Walking the Talk
We believe that our role is not only to support great businesses and nonprofits in the work that they are doing, but also to “walk the walk” by adopting leading sustainable and socially responsible internal business practices.
Beneficial State has a Green Team that drives our sustainability efforts. The mission of the green team is to: 1) reduce our consumption of energy, natural resources, and materials; and 2) reduce contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, and landfills. Our key green programs and elements are described below.
Green Business Certifications
We seek to green certify all of our bank locations. We are green certified in Oakland, Portland (Gold level) and Seattle (Greenest level). In Sacramento, we’re in a LEED Gold certified building, and we are in the process of getting certification our newest location, Santa Rosa, CA.
Measuring and Decreasing our Footprint
We engage Ecoshift Consulting, an independent third-party firm to track and provide a sustainability report. We use this information to assess our organizational environmental impact; identify opportunities to reduce our resource consumption, GHG emissions and waste; and purchase carbon offsets in order to be a carbon neutral organization.
Being Carbon Balanced (Balancing Out the Rest)
In addition to tracking, reporting, and targeting reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions, we purchase carbon offsets for these emissions. We are proud investors of 728 mT CO2 equivalent emissions reductions from the California Improved Forest Management Project in Arcata, CA to balance out 2 years of emissions.
Beneficial State employees engage in education and action campaigns to reduce waste and energy usage reduction at work and home. In 2014 and 2015 staff participated in the Eco-Challenge by Northwest Earth Institute, helping us implement new behaviors to reduce waste, energy and water usage.
Employees have also introduced internal events and initiatives to promote environmental sustainability. Recent achievements include: Earth Day branch celebrations, an organizational-wide waste reduction campaign, and environmentally-focused quizzes and challenges.
We are committed to paying employees a minimum of 150% of the area Living Wage for a single adult household, as calculated by MIT. If Living Wage in an area is below $15 per hour, we increase the minimum to at least $15 per hour. It’s our 150% | $15 pledge.
We are committed to gender and ethnic diversity and equity within our workforce, with a workforce that is as ethnically and racially diverse as the community, region or state in which we serve. This includes offering the same opportunities for recruitment, hiring, training, promotion for all levels, including senior leadership, executive and board positions.
We believe staff volunteering is an important investment in our communities. Volunteering provides valuable community services and strengthens a community in many ways such as supporting families, improving schools, supporting youth, and beautifying the community. Community volunteering is an important measure of the civic health of a community, a state, and a nation. Bank employees are given thirty-two (32) hours of paid volunteer time per calendar year for a volunteer opportunity of their own choosing.
In addition to volunteering, we encourage staff to donate to charitable causes. All employees have the opportunity to receive up to $250 annually to match money he/she donates to a qualifying 501c3 charitable/nonprofit organization of his/her choice.
From day one, Beneficial State has been committed to supporting our community above and beyond its lending by providing sponsorships to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations each year. Historically we have provided the equivalent of 5-10% or more of Beneficial State Bank’s profits. That’s five to ten times the U.S. average corporate giving of less than 1% (.76%). In 2017, we provided $179,350 in sponsorships to community organizations. Learn more about our sponsorships here.