Nick Webb and Colleen Lange help tend the Giving Garden on AEG's grounds.
The vegetables will be given to local food pantries.
American Enterprise’s ESG initiatives support its culture of betterment
In 2021, environmental, social, and governance concerns are top of mind for many organizations, and American Enterprise Group (AEG) is no exception. Within the last year, AEG has made strides with its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) program and continues to focus its efforts on becoming a more sustainable, ethical, and inclusive company.
AEG’s current environmental movements and sustainable efforts include:
- Reducing paper use by 50%
- Using 100% green products for cleaning
- Improving air quality within the building
- Having a daytime cleaning staff to save power in the evenings
- Installing an electric car charger in the parking garage
AEG's Des Moines location is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building. LEED-certified buildings are internationally recognized buildings designed to save energy, improve water efficiency, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and enhance indoor environmental quality.
Moving forward, AEG plans to increase the use of biodegradable kitchen items, research and implement economically feasible solar power and alternative energy sources, and adopt MidAmerican Energy’s fully sustainable energy sourcing when it becomes available.
The foundation of AEG’s social initiatives is its focus on a culture of betterment.
“Anytime you expect a culture of betterment, change, and growth, you need to make investments in your people, provide an array of learning opportunities, and communicate on the progress, or lack thereof, regularly. This is what we are working towards as a part of the S of our ESG work,” said Meg Brown, VP, chief human resources officer.
Some of AEG’s social investments include:
- Enhancing benefits and compensation, as well as adding an ESG option to employee 401(k) plans
- Offering volunteer time off (VTO)
- Providing wellness programs and resources
- Implementing ongoing employee engagement surveys with transparency on results and actions taken
- Expanding career planning and development resources
- Creating a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee
These social investments are managed and supported by AEG’s internal charter committees: Charitable Giving Committee, Volunteer Committee, Employee Recognition Committee, Wellness Committee, Culture Club, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.
Through these committees, AEG will continue to increase ESG social initiatives by adding financial and social wellness programming for employees, raising awareness of mental health issues, working with community colleges to find diverse job candidates, and interviewing prospective employees for cultural contributions in addition to job experience.
Eric Nemmers, VP, general counsel, says governance is the guiding hand for all aspects of ESG. Governance is how AEG ethically accomplishes environmental and social movements and business in general.
AEG is ensuring ethical practices now and into the future by:
- Having independent board members and the use of board committees
- Cultivating an ethical culture
- Making customer-centric decisions
- Implementing appropriate data security policies and procedures
- Creating board refreshment rules
- Recruiting board candidates with diverse experiences
Like most organizational movements, ESG starts at the top. And fortunately for AEG, the American Enterprise Mutual Holding Company (AEMHC) Board of Directors views ESG as not simply actions but as a lens through which to consider future decisions and conduct business. It advocates for community engagement, environmental stewardship, and a quality work environment for its employees, who work hard to serve customers.