MetLife has long focused on reducing the company’s environmental footprint and ensuring a healthy planet for generations to come. Put simply, we’re working to create a positive impact for every one of our customers, employees, and community members around the world. Through carbon-reducing programs, energy-efficiency initiatives, water and waste reduction strategies, recycling and reuse efforts and more, we have made significant reductions to our operational impact. In 2016, MetLife took these reductions a step further, becoming the first U.S. based insurer to achieve carbon neutrality.
How did we achieve carbon neutrality?
Being carbon neutral means eliminating, or offsetting, all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our operations, including our global office portfolios, business travel, and Auto & Home vehicle fleet.
We reduced our emissions by searching for energy efficiencies, changing employee behaviors, purchasing renewable power, embracing sustainable technologies, and choosing environmentally friendly products and services from our suppliers. We also implemented facility upgrades and projects to reduce energy consumptions. Some examples include inside LED lighting, chiller and boiler replacements, and occupancy and daylight sensors.
Some GHG emissions, however, are quite difficult to eliminate—for example, some employee travel will always be necessary. We offset these emissions by supporting low-carbon sustainable development projects that reduce emissions and deliver other benefits to communities MetLife operates in around the world. Some examples of these projects are:
Mississippi Valley Restoration: Reforesting 100 million acres of the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley
Choco-Darien Rainforest Conservation: Supporting sustainable livelihoods and reducing forest clear-cutting.
Kitambar Biomass Fuel: Using renewable biomass for fuel to prevent deforestation.
Seneca Meadows Landfill-to-Gas: Capturing biogas and piping it to a gas-to-energy facility.
India Solar Water Heaters: Replacing traditional water heaters with solar water heaters.
Danjiang River Solar Cookers: Replacing coal-fired cooking stoves with solar cookers.
Ambitious New Goals for Environmental Stewardship
MetLife is committed to sound environmental stewardship and in 2015, we announced bold new environmental goals for our international operations, including:
Become carbon neutral in 2016 and going forward. This goal applies to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from all of MetLife’s owned and leased properties across the world, as well as its fleet of automobiles in the Auto & Home business line (Scope 1 and 2). The goal also applies to the company’s employee business travel (Scope 3). MetLife will achieve carbon neutrality through continued implementation of energy efficiency measures across its portfolio, increased use of collaboration tools to reduce employee business travel and investment in carbon offsets for the remainder of its GHG emissions.
By 2020, reduce all energy consumption by 10 percent from a 2012 baseline. This applies to the company’s global office portfolio, including company-owned and leased facilities. These reductions will be achieved through a combination of capital improvement projects and facility upgrades across offices around the world, such as lighting retrofits, chiller and boiler replacements, efficient HVAC systems, demand metering, occupancy-sensor installations and other projects.
By 2020, reduce location-based greenhouse gas emissions (metric tons of CO2 equivalent) by 10 percent from a 2012 baseline. This 10 percent reduction applies to MetLife’s global owned and leased offices, the Auto & Home business automobile fleet, and business travel. These reductions will be achieved through various emissions reduction strategies, including energy efficiency capital projects, the integration of sustainability best practices into new MetLife workspaces, and the increased use of collaboration tools to offset employee travel. These reductions will not be achieved through the purchase of green energy or carbon offsets.
By 2020, require 100 of MetLife’s top suppliers to publicly disclose their GHG emissions and emission-reduction activities. As a financial services company, MetLife’s supply chain represents a significant portion of its environmental impact, so it is important to engage key suppliers and encourage reduction of their own GHG emissions.
Our Sustainability Efforts
As a responsible corporate citizen, MetLife is embedding sustainability efforts through our operations, maintenance and procurement processes.
Energy & Emissions
MetLife is committed to a sustainable future and practicing sound environmental stewardship in our operations. Since 2005, MetLife has reduced energy consumption by 25 percent as a result of numer¬ous capital improvement projects and facility upgrades, including lighting retrofits, chiller and boiler replacements, LED lighting systems, demand metering and occupancy-sensor installations.
We also reduced indirect greenhouse gas emissions for our U.S. owned and managed office portfolio by 100 percent since 2005. We achieved zero indirect emissions through Renewable Energy Certificate purchases – the equivalent of removing over 80,000 passenger vehicles from the road for a year (based on the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalences Calculator).
All of MetLife's U.S.-owned and –managed offices are U.S. EPA Energy Star certified and two-thirds of these buildings are certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. Not only are we working at making our owned and managed workspaces as sustainable as possible, MetLife Real Estate Investments has also made significant investments in sustainability and green building practices, including numerous new development projects and equity stakes in 46 LEED-certified properties.
MetLife is continuously striving to divert waste from landfills through a combination of waste reduction, recycling and reuse initiatives. In 2012, we recycled more than 1,400 tons of waste, representing more than 55 percent of the total waste produced from our U.S.-owned and -managed facilities.
MetLife seeks to do business with organizations that uphold sound environmental practices. We embrace sustainability through supplier sourcing and management and green purchasing programs. Some of MetLife’s major green purchasing efforts include green building materials, environmentally friendly janitorial supplies, sustainably sourced paper and Energy Star-certified IT equipment.
In 2014, MetLife was named an official member of the U.S. EPA’s SmartWay Transportation Partnership. We are the first financial services company to achieve this honor, out of the program’s more than 2,700 active participants. MetLife uses SmartWay-certified transportation providers, who are evaluated on factors such as miles driven, average payload, time spent idling, age of equipment and amount of fuel used.