Displaying items by tag: 2025

US operator set to spend $1bn on addressing climate change

Written on Thursday, 07 February 2019 12:29

US telecommunications behemoth Verizon has pledged its commitment to helping the environment in an effort to address climate change by investing $1bn in green-friendly projects.

Verizon had been actively pursuing funding for its environmental commitments by using lower-cost bonds that appeal to a growing block of environmentally-sensitive investors. This week the US operator borrowed $1bn courtesy of a so-called green bond which basically allows them to spend the proceeds on projects that will create a positive impact on the environment.

The injection of capital will significantly help Verizon fulfill its promise from 2018, when it said that it intends to cover at least half of its energy use with renewable sources by 2025. It was further disclosed that new projects will include solar and hydrogen fuel cell electricity production at its existing properties and other investments will be made in larger solar and wind farms in areas in close proximity to its facilities nationwide.

Jim Gowen, Vice President for Verizon’s global supply chain expressed his delight at the investment boost and said it illustrated further proof of its commitment to creating a cleaner and more sustainable environment.

Gowen said, “This is now a real game changer. The whole goal of this new bond was to focus on a new, unique funding source.”

In addition to this, the bond issue was a huge success from a financial perspective. Wall Street underwriters had eight times more orders to buy bonds than bonds to sell which ultimately allowed them to reduce Verizon’s borrowing cost below the rate on its typical corporate debt. Verizon declined to specify the exact borrowing rate.

Green bond issuance rocketed to $167 billion worldwide last year, which represented almost a quadruple increase from the level in 2015. Projections appear to indicate that it has resonated with investors so much so that the sector issuance this year could hit $200 billion, according to Moody’s Investor Service.

The new initiative is one way the investment community is seeking to address the risks of climate change at a time when the federal government has renounced many such efforts. So far, most of the borrowing has been by government entities, but more corporations are getting in the market, too. 

Verizon last year added 200,000 LED bulbs, Gowen says. Some money will also be spent on the company’s reforestation program a commitment to plant 2 million new trees by 2030 including 250,000 in areas hit by the series of major hurricanes in 2017 like Puerto Rico and Miami.

Verizon plans to spend the $1 billion in three years or less. And he’s already thinking about how the company could spend more with additional green bond issues. “I already have plans and I’m setting up my next $1 billion. We see this as a great funding mechanism in the future.

Published in Telecom Operators

Global management consulting and professional services company Accenture announced that it will achieve a gender-balanced workforce, with 50 percent women and 50 percent men, by 2025.

“We believe strongly that gender equality is essential for a high-performing, innovation-led organization,” said Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and CEO. “Diversity makes our business stronger and more innovative and, most important, it makes the world better. With this new goal, we are sending an important message to our people and our clients that our future workforce is an equal workforce.”

Currently, Accenture has 150,000 women, nearly 40 percent of its global workforce. Over the past several years the company has set milestones on the path to gender equality. These include: setting a goal to reach 40 percent women new hires by 2017 – and achieving it a year early; promoting its largest percentage of women to the managing director level in 2016 (30 percent); and growing its percentage of women managing directors to 25 percent globally by 2020.

Accenture has taken a number of steps to attract, retain, advance and sponsor women on its path to achieving a gender balanced workforce, including sponsoring a global executive leadership program for the company’s most senior women. Since its inception six years ago, approximately 80 percent of the women in the program have been promoted or have significantly expanded their areas of responsibility.

Accenture is also delivering on a commitment to transparency. The company has set and published clear, measurable targets to grow its number of women, and has published its workforce demographics in many countries including the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Japan, India and ASEAN countries.

The company is also launching initiatives that provide women with in-demand skills. For example, the company’s Women in Technology program helps fast-track the careers of high-performing women toward the position of Technical Architect, a high-demand and short-supply role. In addition, Accenture is collaborating across business and government to further gender equality in the workplace, with commitments that include the White House Equal Pay Pledge, Paradigm for Parity, and Catalyst CEO Champions for Change.

“We embrace diversity as a source of creativity and competitive advantage,” said Omar Boulos, regional managing director of Accenture in the Middle East and North Africa. “As we work toward ‘50 by 2025’, globally and in the Middle East region, our goal is to create a truly human environment where people have a real sense of belonging, where they can show up every day, be who they are and be their best, both professionally and personally.”

A report by ABI Research who help to make transformative technology decisions, predicts that 5G will generate massive revenue once it is up-and-running in 2025, expected to produce $247 billion revenue. According to the report, majority of the revenue will be fueled by users in North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific.

“5G will be a fast-growing cellular technology, most probably faster than preceding generations including 4G,” says Joe Hoffman, managing director and vice president at ABI Research. “The technology migration over the next few years will mean the continued decline of 2G. 3G and 4G will grow in many markets but 5G will generate new use cases and market revenues.”

5G is still a way off, expected to be introduced in 2020 when standards bodies will have finalized things. When 5G is in place and running successfully, the rollout will be superfast, boosted by vendors and operators competing to deliver the best broadband services to their customers.

The major predicted issues facing the rollout of 5G are not so much about the technology needed to implement it, but rather issues that surround 5G such as spectrum fragmentation, coverage range, availability of devices, and CAPEX/OPEX. To be a success, 5G ultimately needs to produce clear use cases proving that 5G is profitable and worth taking on.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will be one of the main drivers of 5G, as it requires millions of widespread devices to be reliably connected. To facilitate the massive demand of IoT, ABI Research predicts 8.5 million small cells to be deployed by 2020 to place the infrastructure needed for a rapid 5G millimeter wave rollout.

“The 5G Network of Tomorrow will, over time, evolve to embrace cellular, Wi-Fi, and wired connectivity, in addition to millimeter wave,” says Mr. Hoffman. “It will be better, cheaper, greener, and incredibly high-speed wireless data access for the mass market that will cause business innovation to explode.”

Even though 5G isn’t expected to be active until 2020, many mobile operators from regions in North America and Asia Pacific have already announced plans and projects to roll out their own 5G initiatives.

Verizon Wireless, NTT DoCoMo, KT and SK Telecom have formed the 5G Open Trial Specification Alliance, which plans to develop an aligned 5G trial specification that would serve as a common, extendable platform for different 5G trial activity around the world, focused on technical fundamentals and promoting a more inclusive, open, and collaborative approach to the development of 5G trial networks.

The Alliance plans to focus on 5G radio interface trial activities and provide the wireless industry with the ability to test and ensure the success and efficiency of 5G technical components. The coordination of this is already underway, with technical trials to take place from 2016-2018.

Published in Finance