The environment has a huge impact on people’s health and well-being. Many studies have shown direct links between the quality of the environment and people’s physical and mental health. For these reasons, Health Care Service Corporation values and prioritizes environmental sustainability. Our efforts span from building design to employee engagement.
We are committed to lowering our energy consumption and our carbon footprint. Several of our buildings are LEED certified and/or Fitwel certified. LEED certification is a mark of quality and achievement in a green building. Fitwel certification is focused on the health and well-being of building occupants and sustainable building practices. All our facilities use state-of-the-art building automation technology to lower the cost and environmental impact of energy used by heating, cooling and lighting. Several of our buildings, including our Chicago corporate headquarters, have green roofs to reduce stormwater runoff and urban heat island effect. In 2020, 100% of our electricity came from renewable energy sources.
Using Renewable Energy
Electricity from renewable energy sources like wind or solar panels has been shown to lower air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. One hundred percent of our electrical consumption comes from renewable sources such as wind and solar power.
To help increase transparency in our sustainability initiatives, we participate in two external reporting initiatives:
- CDP - formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, runs the global disclosure system and collects environmental impact data from companies, cities, states and regions and provides analysis and insights to businesses and policymakers;
- EcoVadis - an assessment of environmental and social performance that helps organizations mitigate risks and better manage supply chain.
Our employees recycled nearly 1.4 million pounds of paper in 2020.
These paper recycling efforts translated to:
- 11,632 trees saved
- 4,789,628 gallons of water saved
- 41,054 pounds of pollutants avoided
- 2,053 cubic yards of landfill space spared
- 260,008 gallons of oil saved
- 2,736,930 kilowatts of electricity saved
- 171,058 pounds of carbon dioxide absorbed
Used computers, phones and other electronic equipment that aren’t disposed of properly can leach harmful toxins into landfills and groundwater. To help save natural resources and protect our communities, a significant number of electronic devices were recycled.
Employees are engaged during green ‘festivities’ like Earth Day, Earth Hour, and America Recycles Day to teach them how to be sustainable. Our goal is to educate our employees and keep the discussion going on how to mindfully make use of our resources.
Food Service Sustainable Practices
In our cafes, we uphold sustainable practices which include:
- Sourcing fresh yogurt and milk that is free of artificial growth hormones
- Purchasing poultry produced without the routine use of human antibiotics
- Buying local products to support American family farms
- Promoting Certified Humane cage-free eggs
- Featuring social and ecological certified coffee
- Serving seafood that comes from sustainable sources
- Offering packaging made from renewable sources
- Implementing waste reduction practices to minimize environmental impact
- Providing a large variety of healthful options and educational tools
Greening the Commute
To help reduce the number of employees that drive to work, we have encouraged telecommuting and work-from-home opportunities. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation was one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. in 2018.
Animals play an integral role in our ecosystems. To help protect migratory birds from flying into our buildings, we participate in the Audubon Society’s “Lights Out” program and turn off our exterior lights at 10 p.m. in our Chicago office. Since 2013, the number of bird collisions has decreased by more than 80%.