Healthy planet

We humans face a host of environmental problems that only can be solved the way they were created: by human action on a global scale.

At Humana, we’re committed to doing our part to make the planet a healthier place. Through corporate policies, grassroots efforts, associate involvement, and member outreach, we work to reduce our carbon footprint and live lightly on the land. Here’s how.

Arbor Day Foundation

Humana is enlisting the help of members in saving the planet. Each time a member signs up for electronic notifications on the MyHumana website, the company donates $1 to the Arbor Day Foundation, funding the planting of trees. This money will be used to restore trees in South Carolina’s Manchester State Forest.

Business Roundtable's Climate RESOLVE

The Business Roundtable's Climate RESOLVE initiative promotes voluntary actions to control greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve the GHG intensity of the U.S. economy. RESOLVE stands for Responsible Environmental Steps, Opportunities to Lead by Voluntary Efforts. This effort seeks to have every company in every sector of the economy control GHG emissions. Humana is one of the 70 percent of Roundtable companies signed up for Climate RESOLVE.

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

Humana participates in the CDP which is an independent not-for-profit organization which holds the largest database of corporate climate change information in the world.

The data is obtained from responses to CDP’s annual Information Requests, issued on behalf of institutional investors, purchasing organizations and government bodies. Since its formation in 2000, CDP has become the gold standard for carbon disclosure methodology and process, providing primary climate change data to the global market place. In 2009, Humana received a 69% ranking (out of 100) on the CDP Leadership Index.

Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR

Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) use 75 percent less energy than their incandescent cousins, and they last 10 times as long. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a CFL will save about $30 in energy costs over its lifetime.

In spring 2008, Humana challenged associates to replace at least one incandescent bulb at home with a CFL. Nearly 1,300 associates accepted the challenge, installing a total of 16,344 bulbs. Both they and the environment will benefit, with associates saving a potential $428,638 in energy costs while keeping nearly 6.7 million tons of greenhouse gases out of the environment.

Last fall, associates were invited to participate in the Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR campaign. This campaign encourages individuals to use programmable thermostats, improve the insulation in their homes and purchase appliances and electronics that carry the ENERGY STAR logo. Commitments from Humana associates will save $808,000 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10 million pounds—145 percent of our goal. In fact, Humana is among the top 4 percent of campaign leaders with 6.5 million pounds saved already, ranking 20th out of 480 participating companies.

ENERGY STAR Certification

ENERGY STAR®, an energy efficiency program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy, has honored Humana's main Green Bay building with its ENERGY STAR certification. This facility is the first Humana property to receive such distinction.

To qualify for the ENERGY STAR label, a building must score in the top 25 percent based on the EPA's National Energy Performance rating system. To determine the performance of our Green Bay facility (which actually sits in the neighboring town of De Pere, WI), the EPA compared energy use among other, similar types of facilities on a scale of 1-100. Buildings that achieved a score of 75 or higher were eligible for the ENERGY STAR award. Humana's score is currently 81.

The building is approximately 358,561 square feet and was constructed in 1981. A long-range energy savings plan was implemented to document and manage energy-reducing efforts in the building. Various improvements to date have resulted in a 32 percent increase in energy efficiency compared to the building's operations in 1991.

Some of the energy-saving efficiencies include:

  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs and LED exit signs
  • Modification of 1,052 light towers, reducing electric light consumption by 161,689 kWh
  • Water-saving toilets
  • Occupancy sensors and daylight controls that automatically switch lights on or off depending on the presence of people or natural light in a room
  • Improved controls and premium efficiency motors in all fan systems
  • High-efficiency chillers with reduced tonnage to decrease energy output
  • Replacement of five electric water heaters with one gas-fired water heater

Freewheelin

Although they differ on the specifics, Democrats and Republicans alike recognize the need to reduce America’s carbon footprint. In 2008, Humana helped them come together on a “bike-partisan” basis to do just that.

