In addition to reducing our environmental footprint, we are focused on helping to increase community resilience against climate and environmental risks in the markets we serve. We actively engage with our employees, communities, customers, and leading experts on the intersection between climate change, planetary health, and human health.
Driving Local Impact Through Cigna's GreenSTEPS Program
To strengthen the environmental health of communities, we actively engage our employees through a targeted, action-oriented program entitled GreenSTEPS, which is short for "Sustainability Team for Environmental Protection and Stewardship."
The team works on projects in our workplaces, such as offering a sustainability scavenger hunt for kids, hosting an Electric Vehicle Experience Day, hosting environmental fairs, creating internal sustainability communications, and planting a vegetable garden on the grounds of our corporate headquarters.
In addition to being internal advocates for Cigna's environmental sustainability efforts, our GreenSTEPS members also engage with communities through local environmental projects. Cigna's GreenSTEPS members and Service Operations team have also volunteered their time to help build the city of Hartford's first production-scale aquaponics system at Keney Park near our corporate headquarters. Also supported by a Cigna Foundation grant, Cigna's employees rolled up their sleeves to help install the aquaponics system: planting vegetables and assisting with landscaping, building, and design at Keney Park.
Serving Our Customers Affected By Extreme Weather Events
To support our customers, Cigna maintains an online Disaster Resource Center, which is updated to offer resources specific to an area and incident. The center is paired with an intimate knowledge of the provider network, our Employee Assistance Consultant team, allowing us to respond quickly in the event of extreme weather conditions.
Additionally, Cigna's Employee Assistance Program is able to open its telephone lines to offer customers of an impacted community with access to trained clinicians, regardless of whether callers have enrolled in the Cigna Employee Assistance Program or not. Our Employee Assistance Program is also able to offer immediate access to on-site Critical Incident Services support for Cigna clients and customers.
As part of Cigna's Customer Disaster Response program, we maintain the flexibility to make temporary policy changes, such as waiving various medical requirements, refilling prescriptions, and expanding our help line, to proactively address customer service issues and provide personal assistance, and support for all affected by a disaster.
We also take precautions to ensure services are not interrupted. Cigna's Business Continuity Program sets forth procedures for the continuation of business processes, data center recovery, and the use of supporting technology to recover critical business operations in the event of hurricanes and other unexpected disruptions. The plans are updated and documented annually, and are routinely tested with end-user evaluations of the restored systems as part of the testing protocol. Cigna's critical applications run in "hardened sites" protected by emergency generators. Applications supporting top prioritized business functions are positioned for recovery at the secondary data center using modern, electronic data, and server replication.
In addition to directly supporting our customers, The Cigna Foundation also continues to make financial contributions to support those affected by the California wildfires and recent hurricanes, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, Florence, and Michael, through our support of the Red Cross, Good360, and Give2Asia.
Advancing the Conversation on the Link Between Climate Change and Human Health
In collaboration with the Connecticut Sustainable Business Council, Cigna hosted a 2018 roundtable discussion on the connections between health and the environment. The event featured an esteemed group of leading experts including Gary Cohen (founder of Healthcare Without Harm and Practice GreenHealth), Jeffrey Hollander (founder of Seventh Generation and co-founder of Sustain Natural), and Anne Hulick (Connecticut State Director of Clean Water Action). Cigna's Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility also presented on "Creating a Human and Planetary Health Connection Within the Workplace". The program examined Cigna's journey to Corporate Responsibility, the connection between, and the business case for, planetary and human health, industry trends within the healthcare sector, building a culture of sustainable well-being, and the role of public policy. The event was Cigna's first zero-waste event and featured sustainable and local food and showcased local sustainable businesses.
Additionally, as part of Cigna's 2018 multi-dimensional stakeholder assessment, we convened some of the nation's most prominent leaders on the intersection between the environment, human health, and planetary health. The information, insights, and recommendations obtained through engagement with these experts will be used to inform the evolution of Cigna's environmental programs and our overarching Cigna Connects platform.
Disclaimer: The report covers calendar year 2018 and unless otherwise noted, excludes the combination with Express Scripts, which closed on December 20, 2018.