Florida Blue, Jacksonville
Corporate social responsibility is an integral part of Florida Blue’s culture and business activities and is one of five of our key performance indicators. Ambitious, companywide goals target reductions in energy consumption, water usage and waste to landfill. We have reduced our electricity usage by 15 percent, reduced our water usage by 21 percent, and diverted 80 percent of our waste to recycling plants.
As a result of our efforts, Florida Blue was awarded 2016 Environmental Achievement Award for large companies by the Jacksonville Environment Protection Board. Energy Consumption. Through electrical savings investments, we achieved a 15 percent reduction in energy consumptions over the last five years. These initiatives have saved 25 million kWh and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 25,000 tons.
Lighting changes to lower energy use: Florida Blue has changed over 90 percent of the outdoor lighting on our campuses — 1,300 fixtures total — to low-wattage LED lighting. This saved over 2 million kWh annually, improved the lighting levels and reduced maintenance costs. The costs of the projects was reduced through energy rebates and have been recouped through energy savings. We recently started renovation projects that include replacing all interior fluorescent lights with LED fixtures — 1,200 fixtures. This work will save 500,000 kWh annually and has a payback period of 2.5 years. Renovations on four additional buildings are planned in the next two years.
Building automation improvements: Building automation programs have been modified to optimize energy usage, including automated lighting controls, programming the way the chillers stage on to support building load, and speed-limiting the air handler units on cooler days. We are hiring a full-time energy efficiency technician is to focus on energy savings initiatives.
Chiller plant replacement: The chiller plant in one corporate campus building was replaced with variable-frequency drive and magnetic-bearing chillers, and variable-frequency motors to reduce energy usage. Energy usage of this chiller system is expected to be reduced by 20 percent. High efficiency chiller replacements will be completed in four additional buildings over the next three years.
Water conservation: Florida Blue has a strong commitment to reducing our water usage. Since 2013, we have reduced water usage in our facilities by 21 percent — 168,000,000 gallons annually. Water conservation efforts include: 1) Water softener installation. Water softeners were installed to reduce the amount of water used by our cooling towers. This project reduced Florida Blue water consumption by 151,000,000 gallons annually. 2) Irrigation water. All water used for site irrigation is supplied by collection of water runoff on site — parking lots, roofs, etc. — and reclaimed water. No water for irrigation is drawn from the Florida aquifer. We also use drought-tolerant plant species to reduce the amount of irrigation used.
Recycling programs: Florida Blue recycling programs divert more than 80 percent of all waste generated to recycling streams instead of landfills. Single-stream: Florida Blue partners with our local recycling vendor to use a single stream process for recycling. The local processing plant sorts all recycle streams to allow all recyclables to be put in a single container. Streams recycled include: metal, cans, bottles, newspaper, plastic, styrofoam, and paper. White paper currently makes up the largest volume of our waste. We recycle approximately 160 tons of paper each month.
Cooking oil: Cooking oil is collected by our food service vendor and recycled by a company that turns it into an alternative fuel source. Other recycling programs in place include: batteries, printer cartridge, employee badges, light bulbs and office supplies.
Eco-friendly initiatives: Florida Blue routinely looks for new and creative ways to reduce our impact on the environment. Additional environmentally friendly initiatives include:
Goose control canine. In 2016, Florida Blue purchased a specially trained canine to minimize the goose population on the main campus. Florida Blue has eliminated use of goose repellant chemicals through this environmentally friendly initiative.
Grass eating carp. Florida Blue uses grass carp to help control aquatic plant problems. The use of grass carp is an economical, long-lasting, and effective solution to the problem and has eliminated the need for chemical usage.
Paper reduction. Copy paper utilization has been reduced approximately 18% percent annually, by initiating defaults for printers for duplexing rather than single-sided printing.
Greening the commute. To help reduce the number of employees that drive to work, we encourage telecommuting and work-from-home opportunities. Nearly 33 percent of our employees telecommute or work from home.
At Florida Blue, we have made significant progress in advancing our sustainability priorities and we know that there are opportunities to build on our success and continue to reduce our impact on the environment.