Our annual Impact Report has arrived—come take a look!
Photo courtesy of our client MPOWERD
We are excited to announce the launch of our 2016 Impact Report!
This past year marked an inflection point for the transition from the old to a new economy. The Paris Agreement was a historic turning point to combat climate change and to accelerate the investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future with 177 countries around the world signing the deal. 2015 also potentially signaled the beginning of coal’s demise. Several U.S. coal producers went bankrupt in 2015, with Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal producer, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this past April. One Goldman Sachs report declared last September that we have achieved peak coal.
As a bank, we showed our support leading up to COP21 Paris by taking the Paris Pledge to encourage big banks not to finance the coal industry. Between 2005 and April 2014, according to research, 93 banks around the world provided more than $500 billion in financing to the coal sector. As mobilizers of capital, banks play a fundamental role in driving the transition to a more sustainable economy because of their unique role to either finance harmful industries like fossil fuels or to catalyze industries that are building the new economy.
New Resource Bank only finances businesses and nonprofits that are working to build the new economy because of our deeply held philosophy that the current system of raw capitalism is broken. We need to use capital to build a more sustainable solution for the future, one that respects and restores our planet and benefits our communities to create well-being for all people and the planet.
We hope history will look back at this past year as the turning point for our climate and for the future of our planet.
Similarly, 2015 was a transition year for New Resource Bank. We focused on laying the groundwork to scale and grow. In addition to moving offices to accommodate our expansion in staff, we focused on improving our efficiency and effectiveness by documenting and fine-tuning every bank process from account opening to loan closing. We also laid the groundwork to open our first loan production office in Boulder, Colorado, which we opened June 1, 2016.
Over the past year, we deepened our thinking beyond our core lending markets — natural and organic products, clean energy, green real estate, sustainable companies and nonprofits — to ask ourselves about the impact we are having. Every new loan we make is to a values-driven organization—with 87% of loans outstanding invested in organizations that are benefiting our communities and preserving our planet. But we wanted to go beyond the portfolio numbers to understand the true impact of our loans.
To achieve this, we defined impact areas as well as metrics that encompass what we believe to be the true impact of our loans. We have defined four key impact areas:
- Environmental protection
- Health & wellness
- Education & community empowerment
- Sustainable commerce
Through the use of B Lab’s Impact Assessment, we are in the process of gathering data to be able to measure the impact we are having in these areas.
We ended 2015 with a number of accomplishments. We enjoyed our ninth year of operations, our fourth year of profitability and our fourth consecutive year as a B Corp “Best for the World” company, scoring in the top 10 percent of all certified B Corporations. What gives us even greater satisfaction is witnessing all the ways, big and small, that our employees live our values. In 2015 they dedicated over 1,000 total hours to volunteering initiatives from soup kitchens to planting trees. They also committed themselves to personal sustainability challenges over the year ranging from reducing their water use, planting a garden to avoiding unsustainably sourced palm oil.
We invite you to explore our report and the impact we are having. We know you will enjoy getting to know some of our inspiring clients that are featured, including MPOWERD, Namaste Solar, Level Playing Field Institute, Sweet Earth Natural Foods, Fireclay Tile and Bioneers.
We thank you for your continued support that allows us to remain dedicated to our triple-bottom-line success. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments to our Director of Marketing and Culture Stephanie Meade at [email protected] or (415) 995-8165.