Energy & Emissions

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Energy & Emissions

Strata Solar’s Williamston Solar Farm, North Carolina. MIM-managed renewable energy investment.

MetLife has a longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship, and we were proud to be the first U.S. insurer to achieve carbon neutrality in 2016. Since then, we have achieved carbon neutrality every year while making continued reductions in energy and greenhouse gas emissions. 

Achieving our 2020 goals

By the end of 2019, we achieved all four of our global environmental targets. We achieved carbon neutrality for the fourth year in a row. We collaborated with 103 suppliers, who disclosed their GHG emissions and emissions reduction activities publicly. And we nearly tripled our public goals to reduce energy and emissions globally by 10% by 2020, reducing energy by 33% and emissions by 27% globally.

New 2030 Environmental Goals

We are also proud of the environmental goals we have set for 2030, which were established after an intensive, cross-functional process, including industry benchmarking, reviewing the latest climate science, and gathering input from over 30 internal stakeholders globally. For instance, our emissions goal is intentionally in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree Celsius recommendations, given the criticality of this decade for climate action. Together, the 11 goals aim to reduce the environmental impact of our global operations and supply chain, while leveraging our investments, products, and services to help protect our communities and drive innovative solutions. To learn more, click here.

Carbon neutrality

For MetLife, carbon neutrality involves both immediate action on climate change and a long-term transition to a low-carbon economy. We have achieved our energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals and are evaluating new aggressive environmental goals for the next horizon. We continue to explore additional ways to mitigate climate change while making a positive impact on our communities around the world. As a carbon neutral company, our first priority is to integrate sustainability best practices across our global operations and drive continuous improvement in waste, water, energy, and carbon reductions. As one example, we implement energy efficiency projects at our offices around the world — such as completing lighting upgrades, setting automatic timers for electronics, installing energy-saving window coatings, and calibrating computers to low power settings.

To offset the GHG emissions that we cannot reduce in the short term, we support third-party certified carbon reduction projects in markets where we operate around the world. Each project also helps stimulate local economies, including prioritizing things like job creation, human health, and women empowerment, and aligns to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. 

Reducing energy consumption

MetLife is an office-based organization with a large real estate portfolio. Among our priorities in managing our environmental impact is developing programs that address climate change, lower energy consumption and improve the environmental performance of facilities that are owned or operated by MetLife. Since 2019, MetLife has reduced energy consumption by 18% thanks to efficiencies achieved while shifting the majority of our workforce to work-from-home at the height of the pandemic.

MetLife’s travel policies and work arrangements maximize our connection to each other and to customers while reducing the company’s environmental impact. For example, MetLife employees can access innovative tools for collaboration at MetLife’s global offices from more than 400 video conferencing rooms. Collaboration technologies reduce the need for business travel and can significantly lower overall travel-related emissions.

One of MetLife's 80+ electric vehicle charging station spaces.

Green facilities

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 14.8 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, 28 percent of our buildings — representing more than 4.2 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 2021 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for the third consecutive year, earning the designation of “Sustained Excellence,” 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 2020, green investments totaled $28.6 billion.

Learn more about our green investing efforts in our 2020 Sustainability Report >

Healthier workplaces with Fitwel

Healthy workplaces are essential for people to thrive. In 2019, MetLife became the first life insurance company to earn Fitwel certifications for our commitment to healthy workplaces. Fitwel is a joint initiative of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the General Services Administration. To date, MetLife has obtained Fitwel certifications for three offices in the U.S. covering over 1.3 million square feet of real estate, including its global headquarters in New York City. MIM has also obtained certifications for eight properties held in its real estate equity investment portfolio.