20-22 May 2024

James Gowen

Sr. Vice President Global Supply Chain and Sourcing, & Chief Sustainability Officer, Verizon

James Gowen is Sr. Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Sourcing, and Chief Sustainability Officer for Verizon. Since taking on the complementary roles of Supply Chain and Sustainability in 2009, his team has enlisted more than 65,000 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 is deeply involved in the advancement of innovative and sustainable technologies and spearheaded the launch of Verizon’s first ever green bond in 2019. Since then, Gowen has been instrumental in Verizon issuing four additional $1 billion green bonds with the net proceeds allocated toward renewable energy investments to accelerate the transition to greener electrical grids across the U.S. As one of the leading corporate buyers of U.S. renewable energy, Verizon has over 3.2 gigawatts of anticipated renewable energy capacity under contact and 37.6 megawatts of on-site green energy generation in operation at our facilities. Gowen oversees other green initiatives including setting Verizon’s approved science based emissions reduction targets, committing to operational net zero emissions, expanding recycling and waste reduction, and management of end-of-life-cycle material recovery.

In his supply chain and sourcing role, Gowen leads all inventory planning, logistics operations and sourcing globally.  Gowen is responsible for the planning of over $35B of inventory and $70B of sourcing spend across all Verizon’s lines of  business. Additionally, Gowen has responsibility for procurement, warehousing, transportation, quality, returns and end-of-life monetization.

In 2015, Gowen spearheaded the start-up of Verizon Services Ireland Limited in Dublin,  Ireland. He was responsible for transitioning $15B 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 eSustainability based out of Brussels), and a board member of the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium. Gowen is located at Verizon Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

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