Sustainability in action
Regence is strongly committed to sustainability. We've taken a wide range of actions across the four states where we live and work, engaging employees and building stronger communities to achieve the triple goal of balancing financial health, the environment and social equity.
Twenty-six percent of Regence's employees work from home, resulting in a significant reduction in commute miles. At the same time, we've consolidated and reduced our office space in Seattle, Tacoma, Portland and Salt Lake City, saving heating and cooling costs.
Comprehensive energy conservation
Regence uses many different energy-reduction tactics in our offices: Adjusting the temperature, upgrading to more efficient equipment, changing to more efficient lighting and timing methods like motion sensors, and adjusting schedules to account for natural daylight.
These energy reduction measures have saved nearly $1.2 million, as well as 16,894,973 kilowatt hours in electricity since 2010. This is equal to annual greenhouse gas emissions from 2,483 cars, or carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of 613 homes for one year.
Regence offers a commute reimbursement program to encourage employees to use public transit or carpool. Additionally, it promotes low-car lifestyles by offering a discounted membership to Zipcar, a car-sharing program.
Regence also has a bike commuter program. We participated in the 2013 National Bike Challenge, ranking in the top 100 workplaces four months of the five-month event. Other recognition and participation includes:
- City of Tacoma / Pierce County leadership award for reduction of 2012 commute trips and vehicle miles.
- Salt Lake City Clean Air Champion for remote work options, transit subsidies and vanpool promotion; sponsor of the Utah Bike Summit in 2012 and 2013.
- Portland partnership with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, the Lloyd Transportation Management Association and Portland Afoot to plan and host the Portland Employers Bike Summit for two consecutive years.
Recycled content and paper reduction
Health plans have historically been paper-intensive businesses. Regence has expanded electronic resources to both members and employees to tackle that problem.
- Paper containing 30-percent recycled content is used in most of our printers; printers default to double-sided; copiers print only on demand, reducing paper waste.
- Regence members are encouraged to sign up for paperless Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) and so far 15 percent of our members have opted in.
- We protect members' privacy by ensuring that all paper is discarded in secured bins, shredded and recycled.
Regence is taking steps to decrease waste by capturing 30 percent of the easily recyclable material currently thrown away. We set this target after conducting waste audits at several of our office buildings. A waste audit involves sorting through a day's worth of garbage to determine what is being thrown away that could be reused or recycled.
We will achieve our 30 percent goal by creating centralized waste reduction and recycling stations in common areas throughout our offices, and educating employees on using these stations. We also reduce waste by reusing office supplies, and donating or recycling excess office supplies.
Build social equity
Regence Health Solutions believes sustainability goes beyond being green to encompass social equity.
- Our community outreach efforts promote healthier children and communities in partnership with local nonprofits. The Cambia Health Foundation seeks to transform health care delivery, and we work to address health disparities. Sixty-four percent of our employees contribute money to nonprofits through our annual giving campaign; they also volunteer thousands of hours each year.
- Regence has a range of initiatives designed to support and promote diversity among our 5,000+ employees, which strengthens our company and our communities.
- We lead the way in implementing a tiered health benefit structure: Employees at higher levels of the organization contribute more money to their health benefit costs, while employees at lower levels pay proportionately less.
We constantly find inspiration and ideas from our employees and our communities for ways to move forward together.