Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont goes green with installation of roof-top solar array at its Berlin campus. Blue Cross photo.
Vermont Business Magazine Blue Cross and Blue Shield of VT announced in a statement Monday that it had completed a 150 kW net metered solar array, which is installed at its Berlin campus. This system is a roof-mounted solar array comprising 860 panels, generating roughly 225,000 kW Hours per year. This array is the largest renewable energy effort to date by BCBSVT and reflects, it said in the statement, the company’s ongoing commitment and dedication to the principals of protecting Vermont's environment. This project is expected to offset more than 169 tons of carbon dioxide per year and will eventually produce enough electric power to reduce the non-profit’s utility costs by $40,000 annually. Blue Cross is the state's largest health insurer.
BCBSVT worked with Green Mountain Power on this partnership, along with: Peck Electric, Neville Companies and energy consultant Patrick Michael.
“The solar panels not only represent our commitment to corporate social responsibility and preserving Vermont’s pristine environment,” said Don George, President and CEO of BCBSVT, “but are part of a corporate initiative that is looking at all aspects of our work through the lens of environmental sustainability and cost savings. We are building a program that engages our employees, encourages personal responsibility and supports the culture in which we operate.”
The company’s sustainability mission says it all - We are committed to reducing our environmental impacts, building a culture of sustainability within the BCBSVT community of employees and creating a healthy future for our employees, clients, partners and community. In early 2016, the company implemented a corporate sustainability initiative that involves a cross-divisional employee team to implement this mission. The team got right to work building on past efforts to reduce waste and enhance positive efforts. “Several years ago, we took some great steps to reduce unnecessary use of resources; we cut non-essential printing, increased recycling, began composting, installed high efficiency light fixtures and started reducing our use of electricity”, explains Stuart Lawson, Facilities Supervisor at BCBSVT. “We posted no idling signs and our drinking fountains are being retrofitted with water bottle filling stations. As you can see, we have a lot going on, but it’s especially exciting to see the solar panels go up after many months of work.”
In addition to the solar panel installation, the sustainability team hosted “How Green is Blue Day,” where employees participated in awareness-raising activities, purchased home compost bins and signed up to get reusable food containers. “Within the first two months of our program, we have already diverted 5,000 paper take-out containers from the landfill,” says Megan Peek, Community Relations Manager and corporate sustainability initiative business lead. “This is only the beginning of the positive changes we plan to make.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, a non-profit organization, is the state’s oldest and largest health insurer, providing coverage for about 250,000 Vermonters. It employs about 400 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and its Information and Wellness Center in South Burlington’s Blue Mall, and offers group and individual health plans. More information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is available at www.bcbsvt.com. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.
Source: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont 1.9.2017