HOLYOKE, Mass., April 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On Earth Day, April 22, individuals and organizations around the world will reflect on the environment, climate change, and a variety of other issues affecting the planet. Through its green values and actions to support environmental sustainability, PeoplesBank believes that it can help make the region a healthier place to live, work, and raise a family. The bank puts those values to work throughout the year through its charitable donations, volunteerism, and the financing of sustainable energy. PeoplesBank is also recognized for its support of green energy [INFOGRAPHIC] and construction of LEED® certified offices, both of which are not traditional activities for a community bank.
For Earth Day 2016, PeoplesBank highlighted $70,000 in recent funding for green initiatives in Western Massachusetts. The bank has committed $50,000 to the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, a local center for scientific environmental education. The funds were used for construction of a living building, one of only nine in the world. PeoplesBank also provides additional support for educational programs focused on empowering students to engage as active citizens in support of a regenerative future.
PeoplesBank provided a lead grant of $10,000 to CISA's (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) "Local Food For All" campaign. Through the campaign, SNAP dollars spent at farmers markets on healthy fruits and vegetables will be matched, generating additional purchasing power, improving nutritional offerings and supporting local farmers.
The bank provided $10,000 in funding and volunteer support to "GreenNFit" through Revitalize Community Development Corp. This effort will focus on housing in a two-block area of Springfield, providing cosmetic improvements, increasing energy efficiency and address maintenance needs of area residents.
PeoplesBank is also a longtime leader in sustainable energy financing. "PeoplesBank started financing sustainable energy several years ago when we helped Holyoke Gas & Electric replace hydroelectric generators," stated Thomas Senecal, President of PeoplesBank. "That sustainable energy source actually provides electric power for four of our offices, including our headquarters in Holyoke." Building on that successful effort, PeoplesBank commercial lenders developed a niche expertise in creating financing packages for green energy power generation and, to date, has financed more than $96 million in wind, solar, and hydroelectric power generation projects.
Community banks are not known for building green offices, either. PeoplesBank 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 [VIDEO] from the city of Springfield. PeoplesBank has also installed electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at three offices in Northampton, West Springfield and Holyoke (330 Whitney Avenue).
In celebration of Earth Day, PeoplesBank will give away flowers and vegetable garden seeds to the public on Earth Day, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at several of its locations.
About: PeoplesBank is a leader in innovation, corporate responsibility, environmental sustainability, and employee engagement.
As the largest community bank in the market, we have a unique ability to help the communities we serve through volunteer efforts and millions of dollars in donations to charitable and civic causes. Our associates devote an average of 6,000 hours to volunteer work each year and 48 of the bank's officers serve on the boards of directors and committees of 115 area nonprofit organizations.