Colonial Life building receives Energy Star designation

Building is one of only two in Columbia and 15 statewide to achieve 2011 certificiation

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Nov. 8, 2011) — The national headquarters building of Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company has earned the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® certification. That means the building meets the EPA’s strict energy performance standards and uses less energy, is less expensive to operate, and causes fewer greenhouse gas emissions than its peers. To qualify for the ENERGY STAR, a building must earn a 75 or higher on EPA’s 100-point energy performance scale, indicating it performs better than at least 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide. The Colonial Life building — actually two four-story buildings connected by a glass-roofed atrium — received a rating of 89, well above the threshold.

Energy reduction measures for the Columbia building have included:

  • Conversion to more efficient T8, compact fluorescent and LED lighting.
  • Installation of more energy-efficient heating and air conditioning equipment.  Improvement in building operating schedules, including shutting the building lights and HVAC off earlier at night and on later in the morning.  Improvement in building equipment operation.
  • Improvement in building night egress lighting.  Installation of a night watchman that shuts down employees’ computer equipment after hours.
  • Installation of a white roof.
  • Incorporating restroom and other exhaust vents to the Building Automation System to turn off at night when the building goes into unoccupied mode.

This prestigious energy-conscious designation was years in the making, according to Richard Meadows, assistant vice president of Corporate Real Estate for Unum. Colonial Life is an affiliate company of Unum.

“We implemented a strategic energy management program in 2009 to help reduce energy and water use,” Meadows says. “We perform annual energy audits and make recommendations on ways we can improve. In the past three years, we’ve reduced natural gas and electricity use by 12 percent and water use by 19 percent across the four main Unum campuses.”

Newsweek magazine named Unum number 78 on its Green Rankings earlier this year. It was the third year in a row Unum has earned a prominent spot on the annual environmental rankings of the top 500 U.S. companies.

Energy use in commercial buildings and manufacturing plants accounts for nearly half of all energy consumption in the U.S. at a cost of over $200 billion per year, more than any other sector of the economy. Commercial and industrial facilities are also responsible for nearly half of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. For more than a decade, the EPA has worked with businesses and organizations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through strategic energy management practices.

About Colonial Life

Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company is a market leader in providing financial protection benefits through the workplace, including disability, life, accident, dental, cancer, critical illness and hospital confinement indemnity insurance. The company’s benefit services and education, innovative enrollment technology and personal service support more than 80,000 businesses and organizations, representing more than 3 million of America’s workers and their families. For more information visit or connect with the company at, and