Working with leaders in the cycling industry and with the advocacy group, Bikes Belong, Humana brought 1,000 bicycles to each national party convention and invited anyone—delegates, journalists and local residents alike—to ride the bikes free of charge. Humana associates volunteered their time to staff Freewheelin bike stations, getting up at 4 a.m. to reach their posts and working long days outdoors regardless of sun or rain so the host cities could experience the pure joy of riding a bicycle.

Results of the Freewheelin program far exceeded expectations. Participants logged over 7,500 rides and 41,000 miles and reduced their carbon footprint by 14.6 metric tons in eight days.

Perhaps the best outcome of all was that convention delegates returned home with a clear understanding of how bike-sharing programs can reduce pollution and increase convenience in local communities. And the convention host cities will continue to showcase these benefits, enjoying the seeds of bike-sharing programs Humana donated at each location.

Freewheelin first took a spin around Louisville in 2007 as a fun and healthful way for Humana’s associates to travel between local offices. Since then, the idea has continued to move forward, with Humana-sponsored bike-sharing programs popping up at the 2008 Idea Festival in Louisville and at three National Park Service sites in Washington, D.C., in addition to the 2008 political conventions.

Of course, Freewheelin benefits people as much as it helps the planet. Participants at the political conventions burned nearly 1.3 million calories as they rode around town. And the program continues to lead the race toward wellness via fun activities; an online “exergame” called the Freewheelin Cycle Challenge lets players race against virtual opponents, gaining speed as they capture nutritious snacks and losing energy when they roll over junk food.

Green Teams

Humana’s Kansas City market office is leading the way in making Humana’s market offices greener. Thanks to the Kansas City Green Team, formed in April 2008, recycling at the market office goes far beyond copy paper. Associates can recycle plastic bottles and shopping bags, cardboard, tin and aluminum cans, ink-jet cartridges, compact fluorescent bulbs and alkaline batteries. Team members have hosted a clothing drive for Big Brothers Big Sisters as well as an e-recycling drive, and they recently convinced Humana’s landlord to install a recycling receptacle in the parking lot, allowing 180 fellow tenants to join the green revolution.

Future plans include a carpooling program, recycling for cell phones and eyeglasses and a sort of internal bulletin board that will let associates exchange unwanted or unneeded items with each other rather than send them to the landfill.

The Kansas City Green Team is also serving as a model for teams in other markets, including Atlanta. Just months after its formation, the Atlanta Green Team is showing how small steps can make a big difference. The majority of large copy projects in Atlanta are now printed in duplex mode, halving the amount of paper needed. User-identifier sheets no longer accompany print jobs, and associates are encouraged to share documents electronically rather than on paper.

The Atlanta team is also taking a close look at what ends up in trashcans. Disposable plates, cups and utensils are being phased out (except for a small supply set aside for visitors), and standard paper towels have been replaced with new dispensers and roll towels made from recycled paper. One associate even figured out how to knit placemats from plastic toner bags that would otherwise have ended up in the trash.

Protecting the environment and workplace

Humana and its associates are committed to protecting the environment by:

  • Seeking continuous improvement in our environmental, health, and safety performance
  • Maintaining safe and environmentally sound operations
  • Contributing to the common effort to protect the natural and workplace environment
  • Fostering openness and dialogue with colleagues and the public

How we're accomplishing these goals:

  • In our larger facilities, we've converted to energy-efficient ballasts and auto on/off light switches
  • We've revised our evaluations of future office space to include questions related to environmentally sound use of the property; our goal is to select landlords that provide "green" building environments for our associates
  • For the comfort and effectiveness of our associates, we provide employees with an online ergonomic clinic to assist in self-assessments of individual workstations

Silver LEED Commercial Interiors Certification

The U.S. Green Building Council has honored Humana’s downtown Chicago office with Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Commercial Interiors Certification, a major accomplishment that illustrates our company’s commitment to sustaining our natural environment.

Today the LEED standards have become the gold standard for all Humana’s design, construction and leasing decisions. When LEED certification for a facility can’t be achieved, perhaps because available office space is limited in a given market, Humana requires strict documentation for the exceptions in order to hold associates accountable and conscious of Humana’s environmental initiatives.