American Girl

Employee Commuting Assistance is Part of American Girl’s Sustainability Initiative

Since 1986 American Girl, headquartered in Middleton, has provided inspiring products for each stage of a young girl’s development. American Girl products are marketed and distributed through the company’s award-winning catalogue; its Web site, americangirl.com; and at its proprietary retail stores. American Girl books are also available in bookstores nationwide.

The company has been making great strides in environmental stewardship, especially since 2007 when a Sustainability Team was formed. The team of nine representatives from across company functions met to develop a mission statement and a three year plan for implementation. The team aimed to improve corporate energy efficiency—efficient warehouse lighting had already been installed a year earlier— and to do better in all its current practices, from purchasing environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies to responsible paper-purchasing to serving healthy, local food in its employee cafe.

Another aim was frequent communication with employees to raise their awareness of steps they can take at home and at work to protect the environment. To spread a culture of sustainability, a volunteer “Green Captain” was designated from each department. Departments now plan together how to reduce, reuse and recycle—reducing American Girl’s operating expenses in the process.

Several times a year, events like this year’s Sustainable Energy Fair are held to educate and involve employees. An Earth Day Fair celebrated 2008 accomplishments and included a building-wide fact treasure hunt so employees could learn about a wide range of measures taken all over the company. Green Bag lunches on topics such as recycling and carpooling also help build awareness. An employee ridesharing initiative began with an invitation to interested employees. 50 participants stuck pins indicating their homes on a map, then gathered by zip code to explore carpool partnerships. American Girl encourages carpooling by reserving prime parking spots for those who share a ride.

Employers that educate and motivate their employees to car or vanpool, bike, or take the bus to work are helping their employees save money on commuting costs while they protect our air. In Dane County, pollution from vehicle exhaust now causes 50% of our total air pollution, so reducing car trips is essential to healthy air. American Girl now notifies its employees of Clean Air Action Days when reduced driving is key to protecting the health of Dane County residents.

The Healthy Air Employee Commute Solutions Toolkit has provided American Girl with new resources and additional information to help the company continue to help its employees. You can download the toolkit.

Contact us for free commuting assistance at your work site.