When environmental activists wrote an open letter to several banks asking them to divest from a pipeline through Native American land in South Dakota, New Resource Bank was not on the recipient list . Our mission and values prohibit us from funding projects, like the Dakota Access pipeline, that harm local communities, damage the environment, and promote the consumption of fossil fuels. Our clients know that the money they keep in our bank helps benefit local communities and the environment.
New Resource Bank only finances businesses and nonprofits that are working to build the new economy because we believe that the current system of raw capitalism is broken. We must use capital to build more sustainable solutions for a future that respects and restores our planet and benefits our communities to create well-being for all people and the planet.
New Resource focuses on lending to businesses and nonprofits that are socially and/or environmentally responsible. We are making a positive impact in four key areas:
To achieve this impact, we make loans to 250 organizations whose profiles fall within these areas. We focus our lending on five core markets: clean energy, organic and natural products, green real estate, sustainable business, and nonprofits. We provide funding for a variety of business needs, including the purchase of new equipment to grow product supply; energy upgrades to reduce operating costs and achieve higher margins; and real estate loans for green businesses looking to expand. We can structure credit lines that utilize accounts receivables and inventory to unlock the cash flow that a small business needs for continued growth.
Dharma Merchant Services offers socially responsible card payment solutions with full transparency. The company specializes in small businesses and nonprofits. “Dharma Merchant Services was conceived as a company with social and personal responsibility at its core: to be of genuine service to others with the intention of awakening to our higher selves in the process,” Jeff Marcous, Chief Evolutionary Officer, says. “As a provider of payment processing services—primarily debit and credit card acceptance—our goal was to find vendors that shared our values, and New Resource Bank has been an inspiring partner since day one. New Resource Bank has created a culture of community-building and corporate social responsibility in so many ways that Dharma has encouraged all staff to ‘break up with their mega-bank.’ We continue to benefit from this trusted partnership with New Resource Bank.”
Banks have a major role to play in building a more sustainable economy because we have the capital to decide what projects and organizations are financed. Through the projects we fund, we can fight climate change, support more sustainable food systems and better health, help schools expand, sustain the vital work of nonprofits in our communities and grow socially and environmentally responsible small businesses that provide jobs with fair wages.
Here are examples of our new loans in 2016:
Maas Energy Works / Environmental Protection
Maas Energy Works is a leading developer-owner-operator of dairy manure digesters in the United States and works in partnership with dairy farmers or other commercial facilities. “Our company works with New Resource because they understand the unique, customized nature of the family farms we work with on our biomethane projects,” shared Stephen Hatley, CFO. “New Resource Bank took the time to learn about the farm and our project, then supported us 100% through to project startup. We couldn’t build the way we do without the bank. Oh, and they are small enough that they actually pick up the phone when you call with a question, too.”
Masienda / Health & Wellness
Masienda sources, imports and purveys heirloom Latin ingredients while creating a fair market that promotes agricultural biodiversity, sustainability and supports smallholder farmers in Mexico. “Partnering with New Resource Bank offered us the opportunity to work with an organization whose mission aligns with ours, whose team and culture of hospitality we greatly admire, and whose network and resources bring us great value,” said Jorge Gaviria, CEO.
Youth Leadership Institute / Education & Community Empowerment
Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) builds communities where young people and their adult allies come together to create positive social change. Jonathan Marker, CEO, said, “For 25 years YLI has worked across California alongside youth in their communities to elevate the youth voice and create positive social change. 86,000 youth leaders have worked with YLI to pass over 100 policies that work toward a more equitable society. YLI is grateful to bank with a community- and solutions-oriented institution like New Resource Bank.”
UrbanBloc / Sustainable Commerce
UrbanBloc converts used shipping containers into vibrant spaces for eating, working, shopping or playing. They are a one-stop design/build firm that works with their clients to capture a vision and bring it to reality. Their containers are delivered complete from factory to site, including necessary permits, streamlining the time and cost to market. “New Resource Bank has believed in and supported us and our vision,” says Martha Trela, CEO. “Our shared values in sustainability and their personalized service are important to us in a financial partner.”
Our loan portfolio has grown from 46 percent values-aligned loan commitments in 2011 to 90 percent in 2016. The remaining 10 percent are traditional community banking loans made during our initial start-up period. Each year we get closer to our goal of 100 percent mission-focused lending.
What does this mean for our clients and where their money spends the night? By loan commitment, our loan portfolio is approximately 16 percent invested in sustainable businesses, 16 percent in organic and natural foods and products, 19 percent in green real estate, 17 percent in clean energy, and 23 percent in nonprofits, with the remaining approximately 10 percent in traditional community banking.
