Letter from the CRO

GRI Indicators

Victoria Dinges, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility

“Good Hands® People Apply Their Knowledge to Build a Better Future”

Allstate is committed to bringing out the good in people’s lives. That commitment is fundamental to our corporate vision and drives us as employees and agency owners.

Our story began more than 80 years ago, when corporate responsibility simply meant our values—caring for, investing in and protecting the communities where we live, work and serve. What started as an innate desire to be a responsible corporate citizen evolved into a passionate, ambitious and coordinated effort to create meaningful impact in communities across the country. We achieve this through strategic stakeholder engagement, responsible business practices, environmental stewardship and innovative social impact initiatives.

Our theme for this report, Knowledge, Applied, was inspired by our thousands of deeply committed and engaged employees and agency owners. Every day, they turn information, ideas and expertise into products and services that improve people’s lives. Using our knowledge for good is expressed in many stories throughout the report — from promoting resilient home construction, safer driving and financial literacy to rooting out insurance fraud and reducing our use of natural resources. In these ways, we support the sustainability of our business and those whose lives we have the privilege to touch. 

Community involvement and social impact

In 2012, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, our employees and agency owners contributed more than $29 million to communities. Together, we served more than 200,000 volunteer hours, fueled in part by the launch of our first companywide Week of Service in August 2012. During the week, more than 2,600 employees and agency owners completed 290 projects and logged 10,000 hours of service.

We also made steady progress on our long-term quests to improve the safety of teens on the road and empower domestic abuse survivors. For example, last year The Allstate Foundation reached 7.2 million teens through peer-to-peer activism programs, contests and projects, as well as teen-specific media, and involved more than 1.3 million people in programs that promote teen safe driving. Teen crash fatalities have decreased by nearly 40 percent since 2008, and we are on track to reduce teen driving fatalities by 50 percent and create the safest generation of teen drivers by 2015. 

Last year, we also provided more than $1 million in critically needed funding to state domestic violence coalitions through our Moving Ahead Through Financial Empowerment Grant Program, in partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence. In addition, we raised more than $250,000 in funding for YWCAs through our award-winning Purple Purse awareness program. To date, our work with domestic violence survivors has enabled more than 215,000 women and their children to get free and stay free from abuse.

Business practices

We believe transparent governance and accountability build trust, strengthen relationships with stakeholders and simply make us a better company. Elevating the standards for business practices involves continual reassessment of the environment in which we operate, adjusting our goals and creating initiatives that are important to all stakeholders.

To that end, we focus on socially responsible investing, diversity and advocacy. A portion of our multibillion-dollar investment portfolio is targeted toward low-income communities. Since starting the effort several years ago through 2012, we have financed more than 61,000 units of affordable housing.  

Our diversity initiatives cultivate inclusion among Allstate employees, agency owners and suppliers. It is a core Allstate value that energizes employees, improves innovation and drives growth. In 2012, our efforts were recognized by the company being ranked 37th on DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity list.

We use our leadership position to advocate key issues that affect our industry, the people we serve and the places they live — such as driver safety and programs that will better prepare America to recover from catastrophes. In 2012, we also placed a spotlight on the challenge of insurance fraud. In this report, you’ll read how Allstate leads the fight with more than 500 insurance fraud specialists who apply their vast knowledge to identify suspicious activities, analyze questionable claims and prevent fraudulent payouts. It is important work, as fraud contributes to higher insurance premiums for everyone.

Environmental stewardship

While Allstate’s operations have a much lower impact on the environment than those of an industrial or manufacturing company, we are very conscious of our carbon footprint and continually strive to reduce it. Our environmental stewardship goals integrate sustainability measures across Allstate operations and include reducing paper and energy use, and controlling carbon emissions.

In 2012, we decreased our overall energy use by 5.2 percent. Since establishing our energy use baseline in 2007, we’ve achieved a cumulative energy reduction of nearly 9 percent, bringing us nearly half way to our goal of reducing energy use by 20 percent by 2020. Simple energy-reduction initiatives like modifying the schedule of parking lot lights and changing the cleaning schedule at our Home Office complex in Northbrook, IL, proved highly effective in 2012.

We also maintained strong momentum in the area of paper reduction. Our employees use less office paper in their daily work, and we continue to reduce the amount of paper we send to Allstate’s customers — allowing us to have surpassed our internal and external paper-reduction goals for 2012. We responsibly disposed of much of the paper we did use, recycling nearly 4.25 million pounds through desk-side recycling as well as press-waste from our main printing facility.

Stakeholders

The positive impact we deliver is only possible with the support and active engagement of our stakeholders. Understanding and responding to the expectations of customers, employees, agency owners and others is essential to our success.

Allstate serves nearly 16 million households across the U.S. and Canada. We use the knowledge we’ve gained over the years to help our customers recover from unexpected losses—and prevent losses from happening in the first place. From showing customers how to help prevent fires to helping them prepare for hurricanes and tornadoes, we work as consumer advocates, not just as an insurance company. 

That was especially true in 2012, when thousands of our customers along the U.S. East Coast were hit by Superstorm Sandy. During the height of our response, Allstate’s National Catastrophe Team dedicated more than 4,000 claims personnel and two dozen mobile claim vehicles to assist policyholders with claim needs. Our comprehensive, orchestrated response to the storm enabled Allstate to fully process 98 percent of all Sandy-related claims within five months.

We know engaged employees help us deliver a better customer experience. Each year, we conduct a voluntary and confidential survey called VOICE that measures employee perceptions and satisfaction. According to our 2012 survey, 90 percent of Allstate employees considered themselves “proud” to work for Allstate, a 3 percent increase compared to 2011.

Likewise, our relationship with Allstate’s more than 9,300 exclusive agency owners and exclusive financial specialists is vital to our company’s success and to our ability to serve customers. In 2012, our annual Agency Relationship Survey found that overall satisfaction increased by 6 points among exclusive agencies and by 11 points among exclusive financial specialists. By regularly seeking feedback from and dialogue with agency owners and their staff, we more effectively address their concerns and better enable their success as small business owners.

These are just a few of the ways we make “corporate responsibility” a way of life at Allstate. I encourage you to read the stories in this report to learn more about how we’re applying our knowledge for good. We also encourage you to share comments and suggestions by writing to SocialResponsibilityFeedback@allstate.com

Victoria

Victoria Dinges
Vice President, Corporate Responsibility

 

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