New Resource Bank is committed to internal operational sustainability. We seek to reduce our environmental footprint at every level, from our LEED Gold-certified headquarters to our policies and practices. The bank has been a San Francisco-certified green business since 2007, adhering to San Francisco Green Business program standards. We also adhere to an internally-developed environmental policy spearheaded by our employee-led Green Team. This publicly posted policy calls for the bank to reduce, reuse and recycle; purchase environmentally-friendly products; and conserve energy, water and other natural resources.
Our Green Team helps drive corporate sustainability and engages our entire staff in opportunities to learn about and support our mission. The Green Team orients new employees to our sustainability initiatives and environmental policies and provides ongoing training for all employees via the Sustainability Engagement Program, which aims to deepen sustainability knowledge through lunch n’ learns, documentaries, and personal sustainability challenges.
Our environmental policy requires that we purchase from local, environmentally-friendly companies, where possible. To the extent possible, we also try to use fellow B Corps in purchasing. Within our supply chain, 80 percent of our primary vendors are local and we aim to support fellow B Corps and green businesses, where possible. For example, we purchase our office supplies from Give Something Back Office Supplies, a fellow B Corp. We also source all chocolates for treats from fellow B Corp and client Alter Eco, and use EO Products for employee anniversary gifts. We work closely with our food vendors for office breakfasts, lunches, and appetizers, and opt for organic and sustainable ingredients, where possible.
In addition, our procurement policy requires that we purchase:
New Resource has taken many steps, small and large, to reduce our energy and water use and conserve resources.
For greenhouse gas emissions that we have not been able to eliminate, we purchase carbon offsets from terrapass. Our carbon footprint in 2016 was 141 metric tons, the bulk of which derived from commuting and travel to conferences or our new Colorado loan office. Our server infrastructure contributes 44 metric tons (30% of the total), a significant increase from 2015 (4.8%) given we moved our servers on-site. We also purchased 121 metric tons of BEF water restoration certificates from terrapass to balance our water usage for the year. Those certificates, in turn, benefited the Sacramento River Wetlands project in California.
We have many practices in place to curb energy and resource use. To reduce paper, we have converted all loan files to digital; use digital signatures for documents, where possible; send documents electronically via DocuSign; print on efficient, multipurpose copiers and default to double-sided copies; use larger or dual monitors; eliminated printed materials for board meetings via a portal that enables tablet access; converted incoming faxes to electronic files; and, in 2016, we deployed six tablet computers to give users more portability and functionality.
The accounting department prepares electronic daily reconciliations that save 5,000 sheets of paper annually (20/day x 250 workdays/year). With the assistance of our System Administrator, Sohail, every member of the accounting team has or will receive an electronic signature that is secure and reduces the risk of forgery.
To reduce energy, we have deployed smart power strips that turn off outlets when devices are powered off and we power off all desktop computers each night.
In 2016, our Green Team dedicated itself to raising awareness about the fashion industry since it is the second largest polluter on the planet after the oil industry. We hosted a “fix it” party for our employees to repurpose their clothes and had a larger, ongoing clothing swap for our New Resource Bank community. We have a display up in our hallways about sustainable fashion, to educate ourselves and visitors about the industry.
In addition, over half of our employees took our “Sustainable Textile Pledge” to purchase less, reuse more, repurpose, when possible, and support fair-trade, organic companies, where possible. Internally, we learned about the fair-trade supply chain process with client Pact Apparel and the textile donation process with Goodwill, where we also spent a day volunteering in their donation center.
Our landfill diversion rate in 2016 was 87 percent, which exceeds California’s estimated employee-based diversion rates of 65 percent. Some of the ways we achieved this rate include avoiding disposable products for office lunches; assigning a compost bin, recycling bin and trash bin to each employee desk and all common rooms; collecting plastic bags for recycling at Whole Foods; and recycling all Styrofoam at Green Citizen, with whom we also coordinate the recycling of electronic waste, including cell phones, cables, and old computer equipment. New Resource Bank raises awareness about waste reduction opportunities through our sustainability mascot, Trashy Terry, and Friday Fun Facts.
We encourage all employees to use public transport whenever possible and provide $100 in monthly commuter credits per employee. One hundred percent of our staff chose public transportation to travel to work in 2016. For local business travel, we encourage public transportation, Lyft, or City CarShare, a San Francisco-based nonprofit providing the local community with shared vehicle access.
New Resource Bank is also a proud business member of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Founded in 1971, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is a 10,000-member bicycle advocacy group that encourages bicycling for everyday transportation. Through our membership, we aim to promote biking among bank employees, while also supporting the Coalition’s mission to make San Francisco a bike-friendly and safe city. Some other benefits of New Resource Bank becoming a member of the Bicycle Coalition include informational workshops about bicycling and support in becoming a more bike-friendly business.