Healthy environment

We are making clear commitments designed to keep the communities around us sustainable and healthy.


Charting our path to net-zero

The growing threat of climate change drives our focus on reducing our carbon footprint as we work toward achieving operational net-zero by 2035. See our progress


Assessing our emissions

As part of our commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) Net-Zero Standard, we are assessing carbon sources and measuring the most significant emissions contributors. Our 2022 Scope 3 assessment identified significant categories of emissions from both upstream sources such as waste generated in operations and employee commuting — and downstream sources, such as investments.

Scope 1: Direct emissions
Scope 2: Purchased electricity
Scope 3: All other measured
Scope 3: Investments
Scope 3: Purchased goods and services

Advancing energy efficiency

We are scaling solutions to reduce energy consumption in our entire real estate footprint — ranging from data centers and pharmaceutical distribution centers to clinical care facilities.


Transitioning to renewable energy

We are building a roadmap for identifying and scaling our transition to renewable energy sources so we can most effectively decrease our greenhouse gas emissions and help improve the health of the communities where we operate. 

We are actively exploring virtual power purchase agreements, which would allow us to apply renewable energy credits across our portfolio. Our approach also includes direct investments in renewable energy. We are installing solar panels at our Optum headquarters in Minnesota, which is expected to meet 50% of the site’s energy needs.

Read more about our net-zero roadmap


Environmental compliance documents


Environmental Policy

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CDP Climate Change Questionnaire 2023

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Trade association engagement


UnitedHealth Group letter to U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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Reducing waste, water and paper

We are working to reduce our footprint by transitioning to a digital-first health system with less paper usage, piloting new and innovative approaches to long-term waste management and prevention, and reducing our water usage in water-stressed regions of the world.

Minimizing our use of paper

We continue to modernize our processes and technologies to help reduce paper usage across the health system while creating simple, seamless consumer experiences.



pieces of paper saved in 2022.



envelopes saved in 2022.




reduction in inbound paper volume.

smiling boy


Reducing waste

We are piloting new, innovative solutions designed for long-term waste reduction.

  • Reduced prescription bottle usage by 546,000 bottles by converting to larger pack sizes.
  • 1.2M gel packs eliminated by using insulator mailers.
  • Established a zero-landfill project in two Brazil hospitals.

Conserving water

We are working to reduce excess water consumption — a critical and increasingly worrisome global health issue — by taking steps to help ensure our facilities use water as efficiently as possible.

  • 68% of sites have a Water Use Intensity rating below EPA guidelines.


Next up

Responsible business practices

More than 40 years developing strong and effective governance practices.

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*As of Dec. 31, 2022



Download our full report for more on our actions, achievements and progress.