As a global health service company, we make a connection between personal health and the health of our environment. Cigna considers managing the risks and opportunities associated with climate change as a significant aspect of conducting our operations responsibly and as a factor affecting our business strategy as a whole.
As a company whose mission is to help the people we serve to improve their health, well-being, and sense of security, we take a precautionary approach to our environmental sustainability efforts believing that environmental stewardship has a health impact and also makes sound business sense as we are able to identify new efficiencies and make strategic investments that reduce our environmental impacts and our operating costs.
We manage risks associated with energy and fuel costs through our emissions reduction projects and our tracking and monitoring of progress toward energy reduction targets. Our Global Real Estate team considers this potential risk to inform decision making on investments in emissions reduction projects.
We manage risks associated with changes in physical climate parameters through a comprehensive business continuity program. Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and typhoons, could impact our business services distribution capacities and may cause damage to physical assets. Cigna is committed to excellence in helping our customers enhance and extend their lives and protect their financial security. Such a commitment requires that we be prepared to provide our services and offer our products virtually without fail. Cigna's Customer Disaster Response also may need to make temporary policy changes, such as waiving various medical requirements, refilling prescriptions, and expanding its help line, to proactively address customer service issues and provide personal assistance and support for all affected by a disaster.
Additionally, Cigna’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) often opens its telephone lines to offer members of the impacted communities access to trained clinicians via the telephonic EAP services, regardless if callers have Cigna EAP or not. The EAP may also offer immediate access to on-site Critical Incident Services support for Cigna clients.
Strategic Sustainability Objectives
Cigna’s Global Real Estate team has adopted a Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan designed to execute a best-in-class environmental sustainability program.
To deliver on our Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan, we are establishing programs and policies that can result in significant improvements in energy efficiency. This plan follows the United States Green Building Council’s LEED® guidelines for Green Building Operations and Management.
We are focused on:
- Reducing our emissions; energy and water consumption; and waste to landfill
- Reusing and recycling more of what we consume
- Increasing efficiencies in all our operations
- Engaging with our employees and key stakeholders to support our Cigna Connects corporate responsibility platform
Another facet of the new Strategic Sustainability Plan is the setting of environmental cost and conservation targets for our domestic portfolio. The chief goals are to reduce carbon emissions, support a cleaner environment, and lower the cost of building operations.
To work towards these environmental sustainability goals, we are monitoring our emissions, energy, and water performance. We are also making capital investments to support our reduction targets. Additionally, we are engaging our employees on behavioral change initiatives and integrating the principles of sustainability into decision-making processes.
As we move forward, we look to new methodologies that directly align targets with the latest science supporting global efforts to limit climate warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.
Green Building Certifications and Ratings
Cigna has many owned and leased buildings which have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System certification. We continue to pursue additional certifications and assess the resource efficiency of our building operations.
Identifying Energy and Emissions Reductions Opportunities
To increase energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions, we have prioritized the following areas of focus: Real Estate, Business Travel, and Information Technology.
To manage progress against our emissions reduction targets, we utilize a proprietary technology data management portal and tool to aggregate data for all the sustainability program efforts. The tool provides a detailed dashboard of energy cost, consumption, and variance across our real estate portfolio.
Deploying Water Efficient Technologies and Practices
To reduce water consumption, save energy, and improve environmental well-being, we use a variety of strategies and technologies that lessen the burden on potable water supply and wastewater systems. Additionally, we measure and track water usage at each location in order to better target properties and implement projects that will effectively lower water use as we work towards our conservation targets.
Waste Reduction and Recycling Programs
To reduce the quantity of waste while improving the building environment, we apply best practices in materials selection, waste disposal, and waste reduction as well as responsible procurement practices. Cigna employs numerous recycling programs to assist us with our waste management efforts.
As part of Cigna's environmental sustainability records management programs, paper records which are no longer needed must be destroyed. We call this our “100% Paper Shredding Policy” and it ensures that confidential documents are not accidentally discarded in the regular trash and that our paper waste is being recycled instead of finding its way to landfills.
Cigna's GreenSTEPS program combines our commitment to corporate responsibility with the enthusiasm of our team. GreenSTEPS (Sustainability Team for Environmental Protection and Stewardship) is a voluntary group of Cigna employees who are passionate about the environment and want to take steps in both their personal and professional lives to make a positive impact.
In addition to being inside advocates for Cigna's environmental sustainability efforts, GreenSTEPS members also engage with their communities through local environmental projects.
Collaboration and Transparency
Our Cigna Connects corporate responsibility team works closely with our Cigna Global Real Estate team. We utilize a proprietary technology data management portal to assist in the ongoing identification of sustainability risks and mitigation opportunities in our overall real estate portfolio. Quarterly sustainability reports are produced and shared internally. We report externally on our environmental sustainability performance annually through the CDP Climate Change Information Request and through our own Cigna Connects Corporate Responsibility Report.