November 19, 2013
Today, Sunrise Banks was recognized for creating the most positive impact for their communities, by the nonprofit B Lab with the release of the ‘B Corp Best for Communities List’, the fourth installment in its 2013 ‘B Corp Best for the World’ series. Sunrise Banks is one of 61 high impact companies across 35 industries and 13 countries honored for improving the quality of life throughout their communities.
Sunrise Banks is a family-owned, nationally-chartered bank based in St. Paul, Minnesota. With assets of more than $750 million, eight bank branches, and approximately 185 employees focused on financial inclusion, innovation, positive social impact, and sustainability, their mission is to be ‘The Most Innovative Bank Empowering the Underserved to Achieve’. In addition to being honored as a B Corporation, Sunrise Banks has been certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the U.S. Treasury Department for over ten years. Sunrise Banks is also a member of the Global Alliance on Banking for Values, a network of 25 of the world’s leading sustainable banks from Asia, Africa, Latin American, Europe, and North American that use finance to deliver sustainable development for underserved people, communities, and the environment.
Sunrise Banks has the philosophy that if the community succeeds, we succeed; if the community fails, we fail. As such, Sunrise staff has extensive community involvement with nonprofit organizations, small business groups, and local economic development agencies.
Sunrise Banks works to be an active and responsible corporate citizen by focusing on a triple bottom line – people, planet, and prosperity. In 2012, Sunrise kicked off an innovative volunteer effort through a partnership with First Children’s Finance’s Adopt a Child Care program. Through this partnership, Sunrise’s adopted child care center in North Minneapolis over the next five years will receive hundreds of volunteer hours dedicated to reading initiatives, property maintenance, and fundraising assistance. Sunrise employees have been excited about this program since its launch.
Sunrise Banks’ products also keep the community in mind. Sunrise Banks’ Socially Responsible Deposit Fund (SRDF) allows Sunrise deposit customers to designate their funds to be used specifically to revitalize distressed local communities. SRDF deposits support loans for affordable housing, nonprofits, community services, and small business in distressed areas of the Twin Cities. This product supports Sunrise’s mission by allowing them to import capital into the communities that need it the most. To date, Sunrise has $124 million deposited into the FDIC-insured SRDF.
With a strong history of financing local nonprofit organizations, Sunrise lenders are skilled at creating the right package for each nonprofit’s unique situation. As an example, in 2013, Sunrise completed a New Markets Tax Credit loan with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. With the use of the New Markets Tax Credit Program, Sunrise was able to offer Habitat for Humanity better terms and conditions on its loan than would be typical in the today’s marketplace. This $9.5 million loan will allow Habitat for Humanity to continue its mission of eliminating poverty housing and creating decent, affordable shelter for all people.
“Receiving this honor from B Lab is important to us as it directly reinforces the purpose of our brand and what we’re about,” said David Reiling, CEO, Sunrise Banks. “We are proud to be a Certified B Corp and a Twin Cities change maker. We take pride in the work our organization does to ensure we positively impact for our customers, our employees and our community.”
Other companies earning this honor include Greyston Bakery, as well-known for its open-hiring policies as for supplying brownies to Ben & Jerry’s, One PacificCoast Bank, an innovative, triple-bottom line, community development financial institution, and both Cooperative Home Care Associates (NY) and Home Care Associates (PA), two of the largest worker-owned cooperatives providing high-quality home care services to elders and individuals living with disabilities. Thirty percent of honorees are based outside the US, with 5 based in Canada and 14 in emerging markets. Honorees operating in emerging markets include a telecommunications company in Afghanistan (Roshan), an internet cafe and job training company in Brazil (CDI Ventures S/A), and an investor in smallholder farmers in Kenya (Juhudi Kilimo).
“Businesses that can empirically demonstrate they improve the quality of life in the communities around them will be the ones that attract the best talent and turn their customers into evangelists,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, the nonprofit that publishes the B Corp Best for the World Lists.
The ‘B Corp Best for Communities List’ honors businesses that earned an overall score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations for their positive impact on their communities as measured by the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive assessment used by more than 10,000 businesses to measure their impact on their workers, community, and the environment. This analysis includes metrics regarding the company’s product/service direct impact on social issues including health, education and economic opportunity, supplier and workforce diversity, local and fair trade supply chains, and volunteerism and charitable giving.
Each honoree is a Certified B Corporation, a new type of company that uses the power of business for good and meets rigorous standards of overall social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today there are over 850 Certified B Corporations across more than 60 industries and 28 countries, unified by the common goal to redefine success in business.
B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement to redefine success in business so that all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world.
B Lab drives this systemic change through a number of interrelated initiative: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) passing legislation to accelerate growth of social entrepreneurship and impact investing (20 states have already passed benefit corporation legislation); 3) developing B Analytics, a customizable platform for measuring, benchmarking, and reporting on impact 4) providing free, powerful tools for businesses to measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance (more than 15,000 businesses use B Lab’s free B Impact Assessment).
About Sunrise Banks: Sunrise Banks, N.A., based in St. Paul, Minnesota, seeks to radically change the way urban communities and people thrive by empowering them to achieve financial wellness. Sunrise is certified by the U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), a designation earned by approximately 100 banks nationwide. Sunrise Banks is also a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, a public benefit corporation and is a certified B Corp for its demonstrated commitment to transparent corporate governance and positive community impact. Visit Sunrise Banks at SunriseBanks.com, on Twitter @SunriseBanks, or on Facebook. Member FDIC.