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As a company whose mission is to improve the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those we serve, we take a precautionary approach to our environmental sustainability efforts. We believe that environmental stewardship also makes sound business sense because we are able to identify new efficiencies and make strategic investments that reduce our operating costs.
Additionally, Cigna’s expanded global real estate – now composed of both legacy Cigna and Express Scripts properties – creates an even stronger incentive for us to reduce our environmental footprint in alignment with ISO 14001 continuous improvement principles.
Our Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan
In 2020, Cigna and Express Scripts’ combined global real estate portfolio reporting boundary consisted of approximately 12.4 million square feet. The portfolio is composed of both owned and leased properties, most of which are leased. The majority of the portfolio is domestic, with approximately 10.3 million square feet in 43 states and jurisdictions, including Hawaii, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Our international properties contain approximately two million square feet and are located throughout the following countries: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
Our strategic sustainability performance plan supports the environmental management of our global real estate portfolio. This best-in-class plan enables us to reduce our carbon footprint, eliminate operational inefficiencies, and significantly improve our energy efficiency.
Our plan is focused on:
- Reducing our emissions, energy, water, and waste consumption.
- Utilizing the “reduce, reuse, and recycle” model to minimize our waste footprint.
- Increasing efficiencies in all of our building operations and investing in energy-efficiency projects.
- Entering into “green” leases that prioritize energy-efficient infrastructure.
- Engaging employees and key stakeholders across the enterprise to support the goals of the strategic sustainability performance plan.
Green Building Certifications and Ratings
Cigna’s strategic sustainability performance plan follows the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED® guidelines for Green Building Operations and Management.
Our global real estate portfolio includes 23 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Certified buildings. The portfolio currently has seven Silver LEED® certified properties; six Gold LEED® certified properties; three Platinum LEED® certified properties; and seven LEED certified properties. In 2020, two sites became newly LEED certified: one location received a LEED Gold certification and one location became LEED Certified. In addition, Cigna Tower in Seoul, South Korea, a Cigna-owned site, also holds a LEED® Gold certification and G-SEED certification. Also, it is particularly noteworthy that all of Express Scripts' high-volume fulfillment locations hold a LEED® Certification. Cigna continues to participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR® program, with over 50 percent of our managed sites being tracked in the registry and three new locations becoming Energy Star certified in 2020. Additionally, our office locations in the United Kingdom hold an ISO 50001 Energy Management System Accreditation.
Performance Against 2020 Environmental Targets1
In 2013, Cigna set our first environmental targets within our domestic real estate portfolio, and in 2017, we set a second-generation target to achieve a 20 percent absolute reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions from 2013 to 2020. The 2020 target aligned with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius. The 2020 targets equated to an annual reduction of 2.85 percent in emissions. To support the emissions target, we also set a new target to reduce absolute energy consumption by 15 percent during the same period. Additionally, we set a 10 percent water consumption reduction target from 2013 to 2020.
Scope 1 and 2 Emissions Reduction Target 20%
Facilities’ Energy Reduction Target 15%
Facilities’ Water Reduction Target 10%
While our goals expired at the end of 2020, due to the majority of our employees working remotely during the year as a result of COVID-19, we consider 2020 consumption data anomalous. As such, we are reporting our progress against our 2013 baseline using the data from the end of 2019.
Achievement of the 2020 environmental targets reflects progress made with the domestic legacy Cigna portfolio to create a fair comparison for which the original 2013 targets were set. Express Scripts was integrated into our real estate portfolio in 2019 and not part of the energy and water reduction efforts within the Cigna facilities from 2013 to 2019. Express Scripts properties are now included in our data collection and will be included in our new baseline. Additionally, we have been working to increase data collection among our international properties and continue to grow that data to advance our environmental sustainability management.
Performance Data within Legacy Cigna Domestic Portfolio (2013 – 2019)
|Target Category||2013||2019||2020 Goal||2019 Achievement||Difference (exceeded by)|
Summary of Performance by Target:
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Target (Scope 1 and 2 emissions)
- Cigna exceeded the 20 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) target by 18 percent from the 2013 baseline.
- In addition to gains in energy reduction, Cigna benefitted from the electric power grid and natural gas becoming less carbon intensive per unit of energy consumed.
