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Highmark named large-company winner of "Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge" for second consecutive year

Highmark Inc.

Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge

The company earns special recognition as "Top Water Saver"

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Sept. 19, 2017) — For the second consecutive year, Highmark was named a winner of the "Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge" for achieving measurable conservation-related improvements in energy, water, waste, and transportation. The company won the large-business category by taking green and sustainable actions that earned it 1,737 points in the competition, edging out its closest competitor by 761 points. Highmark was also named the "Top Water Saver" in the competition, reducing water usage by more than 20 percent.

The Green Workplace Challenge awards, sponsored by Sustainable Pittsburgh, were presented in a ceremony on September 14 at the Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh. More than 90 employers from throughout the southwestern Pennsylvania region participated in the competition, twice the number from the previous year.

"We're honored to be recognized in the Green Workplace Challenge for putting more and more programs into place that support conservation and a healthier environment," said Phyllis Barber, sustainability manager at Highmark. "The health and wellness of community members is Highmark's highest priority. According to Healthy People 2020, maintaining a healthy environment is central to increasing quality of life and years of healthy life."

Added John Norbut, director of facilities and project management for Highmark, "Winning the Green Workplace Challenge also reflects our strong commitment to reducing costs by conserving resources. We are firmly committed to providing high value to our customers, and energy and water conservation are among the many ways that we're reducing costs to keep our health care products and services at the highest levels of quality and affordability."

Specific actions taken by Highmark this year included changing nearly all of the commode and urinal fixtures in the Fifth Avenue Place headquarters to low-flow water-saving units and achieving ENERGY STAR® certification for the building. On average, ENERGY STAR buildings use 35 percent less energy and cause 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than comparable buildings across the United States. Highmark's many other programs aimed at environment stewardship are described here.

According to Autumn Secrest, Green Workplace Challenge program manager for Sustainable Pittsburgh, "The results of this year's Green Workplace Challenge are further demonstration of growing commitment to sustainable business practices. With more active participants than ever, representing thousands of employees in southwestern Pennsylvania, employers are showing how every sustainable action adds up to make a difference. We all can be humbled and inspired by the commitment of these organizations."

About the Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge

The Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge is an initiative of Sustainable Pittsburgh's Champions for Sustainability (C4S) network for sustainable business solutions. C4S brings together companies large and small to put sustainability into practice, providing value via education, technical assistance and consulting on operational needs; and it serves as a catalyst for new enterprise and innovation for cementing the business case for sustainability. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Sustainable Pittsburgh affects decision-making in the Pittsburgh region to integrate economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental quality as the enduring accountability, bringing sustainable solutions for communities and businesses.

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

Highmark Inc., doing business as Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, serves approximately 3.3 million members through the company's health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the Blue card program. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is the market leader in commercial market share, and has strong Medicare Advantage market share as well. Highmark is the largest and highest-rated Medicare Advantage program in Pennsylvania with a CMS rating of 4.5 Stars. In western Pennsylvania, its unaided brand awareness, brand preference and overall brand rating are significantly higher than its closest competitor. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield employs nearly 4,000 people in western, north central and northeastern Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

For more information, contact:
Janice Maszle
Highmark Health
Office: 412-544-7643
Cell: 412-217-7970
janice.maszle@highmarkhealth.org