Central to our environmental efforts are the employees who donate their time and talent to promote environmental stewardship among colleagues through education, awareness and action.
Employee Involvement in Earth Week Proves Fruitful
Voya employees are active participants in Earth Week activities planned by our Orange Goes Green employee-led teams. In 2015, that included events such as recycling efforts, plastic bag exchanges, paper-shred days, milkweed seed giveaways (to help increase the shrinking butterfly population) and garden planting projects. Collections and donations are kicked off during Earth Week but continue through year end. Throughout the week and thereafter, employees across all Voya major office locations gathered recycled items, promoted energy efficiency and raised awareness about environmental concerns. For Earth Week, employees donated or collected the following items1:
- 5,000 milkweed seed packs distributed
- 675 volunteer hours spent gardening, planting, cleaning communities and building a shelter for animals
- 1,000 new, reusable bags were exchanged for more than
- 20,000 plastic bags, which were recycled or re-used
- 23 “Lights Out” hours
Recycled and/or donated:
- 465 pair of shoes
- 175 pair of jeans
- 115 electronic waste items
- 85 inkjet cartridges
- 75 eyeglasses
- 300 K-cups
- 400 pounds of clothing, food, toys and coupons
Mug Shots Demonstrate a Simple Vehicle to Promote Efficiency
Voya launched the Bring Your Own Mug (BYOM) program in 2008 as part of an effort to promote reusable coffee mugs, reduce waste and, thereby, reduce costs. In 2015, we introduced a photo submission awareness campaign to engage employees in single-use cup reduction efforts (except for small quantities for guests) that resulted in the prevention of 700,000 single-use cups from adding to landfills. To date, employees helped divert nearly 6 million cups.
Park Avenue Farm Stand Boosts Cafeteria Sales
Each year we create a Park Avenue Farm Stand in our New York office café. Working closely with our onsite cafeteria staff and facilities management, the Orange Goes Green team organizes a farm-to-table food display offering employees the convenience of shopping at work and the comfort of knowing their purchases will be healthy. The Farm Stand presents locally grown, farmed and/or organic produce, tarts made with those ingredients and samples to tantalize their tastes. Complimentary recipes are also made available to encourage employees to cook sustainably and healthily. Employees whose purchases totaled $5.00 or more received a reusable, environmentally-friendly bag.
Raised Bed Garden Benefits Food Bank
Voya Financial employee volunteers built two raised beds at the West Chester, Pa. office to grow and harvest fresh vegetables for the area’s Chester County Food Bank. The West Chester garden provided beets, carrots, kale, lettuce, peppers, Swiss chard and tomatoes to help local families who may be struggling financially. Harvests began in June and lasted well into the fall season.
The garden engaged experienced green thumbs as well as gardening “newbies,” and provided employees with a convenient opportunity to try gardening while giving back to the community. Employee volunteers at the West Chester and Malvern sites took their ongoing commitment to supporting local food banks to a new level — and got really dirty in the process!
Mary Kay Peterson, raised bed garden manager from the Chester County Food Bank, commended the company for its dedication to the project. “Not all companies are like Voya Financial. The amount of time and effort expended by the employees go above and beyond in working to improve the community. Voya Financial employees are working every day to help feed families in Chester County. I can’t thank you enough.”
1 Figures are based estimated counts and may not include all program outcomes at every facility.