resilience and equity in under-resourced communities.

  • Perimeter (Berkeley, CA) — provides real-time evacuation-management/disaster-notification software accessible to all types of first responders and the public, and serves as a single source for updating incident information in real time — empowering emergency managers to spend less time sharing information and more time taking action. The company is currently deployed throughout central California and Nevada, with plans to expand to Southern Florida and other high-risk hurricane areas. Here is a snapshot of the company and its recent achievements.

  • 10Power (San Francisco, CA) — provides project development and finance for renewable energy generation and storage in communities that lack access to electricity and clean water. 10Power is deployed throughout the United States and currently working on extensive projects with Indian Tribes in Alaska and Minnesota. Here is a snapshot of the company and its recent achievements.

  • Sesame Solar Inc (Jackson, MI) — produces mobile nanogrids powered by solar, green hydrogen, and battery storage. These nanogrids enable communities to be climate resilient when natural disasters occur — providing immediate access to grid-independent energy solutions and essential services such as communications, medical, emergency response operations, clean water, EV charging and more. Sesame Solar Nanogrids are deployed throughout the United States, with its greatest concentration in California. It has recently signed distribution partnerships in the Philippines and Indonesia and has ongoing projects throughout the Caribbean. Here is a snapshot of the company and its recent achievements.

  • Raincoat (San Juan, Puerto Rico) — a leader in parametric insurance solutions, offering a new strategy to protect individuals from the financial disruption when natural disasters occur. Raincoat’s solution interprets complex environmental data and predicts upcoming natural disasters while working directly with insurers, financial institutions, nonprofits and governments to issue payment. Raincoat’s solution is actively deployed in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Jamaica and Colombia; with plans to expand its operations to the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Brazil, the United States mainland, and countries in Europe and southern Africa. Here is a snapshot of the company and its recent achievements.

When looking to mitigate and/or adapt to the negative effects of climate change, it will take more than one individual, one company or one solution to solve this global crisis. We must all work together if we wish to see real, actionable change this century.