On Feb. 22 MetLife announced that it met its goal to become carbon neutral through green investments of $9.7 billion and more, becoming the first US insurer to do so. The insurer said it’s invested $3 billion in renewable energy and has ownership stakes in 37 wind and solar farms, as well as equity stakes in 48 LEED-certified properties.
“MetLife is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and driving sound environmental stewardship across our business globally,” said Marty Lippert, executive vice president and head of MetLife Global Technology and Operations. “Sustainable business strategies not only reduce our environmental impact but also underscore who we are as a company.”
The company said it achieved the goal, which it set in 2015, by integrating sustainability and energy efficiency best practices across tits global operations. In the US it achieved energy reductions of nearly 30 percent across its offices, whether they were owned or operated. It’s offices in Washington, DC, and Cary, NC, have achieved LEED Platinum certification, for instance. In addition it offset the rest of its emissions by investing in carbon mitigation projects around the world.
MetLife announced its goals to become carbon neutral in 2015, with the hope of becoming carbon neutral in 2016. That goal won it the EPA’s 2016 Climate Leadership Award.
Looking ahead the company plans to further reduce its impact on the world. By 2020 it will reduce its energy consumption and its its location-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 10 percent below a 2012 baseline. It also will require 100 of its top suppliers to disclose their GHG emissions and emission-reduction activities publicly, the company said.
The company also is taking actions to protect the environment through actions beyond its own footprint. They are an insurer after all and reducing climate change can help limit extreme events that would impact insurance claims. Such efforts include protecting rainforests in Colombia, installing solar-powered stoves in China to replace coal-fired cooking. In the US it’s supporting a landfill gas power plant in New York.