Our lending portfolio is designed to protect the environment and fight climate change. Burning fossil fuels for electricity generation is the number one source of greenhouse gas and has led C02 levels to surpass 400 parts per million. New Resource Bank supports clean energy that improves air and water quality as well as our health; by some estimates, investments in clean energy can save the U.S. up to $886.5 billion in pollution-related health care costs. Clean energy helps stabilize energy prices due to lower operating costs and has the potential to produce three times the number of jobs as fossil-fuel based energy production. Our clean energy portfolio includes clients such as Enerparc, LA Cleantech Incubator, and Maas Energy Works.
New Resource Bank supports a range of organic and natural companies, from fair-trade and organic foods to sustainable fashion and eco-friendly products. Organic foods and products diminish exposure to toxic chemicals in our supply chains, making consumption safer for people and the planet. Organic agriculture reduces soil degradation and protects watersheds for surrounding communities. Organic farming also requires less energy and water, important inputs that can exacerbate climate change and droughts. Because of the significant impact of organic food and products on our health and wellness, this is a key lending portfolio for the bank, currently comprising approximately 16 percent or our total loans. Clients in this sector include Hodo Soy, Hog Island Oyster Company, Kuli Kuli, Rustic Crust, and Veritable Vegetable.
In the U.S., buildings account for 41 percent of total energy use, 14 percent of potable water consumption, and produce nearly 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. LEED-certified buildings consume 25 percent less energy, 11 percent less water and emit 34 percent less CO2. Green buildings have lower operating costs and can reduce waste from landfills. Because of the large impact green real estate has in protecting our environment, this is a key market for New Resource Bank and approximately 19 percent of our loan portfolio is invested in green real estate. Clients in this sector include Napa Creek Village, Citadel Community Development, 350 Fourth Street LLC and Urban Bloc.
New Resource supports nonprofit organizations that are at the heart of education and community empowerment. As advocates for community development and social change, nonprofits work with multiple constituencies to forge partnerships and increase impact. The nonprofit sector is an enormous contributor to the American economy, representing 10.3 percent of the nation’s private workforce and 5.4 percent of the U.S. GDP in 2012. Approximately 19 percent of our total loans have gone to schools such as Pomona School of Arts and Enterprise, as well as nonprofits such as Community Medical Centers, SFMade, Toniic Institute, and Youth Leadership Institute.
New Resource Bank supports businesses that prioritize sustainability in their strategic plans and operations. Many businesses focus on sustainable management because of a core belief in social and environmental responsibility. Sustainably managed businesses are committed to good governance, continuous improvement and employee engagement. These businesses often enjoy higher productivity and innovation, lower turnover, and lower energy, waste and material costs.
Many of these businesses, which comprise approximately 16 percent of our loan portfolio, are the engine of their communities, providing essential services and jobs.
Our clients include Green Commuter, Heath Ceramics, Nopalito, Piccino, and Vode Lighting.
The New Resource Bank Impact CD is a banking product that enables depositors to direct long-term savings toward three key impact areas: clean energy, organic and natural products or nonprofit organizations. At the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, we had $10.6 million total invested in Impact CDs, $6.2 million of which was earmarked for a specific sector. Nonprofits were the most popular impact area.
Client Feature: REBBL
REBBL (Roots Extracts Berries Bark and Leaves) makes high quality, super herb-powered beverages, crafted from traditional wellness plants to achieve optimum state of balance and wellness. REBBL was born out of a passionate collaboration between global thought-leaders to identify an innovative, sustainable, market-based solution to prevent exploitation in the Peruvian Amazon. “As a growing brand with impact at our core, choosing values-aligned partners is essential. We are proud to work with New Resource Bank, a true leader in holistic sustainability,” said Danielle Dhanoa, Sourcing & Impact Manager.
One way we track our portfolio’s sustainability and help our clients’ progress on their sustainability journey is by requiring them to take an impact assessment. We utilize B Lab’s Quick Impact Assessment (QIA), which provides a comprehensive overview of a company’s impact in four key areas: workers, governance, community, and environment. Each assessment poses 35 to 40 questions and is tailored to the company’s size and sector. Advantages of B Lab’s assessment include a standardized measure of corporate impact, solid analytical data, and detailed tools for clients, customized by industry.
Over 24,000 companies have completed the B Impact Assessment (BIA) and the average scores of these companies serve as a benchmark against which our clients can be compared. We have found* that on average, our clients:
We are proud to do business with diverse companies that care for the environment and their employees.
We will continue to measure the impact being made by the businesses we serve with the goal of providing ever more robust data on their environmental, social and governance performance as more clients complete the assessment. As we grow, measuring and reporting impact is how we demonstrate our ongoing commitment to building more sustainable and thriving communities.
*Based on QIAs and/or BIAs completed by 90 New Resource Bank clients from 2013-2016