Sustainable Offices and Operations

Sustainable Offices and Operations

As part of our Net Zero goal, MetLife is working to decarbonize our global operations as a top priority. This includes improving performance of our approximately 9.3 million square feet of offices and reducing business travel, which simultaneously can save us money, foster connection and community and improve workforce vitality. We have decreased location-based emissions by 44% since 2019 and continue to promote energy efficiency, implement green building practices and have maintained carbon neutrality since 2016.1 Learn more about our carbon neutrality strategy.

We have retrofitted systems to optimize energy use across 13 of our largest offices in the U.S., implementing, for example, automated air distribution, efficient air conditioning and LED lighting. This has resulted in saving 1,917 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). In Chile, we improved the energy efficiency of our corporate offices by adopting energy‑efficient technologies, such as INVERTER air conditioning equipment technology and LED plate lighting.2 In Mexico, MetLife has incorporated hybrid engines for 37% of our vehicle fleet and has ambitions to increase this number over the next few years.

Colleagues in Nepal participate in a yoga wellness event.
Colleagues in Nepal participate in a yoga wellness event.

Committed to Renewable Energy

In addition to our emissions-reduction efforts, MetLife is committed to supporting the renewable energy market in the regions where we operate. Since 2009, we have procured renewable energy by purchasing Energy Attribute Certificates—issued when one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity is generated and delivered to the electricity grid from a renewable energy resource—to match our global electricity consumption (see “GHG Emissions” and “Energy” data in ESG Scorecard). In Europe, we are generating our own on-site renewables through a solar array on our office in Madrid, Spain, that should generate approximately 30 MWh per year.

We supplement emissions reductions and renewable energy initiatives with a diverse portfolio of high‑quality, third-party-certified carbon offset projects that empower local economies and align to the extent possible with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Our offset partner conducts enhanced due diligence on the projects it purchases for MetLife.

Sustainability at MetLife Events

MetLife’s Global Event Operations team (MetLife Events) supports nearly 300 events every year that bring together thousands of people. During these events, we share our expertise, learn from and inspire others and provide a forum to help companies and individuals grow. These events present several opportunities to reduce environmental impact and incorporate sustainability practices.

Since 2020, MetLife Events has prioritized waste reduction, paperless conferences (using electronic signage and a mobile app for attendee communication), local sourcing and eco-friendly alternatives. In addition, we measure our success and share the results with our peers around the world. The health and wellness of our attendees and colleagues also plays a part in conference planning, with wellness events such as yoga and meditation, healthy food alternatives and exercise incorporated into program breaks.

At events in 2023, we provided biodegradable name badges, refillable water bottles and boxed and canned beverages to reduce plastic. We partner with vendors that are likewise committed to environmental sustainability and diversity, and request information regarding sustainability, such as asking about building certifications (e.g., Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—LEED) at host hotels.

Reducing Plastics and Waste

We are committed to reducing our consumption of water, plastics, paper and other natural resources, and to minimizing the amount of waste we send to landfills. In the U.S., for example, our dining and catering services no longer provide plastic bottles, cutlery or other containers, and in India, MetLife has eliminated single-use cups entirely by providing reusable cups as employee gifts.

We’re also tackling food waste, undertaking initiatives to reduce the amount we throw away and finding ways to be more environmentally conscious when disposing of necessary waste. We’ve partnered with local food pantries and food recovery nonprofits in seven U.S. cities to donate leftover food from our cafeterias. Eight of our offices compost food waste generated during food preparation, while three of these sites have also introduced employee composting programs to collect food scraps, compostable cutlery and containers.

Please see our ESG Scorecard for information and data regarding our energy, water use and waste diversion.

Providing a Healthy Workplace

Sustainability measures implemented across our offices and operations achieve the additional benefit of providing our colleagues with healthy spaces where they can thrive. Our approach to environment, health and safety is built on the collaboration of colleagues and business partners who champion environmental stewardship, engage in environmental awareness activities and uphold standards and procedures designed to prioritize our colleagues’ health, safety and well-being while at work.

We prioritize using sustainable materials and design in our buildings and providing high levels of indoor air quality and natural light and amenities such as bike storage, healthy dining options and sit-stand desks. In 2020, we began striving to reach 40% of our global offices’ square footage to be certified to green or healthy building standards by 2030. Currently, 48% meets these criteria.

Providing healthy workplace
MetLife’s Cary, North Carolina, office building
is certified LEED Platinum.

MetLife certified four offices to Fitwel, a joint initiative of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the General Services Administration to enhance health and well‑being in buildings and communities, including three offices in the U.S. and one in Sydney, Australia. The certifications cover 1.14 million square feet of real estate, including our global headquarters in New York City. MetLife Investment Management, LLC and certain of its affiliates (MIM) has also obtained Fitwel certifications for 33 properties held in its managed real estate equity investment portfolio as of year-end 2023, an increase from 30 properties at the end of 2022.

Achieving Green Building Certifications

We have achieved LEED certifications for approximately 43.3 million square feet—3.6 million of which is attributed to the MetLife corporate office network and 39.7 million square feet of which is attributed to properties managed by MIM. In addition to LEED, MetLife and MIM pursue ENERGY STAR, Fitwel, Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and other sustainable building certification  programs.

In 2023, MetLife and MIM achieved ENERGY STAR certifications at 79 total properties, including 28 MetLife corporate offices and 51 MIM properties. MetLife and MIM benchmark U.S. properties’ energy use against similar buildings through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool to continuously measure, manage and improve building performance.

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Inspiring Colleagues to Make an Impact

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Read our 2023 Sustainability Report

for more information on MetLife initiatives and progress.

1 MetLife’s carbon neutrality efforts apply to global owned and leased offices, global vehicle fleets (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) and employee business travel (Scope 3 Category 6).

2 Improvements have been made by our two companies in Chile, MetLife Chile and Chile ProVida.