Sustainability

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Powering a Low-Carbon Future

Addressing Climate Change, Protecting our Environment, Managing Our Impact

When it comes to paper and power use, we're cutting back. When it comes to financing the transition to a low-carbon economy, we're stepping forward. We understand that climate change poses unprecedented risks and opportunities to Berkshire, its customers and communities. As the transition to a low-carbon economy accelerates, new policy emerges and market dynamics shift, Berkshire expects that its efforts to manage its environmental footprint, mitigate the risks associated with climate change and support the transition will allow it to strengthen its positioning as a high-performing, leading socially responsible community bank while ultimately building stronger communities.
 
Berkshire implemented a series of policies, procedures, metrics and targets all designed to measure, monitor and assess risks, opportunities and Company performance. These activities collectively serve as our Environmental Management System helping inform our sustainability strategy and tactics. Through our Environmental Management System we take steps to conserve and protect natural resources, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, develop and offer environmentally conscious products and services, and engage employees and suppliers in a commitment to operating in an environmentally conscious manner. From financing low-carbon projects to encouraging our employees to adopt more environmentally conscious practices, our environmental principles help embed sustainability throughout our business. The Company continues to evolve its practices to reflect its community bank mission, as well as the size, scope and complexity of its operations.
 
We:

  • Comply with all applicable local, state and federal regulations in the communities in which it operates
  • Comply with all applicable Company policies governing business with environmentally sensitive industries including, but not limited to, the Environmental Loan Policy as well as the Responsible & Sustainable Business sections of lending, deposit and investment policies
  • Comply with Berkshire Bank’s Environmental Standards
  • Integrate consideration of material environmental risks and opportunities into business decision making
  • Reduce our greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by procuring energy from renewable sources consistent with our renewable electricity and GHG goals and sourcing environmentally conscious supplies
  • Offer environmentally conscious delivery of products and services
  • Engage with our stakeholders on environmental topics material to our business
  • Ensure safe water, sanitation, respect for biodiversity, critical habitats
  • Do not undertake business activities that would irrevocably harm the environment
  • Encourage employee engagement in order to enhance awareness and understanding of environmental topics
  • Support local community-based environmental initiatives with financial and human capital investments
  • Monitor our environmental performance and report on our performance internally and externally at a minimum annually
  • Communicate our principles and performance in an open and transparent manner

Recent accomplishments

  • 100% company electronics recycled
  • Solar net metering agreements
  • 74% reduction in paper usage from 2014 baseline
  • $30MM in low-carbon lending
  • Zero (0) environmental fines
  • Moving towards 100% renewable electricity

Electricity Use By State

State Percent Renewable Total Use (MWh)
MA 3% 5,069
CT 100% 1,386
RI 100% 410
VT 90% 227
NY 100% 2,603
NJ 100% 570
PA 100% 190


Partnerships

We’re proud to stand alongside and support several organizations who are working to protect our environment and address climate change. 




Learn more about how we’re tackling climate change, our performance and all our recent accomplishments in our Corporate Responsibility Report.

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