Partnering for a Purpose – Helping to Reforest America
Beginning in 2017, our Chairman and CEO, Alan Schnitzer, organized an effort to offset carbon emissions associated with our annual Travelers Leadership Conference. To aid that effort, we partnered with American Forests – the country’s oldest nonprofit conservation group – and funded the planting of 40,000 trees.
In April 2019, Travelers launched a bold new initiative with American Forests and committed to fund the planting of one tree for each Personal Insurance billing account converted to paperless billing. This initiative sought to minimize our environmental impact and carbon footprint by both lowering our paper consumption by 22 million pages and funding the planting of 1 million trees across the United States between April 2019 and April 2020.
By Earth Day 2020, we reached our goal, funding the planting of 1 million trees in areas most in need of reforestation, including:
- California Wildfire and Watershed Restoration.
- Texas Lower Rio Grande Ocelot Habitat Restoration.
- Whitebark Pine and Grizzly Habitat Restoration.
- Michigan Kirtland’s Warbler Habitat Restoration.
- Georgia Longleaf Pine Restoration.
In 2020, we committed to fund the planting of an additional 500,000 trees by Earth Day 2021 – a goal we achieved – and joined the U.S. chapter of 1t.org to help conserve, restore and grow 1 trillion trees by 2030. In April 2021, we extended our support for American Forests and committed to fund the planting or conservation of an additional 1.5 million trees. We also support the Tree Trust Branches program, a job training and mentorship initiative that helps disadvantaged young people in the Twin Cities finish high school and build meaningful careers in urban forestry.
In addition to restoring natural landscapes, providing habitat for wildlife and naturally capturing carbon emissions, this effort has helped us reduce our environmental impact and carbon footprint. Through our initiative with American Forests, we have drastically lowered our paper consumption and are now planting or conserving more trees than we are consuming.
Beyond the environmental impacts of planting trees for this campaign, paperless billing provides an added level of convenience for customers by allowing for easy access and retrieval of billing and policy documents, while helping us save millions of dollars in paper and postage costs.
Some of the events and initiatives that have helped us reach our goals include the following:
- We launched #OneMillionReasonsWhy, a paperless campaign to engage customers in the conversation and create an emotional connection to the initiative.
- In October 2019, we held two planting events:
- Nearly 100 Travelers employees came together with KNOX Hartford and American Forests to plant 36 trees – red oaks, apple trees and junipers – in Colt Park in Hartford, Connecticut. Both Luke Bronin, Mayor of Hartford, and Jad Daley, President and CEO of American Forests, were in attendance and spoke to the team, thanking them for their efforts and inspiring our team and partners.
- In the Lower Rio Grande, one of our areas of focus, Travelers employees and local independent agents joined members of the community to plant hundreds of trees in Rio Grande City, Texas. This was a particularly important project because 95% of the habitat in this area – home to 18 endangered or threatened species – has been cleared.
As of Earth Day 2022, we have funded the planting or conservation of over 3 million trees, with 1.5 million going toward the 1t.org goal of helping to conserve, restore and grow one trillion trees by 2030. We have recently committed to fund the planting or conservation of an additional 2 million trees by Earth Day 2024.
- Each tree planted absorbs carbon, improves air quality and helps restore habitats for birds and other animals.
- Travelers achieves cost savings by eliminating the materials and labor costs associated with printing and mailing forms.
- Employees are increasingly concerned about the environment and appreciate the company’s focus on restoring forests, which improves engagement.
- Volunteer activities linked to the partnership provide team-building opportunities.