How Humana Created a Cross-Sectional CSR Function

by Aman Singh Das | March 14, 2011

  • My Vault

Humana recently hosted an In Good Company breakfast with our partners from the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship (BCCCC) in Austin, Texas. Nearly 30 of our peers and clients, including Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Dell Children's Hospital, and National Instruments, attended to explore trends, successes and challenges in creating Corporate Social Responsibility functions at our respective organizations.

Sharing best practices, successes and challenges with these dedicated CSR professionals also helped validate Humana's own CSR journey—one that my department helped jumpstart just two years ago.

Humana's Director of Corporate Affairs and Chairman of its CSR Council discusses how he started the company's cross-sectional CSR strategy

When Humana created its CSR platform we asked ourselves some basic questions, which many of our peers have also explored:

    • What is material to our business?
    • Where can we have the greatest impact?
    • How do we engage employees across our business units so that CSR truly becomes a part of our corporate DNA and plays a role in the way we do business?
    • How do we structure this programmatically to make it work?

From these questions we developed a formal CSR platform with three pillars: Healthy People, Healthy Planet, Healthy Performance.

Through this platform we have begun to align our CSR initiatives with our core business to promote health and lifelong well-being. Examples range from obtaining ENERGY STAR® and LEED certifications on company-owned buildings to reducing our environmental impact, to encouraging our associates and communities to engage in bike-sharing programs. These initiatives are good for the health of our members, employees and the communities in which we operate.

These are just some top-line examples, and Humana recognizes we have a long way to go. But we are excited about our action agenda for moving ahead with our CSR initiatives.

In the following months, we will chronicle days in the life of various Humana staff on Vault's CSR Blog: In Good Company.

From senior vice presidents to managers, our employees will document a narrative of how CSR is becoming an integral part of their daily work and business. I hope this process will prove both interesting and enlightening, and I welcome you to continue on this journey with us.

--By Paul J. Gerrard, Director, Corporate Affairs and Chairman, CSR Council, Humana

Editor's Note: As Paul notes, this is Part 1 in a series of blogs by Humana employees on how CSR is interwoven into their daily work. These posts will allow us valuable insights into how one company is contextualized responsibility as a key business strategy and a core function of every employee's job. For jobseekers and career changers, these posts will provide not only peeks into alternative career paths, but also tips on how you can pursue a career that aligns with your values as well as your employer's.

Paul J. Gerrard manages internal and external communications for Humana, a Fortune 100 health insurance company. He also leads the company's corporate citizenship efforts globally, including task forces to pursue strategic initiatives that involve change management, innovative solutions and organizational development. Among other initiatives, these task forces helped develop Humana's CSR function, which aligns its business goals with its responsibilities as a corporate citizen, including a comprehensive review of the commercial claims-management process to promote enhanced transparency, improvements in consumer and provider experience, and operational efficiencies. Gerrard is a member of the Aspen Institute's Society of Fellows, an associate with the Milken Institute and serves as a member of the Executives Club of Chicago's International Committee. He is a graduate of London South Bank University and the University of Kent.

Filed Under: CSR

Close button

Get tips on interviewing, networking, resumes, and more directly to your inbox.

No Thanks

Get Our Career Newsletter

Interview, resume and job search tips emailed directly to you.