Energy and Emissions
In 2010, Allstate set a goal to achieve a 20% absolute energy-use reduction within our owned portfolio (approximately 39% of all locations at the time) against our 2007 baseline by 2020. Thanks to efforts across the enterprise, we surpassed that 2020 goal in 2014.
Building on our history of energy and emissions reductions, we are still looking for the right approach to long-term energy management. Allstate is evaluating a next-generation target, but to establish a proper baseline, we first need to complete some facility transformations.
In the meantime, we’re reducing consumption by consolidating office space, recapturing heat energy as a byproduct of Allstate’s data center operations and optimizing the use of energy-efficient equipment and systems. Examples of this include HVAC equipment and controls, reduced-lighting power density designs and daylight harvesting in Allstate’s offices.
The trend toward consolidating office space into fewer, larger locations continued in 2018, creating more efficient utilization of space across our owned and leased building portfolios. We now lease or own more than 362,250 square feet of LEED-certified office space.
Allstate’s Vehicle Fleet
Allstate operates a fleet of about 3,000 sedans and SUVs to support the business travel requirements of the Claims, Distribution and Service Businesses teams. In 2017, we started to use more hybrid vehicles to improve our fuel economy and reduce CO2 output. We incentivized employees to choose the hybrid sedan by lowering the associated personal use fee. We saw 34% of employees choose the hybrid vehicle option on our last ordering cycle.
Allstate’s fleet is now 25% hybrid, and we expect that number to increase to around 50% by the end of 2019. A new hybrid small SUV recently came on the market and we plan to add it to our fleet.
We also focused on moving to more digital work environments and using technology to decrease our total vehicle footprint and business miles driven. Overall, we have decreased travel by 13.5 million miles from 2017 to 2018, and the trend is continuing through 2019. We have also decreased our total vehicle count from about 3,800 at the peak in Q1 2017 to just under 3,000 vehicles today.
In early 2019, we invested in two fully electric buses to support our Northbrook, Illinois, campus shuttle program. These buses replaced four gas-powered shuttles that previously transported employees around campus.
Because paper is Allstate’s largest source of potential waste, we have implemented numerous reduction initiatives. In addition to Allstate’s recycling program, we maintain water filling stations to decrease the use of disposable plastic bottles. We also reduce our waste footprint through cafeteria waste dehydration and pulping, paperless business solutions, and secure shredding.
We make every effort to keep documents electronic. Allstate has a Print Optimization and Paperless Task Force made up of business unit leaders from across the company. It monitors and tracks employee and customer printing and paper use and works with Corporate Relations to make employees aware of the operational and ecological costs of printing.
For necessary paper documents, Allstate maintains a secure program so these can be shredded and recycled. Through a third-party vendor, Allstate employees recycled 1,727,593 pounds of paper in 2018. This helped save 14,700 trees from being used for new paper production.
In 2018, we implemented a “Follow Me Print” program that links all print jobs to employee badges. To have documents printed, the employee scans their badge at the printer. If a print job is not retrieved within 72 hours, it disappears from the system. In 2018, the number of abandoned and deleted print jobs equated to about 435,400 sheets, which stacks higher than a 14-story building.
We also encourage electronic customer communications to help cut costs and reduce our footprint and our customers’. Allstate has three paperless initiatives for customers: eSignature, ePolicy and eBill. They can sign up for these free services through MyAccount, our online customer self-service hub. Between 2015 and 2020, Allstate is investing $3.5 million toward more paperless options in MyAccount and a redesign of our documents so they require fewer pages. Over 42% of customer policies are enrolled in ePolicy, and nearly 38% of customer policies are enrolled in eBill.
When compared to 2017, our additional progress in paper reduction for employees and customers throughout 2018 saved enough paper that when stacked it would be taller than Mount Kilimanjaro. This has positive impacts on our waste footprint, as well as deforestation and the carbon savings associated with the sequestration effect of trees, which absorb and store carbon dioxide, preventing it from entering the atmosphere.
Total % reduction in paper usage from 2012 baseline
Reducing Employee Cafeteria Waste
In the United States, up to 40% of our food goes to waste. Because food requires substantial resources to produce, discarding it wastes not only the food itself, but the resources that contributed to its production. Additionally, once food reaches the landfill, it begins to decompose and produce methane, a greenhouse gas that has an impact on the climate 25 times greater than CO2.
In early 2018, we began working with a new third-party vendor, Parkhurst Dining, for our employee cafes in Northbrook, Illinois, and Hudson, Ohio. Parkhurst offers composting services, in addition to increasing the amount of locally sourced ingredients and healthy food options.
In Irving, Texas, our second-largest location, our cafe partner, American Dining Creations, also offers composting, inventory management systems and low-carbon menu options, such as “Meatless Mondays,” to help employees become more aware of the environmental footprint of their food choices.
Small Electronics Recycling
Allstate replaces about 3,000 small electronic items each month. Of these, approximately 1,000 items are in condition to be salvaged or recycled. To address this source of electronic waste, Allstate partnered with Clover Wireless to begin salvaging small electronics; Allstate sends small electronic items to Clover Wireless using their prepaid shipping label, at no cost to Allstate. If there is no salvage value to the item or the data cannot be removed, the item will be recycled. More than 800 types of small electronic items qualify to be salvaged. Clover recycles all items or parts that cannot be salvaged, reducing the number of small electronics we dispose of in landfills.
Water Fountains and Filling Stations
To reduce the use of disposable water bottles, we launched an enterprise-wide filling station program. Employees fill their bottles with filtered tap water rather than buying disposable bottles. Allstate maintains 230 filling stations across our facilities. In 2018, those stations saved the equivalent of 1.7 million plastic water bottles.
In 2018, Allstate installed sparkling water stations in its Northbrook and Chicago locations that further encouraged people to bring their own containers. As of June 2019, the six Bevi stations saved the equivalent of more than 336,000 12-ounce bottles and cans. Stations are being installed throughout Allstate’s other facilities.