When you think about how you can protect the environment, recycling is probably at the top of your list. And that’s a good thing. But for companies like Unum, there should be many things atop an inventory of environmental actions.
As a service-based organization, we realize lessening our environmental footprint helps us protect the valuable resources that support quality of life for everyone. Doing our part to understand and manage our impacts is a fundamental part of our operations.
Three keys to improving our environmental performance
The majority of our impacts are directly associated with the footprint of our buildings. With that in mind, we measure our environmental progress across three key areas:
- Energy efficiency and carbon reduction
- Waste reduction and recycling
- Water efficiency
Saving energy and reducing carbon emissions is the most significant opportunity we have to decrease our company-wide environmental footprint.
Each year, we participate as a reporting member of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an international organization that provides a global system for companies to manage and share vital information about their carbon footprint based on transparency and performance. In 2014, our CDP score of 99 was among the highest in the U.S. – ranking us in the top 31 reporting companies on the CDP Disclosure Leadership Index.
We’ve reduced our greenhouse gas emissions 6% since 2010 – the equivalent of removing 616 cars from the road.
We try to make it as easy as possible for our employees to think about recycling before they consider something waste. Through our single-stream recycling process and centrally located recycling stations for items like batteries, printer cartridges and electronics, we channel discarded materials toward recycling or reuse whenever possible.
And when we renovate a facility or upgrade office spaces, we work with our suppliers and vendors to reclaim and recycle a variety of materials, from flooring to furniture.
In 2014 we recycled 1,718,000 pounds of paper – enough to save 14,603 trees or over 6 million gallons of water.
Water efficiency is a rising global concern, making every drop we use – and save – more valuable than ever. Because the majority of our water consumption comes from employee activity and our facilities, our conservation efforts continue to focus on efficiency improvements, including upgrades to fixtures and plumbing wherever possible.
Since 2010 we’ve reduced our water consumption by 17% – enough to supply 56 U.S. households for 1 year.
Employee involvement matters
Many Unum employees are passionate about environmental issues, and we tap into that energy through a variety of green initiatives. These activities include working with schools in our home communities to introduce recycling programs and create school gardens as part of a national Green Apple Day of Service.
We also sponsor employee events for America Recycles Day and Earth Day. And we educate employees on ways to reduce their own day-to-day footprint, from encouraging environmentally conscious transportation to telecommuting options for those qualified.
Learn more about our environmental initiatives, including performance data, at www.unumgroup.com/responsibility.