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Recycle and reuse at home and in the office 

Jennifer Santangelo and her art piece “Home” 


In 2021, the majority of Humana employees continued to work from home due to the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, Humana engaged employees in sustainability efforts that revolved largely around actions in the office. However, the pandemic required the company to rethink how to stay engaged in sustainability efforts while staying safe at home. While Humana saw marked reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as commutes were eliminated and buildings went into hibernation mode, the company stayed focused on improving sustainability intentionally, and in some cases, with a little fun.    


Over the course of the year, Humana offered numerous opportunities for online learning, which included both self-guided courses and twice-monthly live sessions where employees could get answers to their questions in real time. Self-guided courses were available on recycling, composting and a sustainability exploration tour through Humana’s intranet site focused on sustainability.  The live sessions covered topics including how to reduce energy use at home, how to be eco-friendly during the holidays, eating clean and the environment, air quality and chronic disease, and zero waste initiatives. Over the course of 2021, more than 17,000 employees participated. When asked for feedback about these offerings, employees shared that they were proud to be part of a company that is committed to reducing environmental impact. One employee attending the Eating Clean session said, “I guess it should have been common sense, but I didn't realize how far reaching it is to eat clean.  This is wonderful information that will definitely impact my choices not only for my health but for everything else it impacts.  Thank you for this information!”  


Humana also held two employee challenges in 2021 as an opportunity for fun, creativity and a little friendly competition. During Earth Month, employees were asked how Humana could better combat climate change and how they could benefit from using a smart thermostat.  The brainstorm generated both awareness of home energy efficiency practices and provided useful feedback about where the company could improve. People who participated were entered for a chance to win a Nest Thermostat, and 25 were given away during Earth Month. Humana also held a Trash to Art challenge that encouraged employees to use household objects as mediums of creation. Employees submitted photos of their art pieces, and the winner received a rain barrel as her prize.  The winner, Jennifer Santangelo, said, “The environment is very important to me, especially public lands.  I love hiking, exploring national and state parks, camping, and climbing. Without a healthy environment I wouldn’t be able to enjoy these things.  I do my best to recycle and reuse items when I can.  As for my artwork, I’ve been using 'trash', recyclables, and pieces of old artwork since college.  Not only do I feel like I’m doing my part to save the planet, but I enjoy using found objects in my artwork. What can I say, I like making something out of 'nothing'.”  



The rain barrel Jennifer won in the Trash to Art contest, with her submission sitting on top. 


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