At the forefront, with a sound climate action strategy
American Family Insurance is at the forefront of climate action, including through our commitment to renewable energy, zero waste, and sustainable building practices. Read more from Kari Grasee, business and workplace services vice president.
American Family is at the forefront of climate action. With our renewable energy commitment, zero waste goals, sustainable building practices and through our work in creating partnerships and dialogue with employees, suppliers and our communities, we’re already making strides toward a greener future.
But we can do more.
Our industry is beginning to recognize and grapple with the substantial risk that climate change is likely to have on customers and the industry overall. We have the opportunity to lead by adapting and creating strategies that protect our customers, their communities and our business.
Because we know climate change has negative effects on individuals, communities and local businesses, we’re also at the forefront of climate justice.
We recognize that those least responsible for the effects of climate change often suffer its most serious consequences. Poverty, racial inequality and class divisions stifle the voices of people who feel the severe effects of rising water, increasing storms, pollution and poor air quality. Advocating for the interests of these communities is at the core of our strategic beliefs, objectives and actions.
To respond to climate change and its broad environmental, social and economic impacts, we’ve created a Sustainability and Climate Action Strategic Plan to serve as our road map. The strategy establishes goals and targets for our existing and new efforts.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report in late 2018 which notes that if the global temperature rises by 1.5°C, the world will experience unprecedented climate-related risks and weather events. The earth is currently on track for a 3-4°C temperature rise. Global greenhouse gas emissions must reach net zero by mid-century for us to have a chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C.This is a wake-up call for urgent and bold climate action. At American Family, we were inspired to more deeply understand our carbon footprint and take concrete steps that directly mitigate our impacts.
The Sustainability and Climate Action Strategic Plan contains measures and goals that can move us forward, quickly. We’ve identified and prioritized actions for this year that are foundational to the overall success of our five-year strategy. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and current shifts in resources, discussion will be ongoing as to any changes in our action items.
Overall, we will continue to prioritize work in three areas: climate action, workplace well-being and enterprise leadership.
- Climate action: We’ll mitigate carbon emissions and adopt strategies to achieve carbon neutrality.
- Workplace well-being: We’ll create, design and construct workplace environments that foster employee health, well-being, productivity and resilience.
- Enterprise leadership: We’ll initiate and participate in climate conversations, partnerships and actions that help us respond more effectively to climate risks and impacts.
We’ve already seen the effects of environmental change during the pandemic. During the lockdown phase across much of the globe in the pandemic’s early days, pollution levels fell dramatically. This was, in part, due to changes in driving patterns and reductions in overall energy use. Water use changed, wildlife created new territorial patterns, and man-made impacts lessened. What we saw in a short period of time demonstrated how the actions of governments, business and individuals impact our climate in measurable ways. Changes in the way we operate will have a similar impact – and we will lead by starting climate conversations, fostering partnerships and taking action so we can better respond to climate risks.
As we move forward with our strategy, we’ll:
- Use more renewable energy sources to power our facilities.
- Continue working toward zero waste.
- Implement sustainable land-management and development practices.
- Increase our national climate-related partnerships.
We believe corporate responsibility means being a leader. It means creating positive economic, social and environmental impact with measurable benefits for our employees, our customers, our agents and the world around us. Our customers want to think of us as partners in progress. They are looking for purpose-driven brands that are authentic, transparent and intentional. Through our corporate responsibility program, we have the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our customers and our communities.
About the American Family Insurance group
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance has been serving customers since 1927. We inspire, protect and restore dreams through our insurance products, exceptional service from our agency owners and employees, community investment and creative partnerships to address societal challenges. We act on our belief in diversity and inclusion by constantly evolving to meet customer needs and preferences. American Family Insurance group is the nation’s 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group, ranking No. 254 on the Fortune 500 list. The group sells American Family-brand products, primarily through exclusive agency owners in 19 states. The American Family Insurance group also includes CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, The General, Homesite and Main Street America. Across these companies the group has more than 13,500 employees nationwide.