March 19, 2014
The impact economy is global and diverse: 92 companies from 15 countries and 31 industries recognized as leaders in redefining success in business
Today, Sunrise Banks was recognized for creating the most positive overall social and environmental impact by the nonprofit B Lab with the release of the third annual ‘B Corp Best for the World’ list. The ‘B Corp Best for the World’ list honors 92 businesses worldwide that earned an overall score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of a company's impact on its workers, community, and the environment. Honorees were recognized among micro, small, and mid-sized businesses.
Sunrise Banks is a family-owned, nationally-chartered bank based in St. Paul, Minnesota. With assets of more than $750 million, seven 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 approximately$116 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.
“At Sunrise Banks our employees believe in our mission and its importance to our communities. Empowering the underserved is in our DNA and translated in everything we do from our place based products that serve the Twin Cities urban core to our people based products that meet the needs of underserved individuals across the country, “ said David Reiling, CEO, Sunrise Banks. “We are thrilled to be a 2014 Best for the World honoree by the nonprofit B Lab and a recognized community change maker.”
Other highlighted companies include CDI Lan, a Brazilian education and training company generating income and employability in low income communities through internet cafes and d.light design, a manufacturer and distributor of solar lighting and power products providing access to reliable, affordable, renewable energy for nearly 30 million people in 60 countries.
The ‘Best for the World’ companies come from 31 different industries such as manufacturing, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and real estate. A majority operate in a service industry, including 17 honorees in financial services and 15 in environmental consulting. 30% of honorees are based outside the US with 15 companies operating in emerging markets, such as Afghanistan, Kenya and Colombia. (Full list of honorees at www.bestfortheworld.bcorporation.net )
“Employees, consumers, investors, and policy makers increasingly want to support companies that create a positive impact in the world and the Best for the World honorees are the best of the best,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, the nonprofit organization that certifies B Corporations and governs the independent third party standard used to generate the comparable assessment of corporate impact. “It’s particularly inspiring that 21% of the 2014 honorees are first time winners but long time B Corps. They’re winning the race to the top.”
Each honored company is a Certified B Corporation. They use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems and have met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today there are over 970 certified B Corporations, across 60 industries and 32 countries, unified by one common goal: to redefine success in business.
B Lab will release separate lists recognizing the companies ‘Best for the Environment’ (environmental impact), ‘Best for the Community’ (community impact), and ‘Best for Workers’ (employee impact) throughout 2014.
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 investors to benchmark and report the impact of their global private equity portfolios; and 4) providing free, powerful tools for businesses to measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance (more than 16,000 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.