Our Environment

Reflecting the highest standards of environmental responsibility, John Hancock conducts its business with respect for the planet, a concern for future generations, and an obligation to protect and sustain the world's natural resources. The company's environmental initiatives touch all areas of its business. This includes managing its real estate to high energy efficiency standards; working with employees, customers and producers to use resources wisely; and engaging in sustainable investing.

John Hancock’s Corporate Offices Recognized For Environmental Leadership

resources At John Hancock’s 601 Congress Street office, the company constructed the largest “Green” corporate headquarters’ roof in Boston. Native plants, grasses improve thermal insulation and storm water run off compared to a conventional roof. In addition, the building was one of first in North America to use energy efficient double-skin exterior window system. With enhanced mechanical systems, this helps reduce heating/cooling consumption by six percent annually.

At John Hancock’s other Boston corporate properties, lighting upgrades (fluorescent bulbs, motion sensors), combined with installation of an energy smart roof at one of its buildings, are reducing energy usage by 1.7 million kWh annually or enough energy to power more than 150 homes for a year.

The 601 Congress Street office has been recognized with numerous awards, including the AIA Excellence and Sustainable Design Award, Green Roof Award of Excellence; Core Net—Best New Workplace Award; BOMA Boston—Office Building of the Year (TOBY) Corporate Facility; and BOMA Boston—Eco Challenge Award Office Building less than 500k SF.

The company has achieved the LEED Existing Building designation for its properties in Boston.

A Commitment To The Wise Use Of Resources

resourcesAs a matter of policy and practice, the company works with employees, customers and producers to encourage the wise use of resources.

For example, over a two year period, John Hancock programs resulted in the recycling of 2.4 million pounds of paper and cardboard, saving nearly 21,000 trees, 8.4 million gallons of water, 4.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity, and nearly 471,000 gallons of oil. At a smaller level, a John Hancock employee came up with a clever way to recycle the nearly 1,300 banners the company annually hangs on light poles throughout the city to promote its sponsorship of the Boston Marathon. Rather than tossing them in the trash, they were made into more than 500 wildly popular tote bags given to elite runners, volunteers and staff.

John Hancock also is making a company wide efforts to move customers/producers to electronic communications. The company believes it is a win-win solution for John Hancock, its customers and producers and the environment. When fully implemented, it is expected that the project will reduce paper use by the company by hundreds of millions of sheets annually.

Leading Investor In Renewable Power Projects In North America

resourcesThe company has an investment team dedicated to energy investing, including renewable projects. Over a four year period, John Hancock and its parent company, Manulife Financial, have invested billions of dollars in renewable power projects including wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas and solar plants across the U.S. and Canada.

For example, the company provided a $55 million loan that financed the construction of a 14MW solar plant on U.S. Air Force Base in Nellis, Nevada. The plant will slash the base’s CO2 emissions by 24,000 tons annually, the equivalent of 560,000 tree seedlings growing for a decade.

In another instance, the company $120 million loan to the U.S. Department of Energy for the construction of 20MW biomass facility in Savannah River, South Carolina that would replace an existing coal-fired plant. This project will cut CO2 emissions at Savannah River by 100,000 tons annually, the equivalent of removing 740,000 cars from roadways annually.

Protecting Endangered Species and Their Habitat

resourcesWith more than five million acres of timberland under management, the Hancock Timber Resource Group is the world’s largest manager of timberland for institutional investors. Hancock Timber conducts all of its operations under a core principle: Good stewardship is good business.

All of its North American and Australasian timberlands are third-party certified by SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative), FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or AFS (Australian Forestry Standard). These certifications assure responsible, sustainable and continually improving management practices.

One of the ways this principle finds expression is through the company’s highly successful Sensitive Lands Program. Since Hancock Timber’s inception in 1985, it has worked with conservation groups and public entities globally to protect hundreds of thousands acres of sensitive lands, an area, in fact, larger than the city of Houston. In addition to local, state and federal entities, the company has worked collaboratively on these projects with key conservation groups such as the Cascade Land Conservancy, the Nature Conservancy and The Trust For Nature.

In one of its most notable Sensitive Lands transactions, the company completed one of largest timber conservation easements ever in U.S., protecting a 90,000 acre forest bordering Seattle, and ensuring it will remain timberland in perpetuity. The easement protected an area twice the size of Seattle itself.

The Sensitive Lands program also resulted in the protection of 22,500 acres of what the Smithsonian Institution called the “most ecologically important land in Chesapeake Bay Watershed.” The Dragon Run conservation easement was the largest ever in Virginia, and covered an area one and half times the size of the island of Manhattan.