To achieve Cigna's mission of improving the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those we serve, we strive to create connections that earn trust. By connecting our mission and actions to our commitment to corporate responsibility, we are able to leverage our unique expertise and resources to add value to society and our stakeholders.
The annual Cigna Connects Corporate Responsibility Report details our progress to advance the key social, environmental and economic issues that our Cigna Connects platform is centered on: Health and Well-Being; the Environment; and Inclusive, Responsible Business.
Sustainable Health Care
As a global health service company, we have unique visibility into what works in health care systems–in the United States, as well as around the world. Cigna is committed to creating a more sustainable health care system. Our combination with Express Scripts allows even more opportunities to accelerate the pace of change and to more deeply "connect the dots" across an individual's health journey and reduce the complexity in the system for our customers and patients. Together, we look to help people stay and get healthy by creating greater affordability, choice, and predictability for customers, patients, and stakeholders.
Whole Person Health
Consistent with our commitment to create a more sustainable, coordinated health care system, in 2018, Cigna evolved our approach to health to emphasize the coordination of services around the individual and their whole person health–both body and mind. As part of this effort, we commissioned an important 2018 study that has broadened attention to how loneliness and a lack of human connection contributes to poor health and, conversely, the importance of regular, meaningful, in-person interactions in promoting better physical and emotional health. This study found that nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone.
On a global scale, Cigna has commissioned the Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey for 5 consecutive years. This year, the survey found that 64% of people around the world work in an "always on" culture which causes stress, and adversely affects both physical and mental well-being. By assessing the challenges that consumers are facing, Cigna is better able to support our customers and patients' health by creating tailored solutions to support each dimension of well-being.
In addition to these global efforts, Cigna also recognized and was the first in our industry to step up to address the opioid epidemic in the United States. Beginning in 2016, we partnered with physicians, dentists, and community leaders to change overprescribing patterns and help to reduce prescribed opioids to Cigna customers by 25% in less than 2 years. Cigna expanded our goal to reduce opioid overdoses by 25% among our commercial customers in targeted communities by the end of 2021.
Planetary Health and Community Health
Because the health of people and the health of the planet are so closely connected, we are committed to advancing the conversation on how the quality of our air, water, and soil impacts community health. We are also committed to reducing our own environmental footprint. Over the past 5 years, we've made significant reductions to Cigna's greenhouse gas emissions and continue our efforts towards our energy and water consumption targets while growing our business. We are currently tracking to meet our 2020 environmental targets ahead of schedule.
Additionally, at the time of our combination with Express Scripts, Cigna collectively committed to an incremental investment of $200 million in the Cigna Foundation to advance health and well-being of our communities. As part of this investment, the Cigna Foundation designated $25 million for a new, 5-year community engagement initiative, called Healthier Kids For Our Future, which will support the well-being of children around the world, with an initial focus on addressing food insecurities.
Cigna also addresses the different dimensions of community health through our World of Difference Grants which provide funding to nonprofit organizations to help improve health opportunities in communities around the globe. In 2018, we've funded 15 organizations. Further, our Health Improvement Tour delivers free biometrics screening and coaching to underserved populations in over 130 communities across the U.S.
Diversity and Inclusion
I have personally signed on to the pledge for CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion to join the business community in advancing this critical topic. In 2018, over 4,000 of our employees participated in Cigna's colleague resource groups, where they were able to create more cross-cultural understanding, and bring that understanding to the customers, patients, and communities we serve. In 2018, we also rolled out employee unconscious bias training; increased our support and mentoring programs for diverse suppliers; and celebrated the 10th year of Cigna's Health Equity Council–which oversees Cigna's strategies and programs to address systematic disadvantages that lead to health disparities within populations.
We are proud of our progress to date, but recognize that there is always more to be done. Thank you for your interest in learning more about our efforts to make innovative, personal connections that help improve the health of people, communities, and the environment. We look forward to updating you on our progress, and we invite you to connect and partner with us on our corporate responsibility journey.
David M. Cordani
President and CEO