Energy Efficiency Target
- Cigna exceeded the 15 percent energy consumption reduction target by 4.8 percent from the 2013 baseline.
- We achieved this target by consolidating data centers, reducing floor area, and completing a number of energy-reduction projects in our facilities.
- Absolute energy consumption was reduced by 21 percent at Cigna’s corporate headquarters and largest data center.
- Cigna also reduced its total floor area by 11.5 percent to drive reductions.
Water Efficiency Target
- Cigna exceeded the 10 percent water consumption target by 15.9 percent from the 2013 baseline.
- Cigna was able to achieve this reduction by reducing total floor area by 11.5 percent and increasing building efficiency in our largest buildings.
- Baseline water consumption was set in 2013 on information available at that time, which represented approximately 40 percent of our then-existing facilities. To measure our achievement, we have adjusted our baseline to reflect (1) the data available in 2013 and (2) an extrapolation of 2019 to better reflect water consumption at sites that were not included in the original 2013 baseline.
- In 2020, we conducted our first global water risk assessments at the property level, which covered our entire global real estate portfolio, including Cigna’s offices, claim centers, data centers, clinics, distribution centers, pharmacies, parking, storage facilities, and airplane hangars. This water risk assessment is inclusive of our combination with Express Scripts and its affiliates.
Next Generation Environmental Targets
Cigna’s new next generation environmental targets provide the company with a path to support long-term decarbonization of operations; procurement of renewable energy; reduced water consumption at high-risk and high-priority sites; and reduced waste and increased landfill diversion rates.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
- 50 percent reduction of Scope 1 and 2 emissions from 2019 baseline by 2030
- 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030
- Achieve carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions at facilities by 2040
- 30 percent reduction in water consumption per square foot from 2019 baseline where Cigna is the customer of contact for utility invoice by 2030
- 50 percent reduction from 2019 baseline for high-risk locations where Cigna is the customer of contact for utility by 2030
- Zero waste for specific waste streams: paper, plastic and e-waste for all sites where Cigna is the customer of contact on the hauler invoice by 2030
Managing Our Real Estate Portfolio
Cigna continuously monitors its compliance with all applicable environmental codes and regulations. The Global Real Estate team also utilizes a sophisticated data management portal to assist in the ongoing identification of sustainability risks and opportunities in our now expanded real estate portfolio.
In order to better manage the environmental impacts of our real estate portfolio, we utilize highly skilled asset managers, facilities – outsourced providers, and in-house subject matter experts in project management, reliability and engineering, environmental health and safety and sustainability, data analytics, decision support, transaction management and lease administration, and strategic sourcing.
In 2020, the Global Real Estate team continued to execute toward Cigna’s environmental targets, by conducting various energy-saving initiatives and bolstering the backbone of our operations, our critical infrastructure. We invested in high tech building automation systems including Automated Logic Control (ALC) to help monitor the status of our critical equipment and pharmaceutical environments to not only ensure product safety but also optimize our building operations. We expanded our building management technology platform (Web Control) to additional locations and enhanced our change management program to mitigate risk and business impacts, harmonizing technology platforms between the two legacy companies, Express Scripts and Cigna. We conduct life cycle and risk-based reliability analysis to manage business risk from failure, and this ensures our assets operate effectively and efficiently.
In efforts to better track building optimization efforts, infrastructure improvement projects, energy and water use reduction initiatives, utility consumption, utility spends, and GHG emissions against our environmental and sustainability goals, we expanded our environmental data analytics tool, Envizi, to the entire Cigna portfolio.
Cigna’s Corporate Responsibility and Global Real Estate teams work closely to deliver on our strategic sustainability performance plan and environmental goals. This work is overseen at the enterprise level by the Cigna Connects Corporate Responsibility Governance Council, a cross-functional team composed of senior leaders, representing corporate centers and lines of business with lines of sight to environment, social, and governance issues across the company, and third-party consultants. This team develops comprehensive environmental targets to guide our work over the next decade.
Board-level oversight of Cigna's environmental strategy and policy is provided by the Corporate Governance Committee. We communicate our environmental performance to Cigna leadership, including reporting to the Corporate Governance Committee [PDF] of the Board of Directors.
1 Cigna set initial first-generation environmental targets in 2013 for 2017. In 2017, we extended our environmental targets to 2020.