CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — For the second time in three years BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has won the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award. The 2012 award recognizes BlueCross’ renovation of its Golden Gateway building in downtown Chattanooga.

“BlueCross is honored to be recognized again by the Governor for our efforts to protect natural resources in Tennessee,” said Dan Jacobson, vice president of properties and corporate services for BlueCross. “We’re committed to being a leader in our community and our state, showing that good environmental practices also make good business practices. The Gateway project proves that older buildings do not have to be environmentally unfriendly ones.”

In 2011 BlueCross’ Gateway building underwent a major renovation with an eye toward extending the life of the 46-year old building while improving its environmental impact and sustainability.

Features include:

• A 198.24 kilowatt photovoltaic solar array that offsets 40 percent of the Gateway building’s energy use

Six bioswales, or natural underground filters, that collect storm water runoff and filter up to 100 percent of pollutants before they can reach the Tennessee River

• Low-flow interior water features that reduce consumption by 35 percent

• Exterior induction lighting that reduces usage by 80 watts per fixture

The renovations were completed while re-using 96 percent of the building’s walls, floors and roof. More than 57 percent of the interior elements were also re-used, reducing debris that would otherwise be deposited in landfills.

These efforts led to BlueCross’ second LEED Gold designation in three years, again bringing national recognition for the company’s green efforts.

The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award is the most prestigious environmental award in the state. It recognizes projects that make outstanding contributions to Tennessee’s natural resources.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.