Promoting sustainability through action

We're working to operate our offices and facilities with maximum energy efficiency and reduce onsite waste. In 2022 we established a baseline carbon footprint consistent with Greenhouse Gas Protocol and filed our first Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) report.

Sustainable facilities

We have more than 3.5 million square feet of corporate office space across three campuses. Each meets benchmarks for green building design and construction, including extensive use of recycled building materials, reduced water consumption, and improved energy efficiency. We're pursuing WELL certification for our New York campus and proudly maintain the following Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications:

Smiling advisor with glasses

Milwaukee campus

"Milwaukee Tower & Commons: LEED Gold", "Van Buren building: LEED Gold"

Smiling advisor with glasses

Franklin campus

"Franklin campus: LEED Silver"

Smiling advisor with glasses

New York City campus

"NY campus: Designed to WELL standards"

Recent or upcoming sustainability improvements include:

  • Adding electric vehicle charging stations to our downtown Milwaukee structure

  • Replacing Tower & Commons lights with more efficient LED lights

  • Added ionization bars to all air handling units to improve air quality and conserve energy

  • Added ultraviolet germicidal irradiation technology to the air handling units in Milwaukee and Franklin health clinics to improve air quality

  • Using new software to reduce physical camera counts and associated electricity use

  • Using more virtual machines and servers to reduce the environmental impact of physical units

Paper and waste management

Northwestern Mutual employees having a meeting in the Milwaukee tower.

We continue working to reduce client paper communications. Our dedicated team found that a significant portion of the paper forms and the data we ask clients for could be shifted to digital options. Reducing our paper use cut related CO2 emissions by 47%—the equivalent of removing 670 vehicles from the road.

We also engage employees in continually decreasing the waste going to landfills. Currently, we recycle:

  • Batteries

  • Steel

  • Cardboard

  • Pens

  • Paper

  • Eye glasses

  • Glass

  • Monitors

  • Plastic

  • Computers

  • Aluminum

  • Lightbulbs

Northwestern Mutual employees having a meeting in the Milwaukee tower.

Climate risk stakeholders group

We've established a team to identify emerging expectations and data sources and coordinate assessment and prioritization of climate-related risks. This team assists the Enterprise Risk Management team in determining how climate-related considerations can be integrated into operations, strategic planning, and reporting, and monitor climate and other regulatory initiatives.

$20B

in environmentally sensitive and socially responsible investments, including $3B in housing support for people with low incomes.

$20B

in environmentally sensitive and socially responsible investments, including $3B in housing support for people with low incomes.

Powering change through conscientious investments

An art deco downtown building.

We seek to invest at least 5% of general account assets in socially and environmentally responsible investments without compromising return objectives. Such investments this year exceeded $22 billion. While our core value of mutuality has always aligned with socially responsible investing, our formal focus began in earnest in 2003. Today we include such investments in all general account investment areas. We believe this enhances our ability to deliver significant long-term value for our policyowners and clients while effectively managing risk in our general account. We continue to expand the range of ESG factors as appropriate in the general account and as consistent with our commitment to policyowner returns.

An art deco downtown building.

Get the full sustainability report

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