The Health Section

Clean energy program grows, saves electricity and water

Clean energy is essential to reducing harmful environmental emissions. Aetna’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint began well over seven years ago with a number of green initiatives. Since the health insurer started installing solar panel arrays at several of its facilities, the clean energy systems have produced over 2.3 million kWh of electricity from the sun.

The array of solar panels installed at an Aetna facility in Middletown, Connecticut. The panels were installed in 2015.

In 2015, the company completed the third installment of solar panels on one of its facilities, bringing Aetna’s inventory in Connecticut to more than 3,000 solar panels. An array in Hartford produces 249,000 kWh of renewable energy each year. In Windsor, Conn., another array produces 278,000 kWh of renewable energy per year. Since going online in October 2015, an array in Middletown, Conn.  has produced 66,277 kWh of renewable energy and is projected to produce 389,868 kWh per year.

Data centers in Windsor and Middletown are also a part of Aetna’s “Green Data Center Program,” which focuses on reducing energy consumption by using various IT and building management strategies. For Aetna, this has resulted in significant energy savings: compared to energy consumption in 2010, the Green Data Center Program has avoided 23 million kWh of electric consumption.

In 2015, Aetna saved more than 32 million gallons of water by replacing high water consumption fixtures in its buildings.

Aetna started going green to reduce environmental impacts by minimizing waste, reducing emissions, lowering water consumption, optimizing energy performance, and improving the office environment.

Other clean energy and sustainability efforts

Aetna owns or leases 19 buildings that have earned Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certifications. The company’s home office in Hartford was renovated in 2009 to earn LEED silver certification. Another major renovation on the Aetna campus received LEED silver certification in 2012.

In 2015, Aetna reduced energy consumption across five Aetna-owned campuses by more than 12 million kWh from 2010 consumption levels. By renovating buildings, upgrading lighting, installing Energy Star-rated devices and automatic shut-off switches, the company reduced electricity consumption by close to 15 percent.

Overall, Aetna has avoided 97,318,065 kWh of electricity consumption since 2010 – equivalent to savings of 67,106 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

To cut down on generating waste in landfills, Aetna has ramped up efforts to recycle paper, cardboard, glass, metal and plastic. In 2015, the company recycled 2,199 tons of paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metal.

Employees also play a role in Aetna’s clean energy strategy. Over 21,000 employees participated in Aetna’s Telework Program in 2015, which saved the equivalent of 137 million driving miles, over 5.7 million gallons of gasoline and more than 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Since its inception in 2007, the telework program has saved 840,484,365 commuter miles, 35,006,080 gallons of gasoline and 308,136 metric tons of carbon dioxide.