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December 05, 2014

DES MOINES, IA (Dec. 5, 2014) – Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Des Moines headquarters building has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR® certification, which signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.

Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 scale are eligible for ENERGY STAR certification.

Wellmark partnered with the Baker Group to begin tracking its efficiency metrics shortly after moving into its new facility in 2010. At that time, Wellmark measured in at just 64 points. Through operational efficiencies, Wellmark reduced its energy consumption and increased its ENERGY STAR rating to 79 points – enough to officially obtain certification. Wellmark’s efforts have prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity use from 483 households for a year.

“Wellmark earned the ENERGY STAR certification through continuous refinement of our building system operations,” said Matt Brown, Wellmark’s vice president of property management. “Energy conservation strategies are integral to how we operate our facility and we have high expectations of energy conservation without sacrificing comfort.”

ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products, 1.4 million new homes, and 20,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Over the past twenty years, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR.

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment,“ said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the boiler room to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”

Brown added that although Wellmark’s headquarters has LEED Platinum status, the ENERGY STAR certification is the result of diligence and improvements in its operations to be energy efficient and produce cost savings.

For more information about ENERGY STAR Certification: www.energystar.gov/labeledbuildingsExternal Site