University of Tennessee
Climate First not only has a pledge to have zero emissions, but they also help people and companies improve their net emissions. They have created personalized loan plans for people intending to build solar power or other sustainable projects. For business, they also have similar personalized plans, but along side this they advise them throughout their business life in how to maintain a eco-friendly business model. The bank has also committed to give 1% of gross sales to combat climate change.
Alongside these plans and mentorship, they are joining and helping establish groups committed to sustainable development in the state of Florida as well as the world. These communities focus on sustainable development and growing the international knowledge of climate change and sustainability. The leaders of the bank thought who better to learn and draw inspiration on how to handle money that is sustainably responsible than a bank, which handles the majority of money in the world.
The leaders at Climate First Bank drew a ton of inspiration from the book Drawdown by Paul Hawken. Holly Bridwell, the Marketing Director of Climate First even goes as far to say they used the initiatives in the book to "to develop banking programs around [them]" These initiatives are directly related to the state of Florida, and what people can do to reduce green house gas effects.
Holly Bridwell may not have been one of the founders of the community, but she still is a leader in the organization. As the Marketing Director, she is a huge part of what happens at Climate First Bank. Holly is not the typical bank worker. Holly joined the bank after gaining her masters from the University of Florida. she joined Climate First Bank because of the unique opportunities that banking could provide to inform people about sustainability. Banking has allowed her and her colleagues to reach many people because "everyone needs a place to keep their money and loans for houses, cars and things like that." These were unique i banking which is really what inspired Holy to join the company. Holly is very passionate in protecting the environment and climate change, so accepting a job from Climate First Bank was almost a no brainer.
The hope is that this could spark a change in the banking world in the log run. Not only does Climate First Bank hope to spark a change in the banking world, but they are hoping that many other types of organizations begin to see the necessity of protecting the environment. They have the idea that everyone needs to participate in righting the wrongs done to the environment for hundreds of years. One person or one company can not make all of the difference. They are beginning to see companies and people invest in more sustainable techniques thanks to their financial plans, but it still has not been enough. The climate is still worsening and many people will still suffer from the floods fires, and extreme heat until everyone buys into the system like Climate First Bank and do their part to protect our lovely ecosystem.
The ideas of Climate First Bank don't just affect the environment and associates of the bank, it directly affects the lives of the employees. It has allowed the bank to choose who and what they stand for. They can refuse to fund someone because they don't align with their values. This has allowed for them to truly make an impact on the lives of people that believe the Earth needs help and that is the responsibility of all her residents. This is what truly sets Climate First apart from just every other bank. It is standing true to their values. They mainly can do this because of the special plans they have to promote sustainability. Almost everything this bank does ties back to sustainability which is truly incredible.
The trust and drive has also helped in gaining new business. People see the passion and drive that Climate First has towards the environment, and it inspires people to do the same. The bank has helped many people build sustainable and efficient developments. Whether it be energy or even building more sustainable houses, Climate First plants ideas into a multitude of different areas. Thanks to this, Climate First's client base continues to grow as more people hear the energy and cost efficient solutions they have come up with.
These innovations also directly affect the environment. Since more people are able to attain sustainable energy, the overall carbon emissions in their area will go down. The goal is to have enough sustainable energy sources to have a positive impact on climate change. Climate is a major focal point within this company, they even go as far to name part of their bank after climate. They understand that climate is taking a downward spiral and every person and business is to blame. They are attempting to reverse hundreds of years of climate change within their area. Finance is generally seen as a necessity not really a gear for good. Well, now thanks to Climate First Bank, we may begin to see more sustainable banks pop up all over the country and world.
Holly Bridwell, Marketing Director
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Saint Petersburg, FL, US
Business Website: https://www.climatefirstbank.com/
Year Founded: 2020
Number of Employees: 11 to 50