MetLife uses green technology to reduce our facilities’ carbon footprint, drive operational excellence, and bring employees together in state-of-the-art collaborative workspaces. We implement sustainability best practices in our buildings through sustainable design, capital projects, and facility upgrades. These projects focus on driving energy savings, emissions reductions, water efficiency, waste diversion, and operational cost savings. Examples include lighting retrofits, chiller and boiler replacements, LED lighting systems, demand metering, and occupancy-sensor installations.
MetLife occupies more than 12 million square feet of workspace across the globe and continually works to improve building management systems and upgrade our facilities to drive efficiencies in energy, water, and resource consumption. MetLife strives to benchmark and certify all eligible offices we manage in the U.S. to ENERGY STAR standards. Globally, 25 percent of our buildings — representing more than 4 million square feet of space — are certified by the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design program (LEED). Ten of these offices have achieved LEED Platinum certification — the highest level of distinction awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized MetLife and MetLife Investment Management (MIM) as a 2019 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for our commitment to energy efficiency in our corporate offices, as well as our real estate investment portfolio.
We continue to build upon this success by expanding our green building portfolio and improving building performance with new technologies. Green buildings are not only good for the environment and our bottom line; they also provide positive health and wellness benefits for the people working within them. As we continue to realize the benefits of green buildings, we aim to design all new global workspaces to LEED standards and strive for ENERGY STAR certifications in the U.S.
Striving for these certifications means that all newly designed spaces emphasize natural lighting, have efficient LED lighting technology and occupancy sensors, use ENERGY STAR-certified information technology equipment, and have high-efficiency and low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water consumption. MetLife’s LEED-certified spaces also incentivize employees to switch to more sustainable modes of transportation by providing amenities such as showers and storage for bicycle commuters and access to electric-vehicle charging stations, of which there are over 80 in total at our major U.S. administrative sites.
Investing in renewable energy
MetLife is committed to using renewable sources of electricity as an important part of our strategy to cut emissions. We purchase significant amounts of grid-sourced, low-carbon energy as well as Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to support the development of new renewable generation capacity. We also invest in green investments such as renewable energy projects — At year end 2019, green investments totaled $18.3 billion.
Learn more about our green investing efforts in our 2019 Sustainability Report >
Ensuring positive health benefits with Fitwel
Healthy workplaces are essential to ensuring positive health and wellness benefits for the people working within them. In 2019, MetLife became the first life insurance company to earn Fitwel certifications for its commitment to healthy workplaces. Fitwel is a joint initiative of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the General Services Administration. As of December 2019, MetLife has obtained Fitwel certifications for three offices in the United States with more than 4,000 employees covering over 1.3 million square feet of real estate, including its global headquarters in New York City. Our institutional asset management business, MIM, has also obtained certifications for three properties held in its real estate equity investment portfolio. Representing more than 2 million square feet of office space combined across the three locations, the certifications underscore MIM’s commitment to promoting wellness in the communities it serves across the U.S.