We believe that carbon neutrality is a worthwhile corporate goal and aim to reduce our carbon footprint. 

A woman sets up an eco-friendly lightbulb.

As an insurance and financial services company, Horace Mann has a modest environmental footprint. Nonetheless, we recognize reducing paper usage, electronic waste and GHG emissions is a shared responsibility and the right thing to do. We are committed to protecting the environment through the implementation of sustainability best practices at our Springfield, Ill., headquarters location to reduce our carbon footprint and protect our surrounding communities. In 2021, we plan to install solar electric (PV) panels at our headquarters to further reduce our overall carbon footprint.

As environmental stewards, it is our responsibility to maintain and communicate comprehensive policies, programs, procedures and guidelines to govern all business activities and guide employees, while also closely monitoring and addressing those environmental risks that may arise. As such, we assess ways to enhance our transparency through our routine systems for measuring, monitoring and reporting our environmental performance, including:

  • Monitoring waste reduction. We track various waste metrics, such as water, paper, energy and carbon emissions. The data tells us which areas of our operation need improvement and subsequently allows us to set reduction targets for each type of waste.
  • Reviewing legal requirements. We comply with all environmental laws that apply to our facilities and industry. We review the organization’s environmental goals on an annual basis, as well as any changes to environmental policy that may affect our operations.
  • Ongoing office evaluations. We conduct ongoing facility evaluations to locate and eliminate energy inefficiencies. Horace Mann enforces environmentally friendly practices across its offices through recycling programs, the utilization of Energy Star-certified appliances and LED light fixtures.

In 2020, we saw substantial improvements in our environmental efforts due in part to many of our employees transitioning to remote work. However, improvements in these environmental metrics have been advanced by our various initiatives, including those to reduce energy usage. In 2020, Horace Mann successfully:

Minimized energy usage and carbon emissions

  • Our Illinois headquarters has successfully lowered its energy use via a more efficient energy management system, including motion sensors, LED lighting, energy efficient ballasts, solar shades and window films. Additionally, our claims office in Dallas, Texas, enjoys Gold certification from LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an internationally recognized green building certification system. We continue to seek and discover ways to operate in a more environmentally friendly way, such as successful replacement of all single-pane windows with double-pane insulated glass at our headquarters to reduce energy consumption by an estimated 20% to 25%.
  • In 2020, we reduced our GHG emissions by 639 metric tons, as compared to 2019, and decreased our electricity usage by 13% over 2019.

Reduced waste sent to landfills

  • Active recycling programs significantly reduced the amount of paper, plastic, metal and cardboard we send to landfills. We also recycle personal computers, monitors, servers, hard drives, printers and printer cartridges.
  • The total amount of waste we generated in 2020 declined because fewer employees worked in our offices due to the pandemic; however, we increased the percentage of waste that goes to recycling facilities.

Reduced water usage

  • We encourage employees to conserve water and are mindful of water conservation while maintaining the grounds at our corporate headquarters.
  • For the last three years, our water consumption per employee and water discharge per employee have fallen steadily, reaching 7,724 gallons and 4,623 gallons in 2020 respectively.

Reduced paper usage

  • Paper is the largest source of potential waste for an insurance company. In 2020, we began to realize the benefits of our suite of applications designed to significantly decrease paper usage in our customer communications. We also encourage employees to be mindful about printing habits.

Supported the transition to electric vehicles

  • Horace Mann has installed electric charging stations at its headquarters in Illinois to support EV use by employees.
  • In 2020, we installed four EV charging stations in addition to the four charging stations installed at our headquarters in 2019.
environmental metrics

Beyond companywide initiatives, we also encourage and support our employees in their efforts to reduce their impact on the environment. This is done through the implementation of recycling programs across all offices, installing electric car charging stations and training employees on ways they can limit waste production. We also encourage employees to take part in those volunteer opportunities and environmental initiatives important to our business and surrounding communities to create environmental awareness.