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PeoplesBank Issues 2020 Corporate Green Report

Highlights include a new total of $188 million in financing of green energy projects, nine green community projects supported, and the pursuit of a fourth LEED® certification.

HOLYOKE, MASS (April 22, 2020) – PeoplesBank has issued its 2020 annual Corporate Green Report in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Through its green values and actions to support environmental sustainability, PeoplesBank believes that it can help make the region a healthier place in which to live, work, and raise a family. The bank puts these values to work throughout the year through its charitable donations, volunteerism, support of green energy projects, and construction of LEED® certified offices.

“A lot of things have been canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus. Earth Day is not one of them,” stated Tom Senecal, President and CEO of PeoplesBank. “Environmental sustainability is really the meeting place of all of our corporate values. This year might be a remote celebration, but we will not forget our commitment to the community and the environment.”

PeoplesBank is also a longtime leader in sustainable energy financing, and the bank’s commercial lenders are recognized for their expertise in creating financing packages for green energy power generation. To date, the bank has financed more than $188 million in wind, solar, and hydroelectric power generation projects.

Over 2019-2020, PeoplesBank supported several green community projects in western Massachusetts including:

  • The Center for EcoTechnology’s “Eco Fellows” and more than hundred community education events.
  • The Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) Food for All campaign.
  • E-recycle and shred day at our Suffield Banking Center.
  • Grow Food Northampton.
  • Harold Grinspoon Foundation Local Farmer program and awards.
  • Scientific environmental education at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment.
  • A mobile farmers’ market that travels to underserved/food desert areas of Springfield and surrounding communities.
  • The Source to Sea Cleanup of the Connecticut River, which also includes hands-on participation by a team of volunteers from the bank.
  • ValleyBike Share, the region’s new bike-sharing program.

Community banks, like PeoplesBank, are not generally known for building green offices, butPeoplesBank has a LEED Gold certified office in Northampton, a LEED Gold certified office in West Springfield, and a LEED Silver certified office in Springfield. The LEED-certified office in Springfield, the first of its kind in the city, won a GreenSeal from the city of Springfield. The bank will pursue a fourth LEED certification for its Pedlar Banking Center, in Holyoke, in the near future.

Three PeoplesBank offices (Northampton, West Springfield, and Holyoke 330 Whitney Avenue) have electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The bank also launched a “Choose to Reuse” campaign designed to eliminate the use of disposable paper products internally.

In the past, PeoplesBank has been recognized by Independent Banker magazine for its environmental sustainability efforts and voted a five-time winner of “Best Local Green Business” by the Daily Hampshire Gazette readers. PeoplesBank is also a past recipient of the Sustainable Business of the Year award and the Associated Industries of Massachusetts’ Sustainability Award.

PeoplesBank has traditionally commemorated Earth Day by giving away tomato plants and seeds at several banking centers throughout the region. Due to the extenuating circumstances this year, in lieu of those customer giveaways, a donation will be made to the Food Bank of Western Mass to assist in their COVID relief outreach.

“A business’ responsibility is to try and influence their communities toward being more sustainable,” explained Matthew Bannister, First Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Responsibility at PeoplesBank. “The environment is a core belief that is built into the fabric of our organization. That goes a long way toward what we do in the community.”