COLUMBUS, Ga., April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac, the leading provider of voluntary insurance in the United States and Japan, serving more than 50 million people, announced today that its waste reduction and recycling initiatives kept nearly 2 million pounds of solid waste from being sent to landfills in 2012. In 2012, Aflac's recycling efforts increased to 74 percent of all solid waste compared to just 57 percent in 2009.1
The news was reported in the company's 2012 Corporate Citizenship Report, issued today on Aflac.com. Aflac has been improving its waste reduction/recycling efforts for a decade, and was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America for the second year, and was listed at number 69 in Newsweek's annual green rankings in 2012.
Aflac generates more than 2 million pounds of solid waste per year at its Columbus, Georgia headquarters, where nearly 4,000 employees are based. In recent years, the company has incorporated several innovative devices and events to help recycle these materials in an environmentally-friendly way, including:
- A polystyrene crushing device that crushes tons of used polystyrene food and drink containers – staples of any contemporary company cafeteria – into compact bricks used in the manufacture of recycled consumer products.
- A food "digester" that converts food waste to grey water which is routed through the city sewer system. In 2012, this technology alone diverted up to 40,000 pounds of waste from landfills.
- Regular "Freecycle" events that rescue paper products, file cabinets, and desk organizers destined for the trash, putting them to use elsewhere in the company.
Aflac has also reduced electricity consumption by 17 percent since 2009, trimming its kilowatt per hour consumption from 31.4 kWh to 26.1 kWh per square foot in 2012. In addition, in 2012, 84 percent of the square footage that Aflac owns and operates is Energy Star rated.
"Aflac prides itself on being a strong partner in our community, so we are always is looking for new ways to reduce waste and live more gently on the earth," said Alfred Blackmar, Aflac vice president for facilities. "In addition to recycling the usual suspects, like plastic and aluminum, we continue to research new, innovative ways to recycle in order to reduce our footprint in the community."
Aflac's Corporate Citizenship Report focuses primarily on the company's commitment to sustainability, diversity and philanthropy in both the United States and Japan, where combined, the company serves more than 50 million people. Aflac believes that being a socially responsible company contributes to its continued strong performance as a business.
Other highlights of the report include:
- Aflac's strong commitment to diversity, including a workforce that includes 43 percent ethnic minorities, 68 percent women, including and 50 percent of Aflac management and 25% of senior executives.
- Aflac's history of financial and human resource support for the Aflac Cancer Center ($79 million contributed as of Dec. 31, 2012).
- Aflac's progress as a sustainable company, including entry to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America for the second time in 2012.
- Aflac Japan's sustained commitment to children, the environment and their community.
1 Aflac U.S. internal date
Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.
When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For nearly six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance. In Japan, Aflac is the number one life insurance company in terms of individual policies in force. Aflac individual and group insurance products provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For seven consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2013, FORTUNE magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 15th consecutive year. Also, in 2013, FORTUNE magazine included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the 12th time, ranking the company number one in the life and health insurance category. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com or espanol.aflac.com.