Blog : New England Insurance Businesses Staying Green

By Katelyn | Sep 2, 2015 | in

By John Brescia

Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance (PAI) is an independent insurance agency operating throughout most of New England, and serves 2,000 clients in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont. PAI offers localized experience with options to suit their client’s specific needs, such as life, auto, health, and home and renter’s insurance, as well as financial services. The company recently celebrated its 10th anniversary this past June.

PAI not only covers costs, but also sustainability. As an insurance agency, PAI acts as an intermediary by purchasing policies from larger insurance companies, for their clients. While some believe they would spend less money by forgoing the insurance agency and buying the policy directly from the company, most save through working with PAI. This is because PAI gains the majority of their clients through word-of-mouth referrals, so their costs for customer acquisition are very low. However, their efforts to be green are very high

Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance utilizes a paperless agency management system, uses 100% recycled paper products and biodegradable plastic bags, and recycles all printer and toner cartridges. The business also digitizes all documents as PDFs, and uses 7th Generation products, which are environmentally-safe cleaning products. On Earth Day, PAI employees are given the day off to instead work for an environmental concern of their choice. In the future, PAI plans to incorporate soy-based inks, Energy Star office equipment, and chlorine-free paper.

But PAI is not limited by their own sustainable responsibility; they have chosen to work with insurance companies who also incorporate environmentally-conscious practices. And that is why PAI partners with Hanover Insurance, a business that is taking its own strides to stay green.

“Hanover is a relatively local company, based in Worcester, Mass.,” said Jon Merwin, founder and owner of PAI. “I like working with local companies because there’s more of a personal relationship there.”
Since first partnering with the Hanover Insurance Group in 2007, PAI and Hanover’s relationship has flourished. Hanover, as the insurance company, is on the clock in the event of a claim and writes the policies. And PAI, as the insurance agency, buys policies from the company and is in line to pay out the insurance claim for the customer.

“Our working relationship with Hanover is great,” Merwin said. “Most of our clients are with Hanover, and they’ve done the most work to be green.”

Merwin is certainly correct, as Hanover has made significant steps into sustainability of their own. The company utilizes both waste reduction and paper reduction, having recycled 127 tons of mixed fiber, cans, glass, and plastic in 2014. The same year, Hanover recycled 34 tons of construction and demolition materials and 4.5 tons of electronic equipment. Additionally, in 2014, 50% of total waste output at Hanover’s Worcester headquarters was recycled.

Hanover is energy efficient as well, with one hundred percent of its electricity being provided by certified wind energy. The Worcester and Howell buildings are Energy Star certified, utilizing thirty-five percent less energy (and putting out thirty-five percent less greenhouse gases) than similar buildings. In addition, 23 of Hanover’s field offices are either Energy Star-certified or Leadership and in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified. The company also added four electric vehicle charging stations at its headquarters. The Worcester office has reduced its electrical usage by 371, 892 kilowatt hours, which is the equivalent of taking 54 passenger cars off the road for a year. Appropriately, Hanover’s Worcester facility is now part of the top twenty-five percent sustainable facilities in the U.S.

The environmentally-conscious relationship between Hanover and Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance sets an example for other businesses in the insurance industry. While neither company’s work significantly affects the environment, they still employ sustainable measures, not because they are required to do so by law, but because they feel a sense of responsibility to operate a business in the best way possible.

For more information about Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance, click here. Green Alliance members who purchase a policy with Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance receive a free tote bag and a tree planted on their behalf through plantabillion.org. Not a member? Join here!