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Making a Green Difference
October 13, 2015
Being a good environmental steward is consistent with living The Thrivent Way
At Thrivent Financial, we’re focused on what matters and changing lives, and are always looking for ways to make a difference. One of the ways Thrivent employees are taking action is through Thrivent’s Green Team. But the Green Team is making a difference that reaches beyond local neighborhoods – it’s making a global impact.
The Green Team
Being a good environmental steward is consistent with living The Thrivent Way – our mission, vision and values statement. That’s why employees in our information technology and corporate facilities departments created the Green Team in 2008 to help drive Thrivent’s efforts in making positive environmental impacts and dollar-saving results.
Today, the Green Team is made up for more than 50 employee volunteers who look for opportunities to promote, educate and initiate green ideas throughout our organization. Split into subteams, the Green Team has three key focus areas: employee commuting, healthy lifestyle, and building and recycling. By leading and supporting these sustainability efforts, the Green Team helps demonstrate Thrivent’s commitment to its members and communities in how we take care of the world around us.
Much more than recycling
The Green Team has helped implement several sustainability initiatives – practices that go beyond your typical office recycling. Here’s a glance at some of Thrivent’s ongoing green efforts:
- Maintain ENERGY STAR certification in our corporate offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Appleton, Wisconsin. Currently, the Corporate Center (Minneapolis) has seven years of certification (rating of 93 in 2014) and the Operations Center (Appleton) has four (rating of 94 in 2014).
- Divert more than 22 tons of food per year from landfills by sending food waste from the Corporate Center (Minneapolis) cafeteria to pig farms.
- Reduce and recycle at all Thrivent facilities.
- Promote our Go Paperless initiative to give members the option to receive statements and documents electronically. Since 2013, we’ve delivered more than 2 million electronic documents.
- Upgrade restrooms in our corporate offices with water-saving plumbing and energy-efficient lighting. So far, the renovated restrooms at the Corporate Center (Minneapolis) have reduced overall water use by 13%.
- Minimize business travel by using a videoconference network.
- Offer telecommuting options for employees to work from home.
Employees ride along
The Thrivent bike program is a green initiative that promotes a healthy lifestyle on top of making a positive environmental impact. Thanks to the Green Team and the bike program, Thrivent is a Bicycle Friendly Business. This means we join approximately 1,000 other organizations across the country that actively promote bicycling as an alternative commuting option. In addition, each year, Thrivent participates in the National Bike Challenge, which encourages individuals, teams, schools and organizations to get out and ride.
The National Bike Challenge runs from May to September, with each participant logging his or her miles. Thrivent is currently ranked 8th nationally in the workplace category with more than 105,000 miles logged by 262 riders.
More to do
We’ve seen success with the green strategies we have in place today, but there’s still much more to be done in order to maintain, and increase, our sustainable efforts. As we continue our current initiatives, the Thrivent Green Team is actively welcoming new ideas to be even more sustainable in our communities and beyond.