Moving closer to zero waste
American Family Insurance is often viewed as a leader in its commitment to sustainability. Kari Grasee, business and workplace services vice president shares the bold goal the company has to take this commitment to the next level.
One of my favorite lines in our company culture statement is in the community section. It says: “This is a better community because American Family is part of it.”
We always keep this statement in mind when we take action as a company. And I’m proud to say I work at American Family because of how we make our communities better by:
- Giving to others through the American Family Dreams Foundation.
- Encouraging employees and agents to volunteer their time to charitable causes.
- Working to create a diverse and inclusive workplace, welcoming to all ideas and perspectives.
- Focusing on recycling and energy management that sustain our environment.
All this speaks to our corporate responsibility commitment. See our 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report for more examples.
The Business and Workplace Services team at American Family is focused on our operations, from our physical workspaces to the ways we create sustainability in our energy, waste, office designs and landscapes.
We actively measure waste, energy and water and implement strategies to use resources more efficiently. We’re committed to using renewable energy, such as solar, and incorporating sustainable building practices and materials into our construction projects. We continually look for opportunities to reduce paper and provide charging stations to support employees who drive electric vehicles.
It’s undeniable that human actions have adversely impacted our environment. The average person creates 4.3 pounds of waste a day. That translates into 220 million tons of waste a year in the U.S. alone, with much of this ending up in landfills.
Zero waste future
One of our sustainability goals is to achieve zero waste. “Zero waste” means 90 percent of waste created by AmFam does not end up in a landfill.
This is a bold goal. It forces us to rethink how we approach our sustainability efforts, from our reducing, reusing and recycling practices to purchasing decisions.
During 2017, our Madison offices achieved a 77 percent waste-diversion rate. While this is a significant achievement, we plan to increase that number.
In the last year, we’ve enhanced our waste-monitoring and tracking efforts and are partnering with a consultant to create a sustainable materials management plan. We’ve implemented new recycling containers and signs to help employees sort waste. And, we have plans to expand our organic programs to other company office locations in 2019.
We’re also asking employees to commit to earth-friendly acts and make more sustainable choices. Small changes in daily behaviors add up and have a big impact.
About American Family Insurance
Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance group is the nation's 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group and ranks No. 311 on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, primarily through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General and Homesite) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the internet or by phone. Affiliate Main Street America sells insurance products through independent agents. Web www.amfam.com; Facebook www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter www.twitter.com/amfam.