On February 8, Barron’s named Verizon to its list of “The 100 Most Sustainable U.S. Companies.” And there’s action behind it – this month, Verizon took out a billion-dollar green bond to work toward its massive sustainability goal of using renewable energy sources for at least half of its energy use by 2025. To reach this goal, Verizon will invest in solar and hydrogen fuel cell electricity production, as well as solar and wind farms that the company can utilize in areas where facilities already exist.
As Verizon takes bold steps to address the environmental sustainability of its operations, Verizon Ventures continues to invest in various forms of sustainability as well. This includes communications-enabled solutions that drive increased reliance on sources of renewable energy, reduce waste of energy and other natural resources, optimize resource management to limit congestion and pollution, and foster the adoption of more environmentally safe business practices. Here are a few of the Verizon Ventures portfolio companies that use technology in ways that help us to be more “green”:
PrecisionHawk uses drones and advanced sensor technology to collect aerieal data to monitor wind turbines for efficiency and performance, a process which is traditionally expensive and time-intensive. PrecisionHawk is also bringing huge advances to agriculture. Their drones can replace the existing time- and resource-intensive process of crop scouting by gathering data on 500 to 1,000 acres in less than a day to detect critical info such as plant health details or storm damage.
Swiftmile is changing the transportation ecosystem by building eScooters and eBikes that hook up to solar-powered charge systems. Not only are they helping to save energy and reduce our growing need for oil in the U.S., but they’re also aiming to reduce congestion and provide a more efficient and environmentally friendly way for commuters to get home.
Optibus uses advanced artificial intelligence and optimization algorithms to help more than 300 cities run complex mass-transportation systems more efficiently. Its SaaS platform plans and schedules the movements of vehicles, including electric vehicles, buses and shuttles, allowing Optibus to improve quality of service and efficiency, reduce costs, streamline operations and cut congestion and emissions throughout large scale transportation operations.
Verdigris uses an IoT smart electrical meter and sophisticated analytics to track energy use, inefficiencies and workload to help consumers save money and energy in buildings. Verdigris has helped customers reduce their energy spend by 20 to 50 percent with its measurement technologies.
Firms like Verizon Ventures recognize the need for sustainable business practices, addressing both financial and societal concerns by investing in communications technologies that enable new, more environmentally friendly ways to do business. As environmental issues become increasingly prevalent, Verizon and Verizon Ventures understand sustainable solutions today will make for a better tomorrow. Not only is investing in companies working on sustainable goals urgent for the environment, but it’s also a smart financial push for VCs in years to come.