Financial History 144 Winter 2023 - Page 37

Courtesy of Sunrise Banks
Sunrise Banks employees give back to the community through Habitat for Humanity . The bank offers full-time employees 40 hours of paid volunteer time a year ; part-time employees get 20 hours of paid volunteer time a year . The time is not required , only offered .
“ B corp certification tells us , and tells the public , how we are doing ,” said Frishberg . “ It is a set of metrics and best practices . PBC status gives us the legal structure to serve stockholders , as well as other stakeholders . B corp and PBC are additive to each other and support our fundamental objectives as an organization ,” he added .
More specifically to B corp status , Frishberg detailed that “ the effort was a formal way to demonstrate to ourselves and the public what we have done and a guide to keep improving . It was not something for which we had to change ; it was a natural for us . We ’ ve already completed one recertification and are in the middle of our second .”
One point of commonality among all B corp banks is their public outreach . But from there each institution approaches outreach in different ways . At Amalgamated , that happens through the branches , because those are closest to the communities , Frishberg explained . “ I ’ m based in Washington , and here we participate in job fairs and have tables at community events . But to take things back a step , our primary impact in the community is through our lending . That is how we support and build communities most directly .”
As an example , Frishberg noted that lending in support of climate-change initiatives has grown to comprise 32 % of the bank ’ s portfolio .
“ While B corp certification is certainly something of which we are proud , and that tells the public how we are doing , it is most useful as an internal tool . It speaks to a particular function of our organization . How we are doing as a corporate citizen .”
Gregory DL Morris is an independent business journalist , principal of Enterprise & Industry Historic Research and an active member of the Museum ’ s editorial board .
www . MoAF . org | Winter 2023 | FINANCIAL HISTORY 35