NIA uses two lenses to examine practices, systems, and structures to restore balance in communities: Sustainability and Equity.
Each one of these lenses helps a company focus on key elements of operating principles that will have an impact on the long-term success of the organization.
Together, they offer a comprehensive approach to operating a company with ethical and sustainable practices that have stakeholders, not shareholders, in mind.
Sustainability & Equity Philosophy
(Commonly known as ESG.)
All of NIA’s resources — social, financial, and physical — are committed to practices, systems and structures that restore balance to the earth’s environment and equitable treatment for all groups.
NIA works to ensure that all practices, systems, and structures — written or unwritten, conscious or unconscious — support the full equality of all groups. This includes equal access to power, ownership of resources, and correcting inequities caused by the existing paradigm.
It is part of NIA’s makeup to develop and promote practices, policies, and culture to empower leadership and employees to regularly and systematically question and address the inadequacies of existing systems which have enabled any group to gain or sustain any advantage over the other. NIA is committed to changing whatever is within its power to change. When change is not directly possible, NIA shines a light on the inequity to help bring attention to the issue, attract support, and find resolution.
Sustainability and Equity in Action at NIA
NIA, as an insurance company, has significant funds to invest, and looks to invest these funds in ways that are environmentally responsible.
Recently, NIA placed an even higher priority on this with a board committee tasked solely with vetting responsible investments.
Selection of Vendors
In 2022, NIA made it mandatory for all potential vendors to answer a questionnaire about equity and sustainability before being considered.
NIA wants to select vendors that are more responsible in terms of sustainability and equity, and bring these topics to the attention of vendors in order to encourage these values in the world at large.
Remote workforce: A distributed team allows NIA to reduce its carbon footprint by reducing employee travel. At the same time, this has allowed NIA to develop an even more diverse workforce by drawing employees from diverse communities and geographies.
Reduced travel: NIA has reduced travel (in particular air travel) by over 50% since 2019. This applies to all staff and contractors, brokers, attorneys, auditors, and more. This has resulted in a huge reduction to NIA’s carbon footprint, as it also eliminates correlated auto rental travel.
Net zero offices: NIA’s headquarters is net zero: An environmentally responsible building that is capable of operating independently of conventional power grids and can produce all of its own power with 356 rooftop solar panels.
The building has full environmental controls that provide passive heating and cooling using ambient air and the sun. Additionally, there is efficient lighting, low-use water appliances, and drought-tolerant plants.
A community room is available as a meeting room for use by nonprofits in the local community. These nonprofits don’t even have to be NIA members, just insured 501(c)(3) organizations.
Science-based Metrics and Targeting
Getting better at sustainability is complicated and requires hard work and analysis. NIA employs methods, tools, and standards created by Science Based Targets.
Not only has all of this been done without a negative impact on productivity at NIA, it’s increased productivity across the board.
NIA encourages every organization, regardless of size, to take the time to evaluate operations with a focus on Sustainability and Equity. It’s the right thing to do, it advances nonprofit missions, and it delivers superior results for stakeholders.