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American Family Insurance recognized for culture of sustainability


American Family Insurance received the Green Masters award, which puts just as much emphasis on employee experience as it does the environment when it comes to sustainability.

Bridget O’Malley, a casualty LOB policy and procedure administrator in Personal Lines Claims, recently started working from home on days she has no meetings. “I don’t have a customer-facing role, so it’s great for when something is happening at home, or I have a doctor’s appointment – I don’t have to worry about driving all the way out to my appointment and trying to get back to the office,” she says. “I don’t work from home often, but it has its advantages.”

Our focus on employees, including flexible work options, is getting noticed. On Dec. 10, American Family received the Green Masters award for our sustainability efforts – including many of the practices that were part of our employee experience initiatives. “It’s an honor to receive this award because it measures the company both internally and externally,” says Emily Swift, Business Workplace Services sustainability intern. “We are rated on several factors including our community involvement, dedication to preserving the environment and our commitment to employees.”

The Green Masters award is an annual award given to Wisconsin-based companies for sustainability. Based on answers provided on a survey, companies are able to rate themselves on nine separate areas of sustainability and are then compared to other participating companies.

Emily worked with various American Family divisions to collect data for the Green Masters survey questions. “We’ve received the award in the past, but this year there was an increased focus on employee well-being,” she says. “Our new employee experience efforts helped us meet the criteria.”

Corporate sustainability and workforce

With the new employee experience initiatives rolling out, American Family was able to exceed standards for well-being in our application. “Our focus has moved from ‘wellness’ to overall ‘well-being’ of employees,” says Caitlin Iverson, Benefits well-being intern. “The difference is that an individual’s well-being goes above just physical health; it applies to his or her financial status, community investment, meaningful relationships within the company, stress management and heightened mindfulness.”

When employees are both physically and mentally healthy, the effects can have a substantial impact on our customers.

“Companies with healthy employees are 2.5 times more likely to be leading performers in their industry,” says Caitlin. She adds that the benefit of flexible schedules, including the ability to work from home, contribute to overall employee productivity, as well.

It can also keep cars off the road and reduce a company’s need for more real estate, benefiting the environment.

Transparency with peers

“Only the top 20 percent of applicants receive the title of Green Master,” says Beth. “Peer-to-peer ranking provides a level of transparency and influences companies across the board to do better.”

In addition to employee practices, other areas of sustainability that are rated include: energy, carbon emissions, water, waste management, transportation, supply chain, outreach and governance. “Many of the Green Masters Program categories are reflected in American Family’s corporate responsibility efforts,” says Beth.


About American Family Insurance Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, health insurance, business and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. American Family insurance is the nation’s third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and ranks 358th on the Fortune 500 list. Web:; Facebook:; Twitter:; YouTube:

Wisconsin companies saluted as 'Green Masters'opens in new window
Thirty-six Wisconsin companies were honored this week for their achievements in greening their operations and supply chains.