In 2018, Humana established next-generation goals to uphold our pledge to make the planet healthier. We set out to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions (which includes energy) by 10.5% (from a 2017 baseline) and increase our waste diversion rate to 60% by the end of 2022. Not only have we met our goals early, but we’re pushing to go beyond our baseline. Now through 2022, we’ll continue to bring environmental sustainability to life through innovative programs and proven practices. Our Environmental Sustainability team is creating a more robust next generation goal that will align with the Science Based Target Initiative to reduce climate change. While we aren’t ready to release this goal just yet, we look forward to pushing that needle even higher to reduce our impact on the planet.
Benchmarks and measurements are key to managing our impact on the environment. We are committed to measuring and reporting on our progress in a transparent and authentic way.
These are the goals we set out to achieve and the progress we made in 2020:
In 2020, Humana targeted the West Chester, Ohio Pharmacy Distribution site to pursue our subset goal of zero waste certification and is on track to be a , opens new window by the end of 2022.
Formalizing our commitment
In a step forward for our company, we formalized our commitment to the environment by publishing our , PDF opens new window. We developed the policy to provide transparency into our environmental sustainability work; that’s our way of sharing how we plan to fulfill our mission while operating our business responsibly to create long-term and sustainable value.
Putting energy into reducing energy
Continuous investment and improvement in our facilities is critical to achieve energy efficient buildings and reduce the amount of energy we use. One example is a project tested in our Louisville Waterside facility to increase the use of outside air and ability to utilize that air to cool and bring more fresh air into the location to increase the air quality.
We’re continuing to replace all lights in our owned and leased facilities with LEDs and pursuing the goal of reaching Energy Star certification in all eligible Humana locations. In 2020, 22 Humana sites were Energy Star certified and 15 of those sites were part of the new tenant spaces category—which Energy Star reported was the highest number of certified tenant spaces by a single company.
Flexible ways of working translates to fewer emissions
Offering our employees flexibility in how they work was a hallmark of our company culture even before the pandemic. In 2019, nearly 40% of our employee population worked in a flexible way. When our employees work from home, or when they divide their time between working from home and working in the office, we produce fewer emissions. This type of work flexibility is now part of our corporate strategy because it’s an all-around win for our employees, for our business and for the planet.
In 2020, most of our employees worked from home due to COVID-19. This gave us the opportunity to Rethink Routine and surface additional ways to be more sustainable. We added a new metric and more robust methodology to the way we calculate employee work-at-home emissions. Like many companies, we didn’t include employee work-at-home emissions previously, but we did utilize reduced employee commute emissions in our calculations. Going forward we will include employee work-at-home emissions and will expand the education and programs to support our employees and reducing their emissions. A number of our buildings were temporarily shut down and put into “hibernation” to conserve energy while employees were away, so we took advantage of our empty buildings to expedite work to repair and replace equipment and infrastructure, which will result in a better employee experience and increased energy efficient buildings.
Driving toward greener transportation and renewable energy
For the past several years, Humana has administered a commute survey to our employees to identify how they are traveling to work and to encourage use of alternative transportation. But in 2020, due to COVID-19 and most of our employees working from home, it didn’t make sense to ask how employees commuted to work or will in the future. So we added a new metric. We started calculating our employee work-at-home emissions. We will continue to use this new metric going forward to support our journey in transparency and holistic assessment of environmental impact.
As a company, we’re making our fleet greener. We’re continuing to equip our mobile marketing offices with solar panels and creating a strategy to electrify the entire fleet. All of our mobile marketing offices were fitted with solar panels—thanks to an idea from an employee who was empowered to think outside the box and do the right thing.
Humana’s mobile marketing offices offer potential members the opportunity to talk 1-on-1 with a marketing agent and enroll in a plan by bringing the office to them. These mobile marketing offices are vans equipped with Wi-Fi, televisions, lights, speakers and cameras. In order to generate electricity to the van for the day, one would have to start the engine every 20 minutes to power the battery and use generators as an additional charge to the van. It was becoming a costly and unsustainable energy source. Installing solar panels on the roofs of mobile marketing vans allowed us to reduce the amount of times needed to recharge the battery from once every 20 minutes to no more than twice in an 8-hour day. The cost to power the van also went down, with each solar panel only costing about $150–$200.
Since January of 2020, Humana Pharmacy® has donated unused prescription medication to Mission of Mercy, a nonprofit organization that provides free health care, dental care and prescription medications to the uninsured and underinsured. The organization provides more than 27,000 free patient visits each year at its 14 clinics across the country.
Humana Pharmacy worked with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy to donate unused prescription medication from our mail-order delivery facility in Phoenix to multiple nonprofit charitable healthcare clinics, preventing medical waste as the prescription medications would otherwise be incinerated.
“Reducing medical waste is part of being a good corporate citizen, so we are excited that this new effort allows Humana Pharmacy to donate unused prescription medication to Mission of Mercy, a wonderful community resource that provides free medication and medical care to those in need in our community,” said Michael Taday, PharmD, Vice President, Pharmacy Clinical Strategies and Operations at Humana. “In addition, this new change allows our pharmacists to positively impact the health outcomes of the communities we serve by ensuring the medication is not wasted and will serve a positive purpose.”
Since the inception of the medication donation program, Humana Pharmacy has donated over 2 million dosage units (e.g., tablets, capsules) to charitable healthcare clinics, including Mission of Mercy, in the Phoenix area.
In 2020, a capital project was initiated at the West Chester Pharmacy Distribution Center to expand the capacity and capture of recyclable materials. The project included adding balers and expansion of the dock area. This allowed the ability to bale cardboard, pill bottles, pill bottle caps, plastic wrap and medication description pamphlets. In partnership with Georgia Pacific to take these waste streams, this location is almost at 90% waste diversion. This supports our efforts to achieve the TRUE Zero Waste Certification by 2022.
Engaged employees fuel our environmental progress
Humana employees are at the heart of our efforts to make a difference for the planet. We continue to offer fun and engaging activities that promote environmental stewardship and encourage our employees to take action.
COVID-19 had almost our entire company working from home and it reinforced the importance of offering virtual educational opportunities to our employees. Educational activities were focused on the environment with references to Humana’s sustainability programs, but more importantly how employees could make changes at home and in their communities. Examples of some of the activities we host include the Recycle 101 training module, monthly well-being sessions on various environmental topics and an exploration activity to take the employees through our new sustainability intranet site.
In 2020, we kicked off our pursuit of the Fitwel certification as part of our Louisville Waterside Building renovation. Fitwel is a high-impact building approach and certification designed to support healthier workplace environments and improve occupant health and productivity. Fitwel complements the work Humana is doing both on the well-being side and environment. Many of the strategies recommended by Fitwel were already implemented in our workplace design and operations.
Paper and electronic waste gets addressed
At Humana, we’re helping to keep paper and electronics out of landfills.
We are increasing digital adoption among our members, encouraging them to receive more of their information from us online instead of on paper. The benefits are threefold—reduction of print and mail costs, reduction of carbon footprint and a more interactive digital user experience. The digital adoption rate among Humana’s members is at 10%, and each 1% of adoption saves approximately 8 tons of CO2 emissions.
Our IT department has programs in place to keep outdated, end of life electronics out of the landfills. They partner with a third party vendor to reuse or recycle end user equipment in addition to computer network and storage equipment using the e-stewards standards for responsible recycling. In 2020, the electronic recycling was the equivalent of reducing 66,169 metric tons of air emissions.
Environmental Sustainability CDP
Humana has participated in CDP since 2010. Our responses dating back 4 years are available below. You can find additional information , opens new window.
Environmental Year-over-year Data Inventory