SVP Global Supply Chain and Chief Sustainability officer at Verizon
James Gowen is Vice President, Global Supply Chain Operations and Chief Sustainability Officer for Verizon. Since taking on these complementary roles in 2009, his team has enlisted more than 45,000 Verizon employees in 50 countries around the globe in helping to reduce the company’s environmental footprint while increasing the efficiency of a growing enterprise.
Gowen has been deeply involved in the advancement of innovative and sustainable technologies and spearheaded the launch of Verizon’s first ever green bond in the first quarter of 2019. This $1B bond highlights Verizon’s commitments to renewable energy, energy efficiency, water conservation and reforestation. Gowen also launched Verizon’s flagship $137M green energy initiative which enabled Verizon to eliminate 20,000 metric tons of CO2. Gowen also oversees other green initiatives being implemented across Verizon including the introduction of a carbon intensity metric, paper suppression, waste reduction and recycling, and management of end-of-life-cycle material recovery.
In his supply chain role, Gowen leads all inventory planning and logistics operations globally. Gowen is responsible for the planning of over $30B of inventory across all Verizon’s lines of business. Additionally, Gowen has responsibility for Verizon’s Global Manufacturing Operations, producing customer premises equipment deployed to Fios & VZConnect customers.
Most recently Gowen spearheaded the start-up of Verizon Services Ireland Limited in Dublin, Ireland. He was responsible for transitioning 15 billion dollars in annual spend for strategic sourcing of Verizon’s Network and IT operations. Over 85 industry professionals were hired and a state-of the art center of excellence was built under Gowen’s leadership in less than 7 months.
Having held several positions of increasing levels of responsibility at Verizon, Gowen was the lead architect of the company's supply chain strategy and led the strategic shift from a fixed to a variable inventory business model. While in corporate sourcing, he led the implementation of Verizon's eProcurement effort, and the standardization of Verizon's supply chain systems.
Gowen earned his master's degree in business administration from Long Island University and his bachelor's degree from Manhattanville College. He is a member of Penn State University’s Smeal Sustainability Advisory Board. He is also the current Chairman of GeSI (Global e Sustainability based out of Brussels) Gowen is located at Verizon Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
CEO of GeSI
Luis Neves is CEO of the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) since 2017. Prior to that, from 2008-2017, Luis held the position of GeSI Chairman. Under Luis' leadership, GeSI has become a globally recognized “thought industry leader” organisation in the field of ICT- sustainability with strong focus on the enabling role and positive contribution of digital technologies to climate protection. Before GeSI, Luis worked at Deutsche Telekom for over 15 years holding positions such as Head of Sustainable Development and Environment, VP of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability and Climate Protection Officer. Luis has also held positions and played relevant roles at European and international levels in organisations, such as the UN Global Compact Lead Group, Econsense -the German Sustainability Association, World Resources Forum Association and UNFCCC Momentum for Change Initiative. Luis was born in Portugal and obtained a degree in History from the University of Lisbon.