A key value of Highmark Health and our workforce is stewardship, which we define as working to improve the health of the communities we serve and wisely managing the assets which have been entrusted to our care. Establishing goals related to sustainability, participating in programs and reaching new milestones are natural extensions of our stewardship.
For us, sustainability is using resources in a way that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Our four sustainability goals include:
- Reducing energy and water consumption throughout facilities.
- Achieving the WELL Health-Safety Rating for major facilities. Highmark Health achieved the rating for 2.4 million square feet of its administrative real estate. This includes the corporate headquarters and data center. The data center also achieved its annual ENERGY STAR certification.
- Renovating, constructing, operating, and maintaining facilities in accordance with green and high-performance building practices.
- Engaging employees on how they can be environmental stewards at work and at home.
Through the commitment of our leadership and employees, and through partner organizations that champion sustainability, we are proud to have achieved the following milestones:
- Highmark Health's Fifth Avenue Place and Penn Avenue Place received the 2021 Vanguard Award honoring the organization's innovation in sustainable design and construction. Each year, the Green Building Alliance celebrates visionary people and projects that advance human health, social equity, a thriving economy, and climate action in our region.
- Highmark Health earned the WELL Health-Safety Rating in 2021 from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) for six properties the organization directly manages. The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing building and space types focusing on operational policies, maintenance protocols, stakeholder engagement and emergency plans to address a post-COVID-19 environment now and into the future. Highmark Health renewed these ratings in 2022 and will continue to pursue the annual rating.
- Highmark Health has three times (2014-15, 2016-17, 2018-19) been recognized by Sustainable Pittsburgh as the large-company winner in the Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge (formerly the Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge) for its energy and water-conservation achievements as well as its sustainability accomplishments across other important categories including employee engagement, social equity, alternative transportation and legacy accomplishments.
- Award-winning LEED certified facilities. In locations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, our facilities are LEED certified with features including storm water management, erosion and sedimentation control, natural light in employee occupied areas, and use of healthier and more environmentally responsible building materials.
- Membership in the Pittsburgh 2030 District. Both Highmark (a founder) and Allegheny Health Network are partners in the District, a community of high-performance buildings whose goals include 50 percent reductions of transportation emissions and energy and water consumption by the year 2030.
- Recognition as a bicycle friendly business. In both Pittsburgh and Parkersburg, W.Va., we’ve been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as being bicycle friendly businesses. And in Pittsburgh, since 2015, Highmark and Allegheny Health Network have been proud sponsors of the local Bike Share program, which makes 500 bikes at 50 stations available for public riding.
- Stewardship of our living roof. Our headquarters building in Pittsburgh sports a 22,000-square-foot green roof that contains more than 25,000 plants. A source of pride for employees, the roof helps to reduce storm water run-off and manage building temperatures, which ultimately lowers energy costs and doubles the life of the roof.
By helping to protect our environment, we are proud to make a positive impact on the health of our members, our patients, our employees and the communities where we live, work and play. In addition, our sustainability initiatives play an important role in helping Highmark Health and its companies achieve their goals related to efficiency and cost savings.