Building a Strong Business Community through Corporate Social Responsibility: Summit Bank’s Commitment

In a world where the role of businesses transcends mere profit-making, corporate social responsibility (CSR) stands as a pillar in fostering more vital communities. At Summit Bank, we have woven CSR into our corporate DNA, recognizing its pivotal role in shaping a thriving business ecosystem. In this article, we shed light on Summit Bank’s unwavering commitment to giving back to our community, emphasizing our philanthropic initiatives, employee volunteer programs, and active support for CSR efforts among our colleagues. 

Green Business Leadership 

Summit Bank takes pride in partnering with green companies and has been acknowledged as a “Top 100” Green Business by Oregon Business Magazine for the last four years. We understand the importance of sustainable practices and have adopted several green initiatives to reduce our ecological footprint: 

  • Sustainable Procurement: We utilize Office Depot’s auto-select green products process to opt for sustainable alternatives for everyday supply needs. From certified managed forest copy paper to 100% recycled cardboard paper and file folders, we are committed to eco-friendly choices. 
  • Energy Conservation: Our commitment extends to energy conservation, with sensor lighting installed throughout our building, upgraded Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) screens, and LED exterior lighting on a sensor time clock. Summit Bank proudly holds the re-Think certification. 
  • Biking and Recycling: We’ve created a changing/bike storage room to encourage biking to work and facilitate recycling through dedicated bins and eight centralized recycling stations throughout the building. 
  • Community Engagement: Our Community Room is available for local nonprofit organizations in non-pandemic times, underlining our commitment to supporting community initiatives. 
  • Sustainability Education: Starting in January 2021, we’ve been distributing a monthly “Sustainability Flyer” to all staff, covering various sustainability topics and providing specific suggestions for sustainability. 

Social Equity and Community Support 

Summit Bank believes in and supports social equity. During the challenging times of the pandemic, when many businesses and nonprofits faced closure due to COVID-19 restrictions, Summit Bank remained steadfast in its commitment to the community. 

  • Supporting Local Businesses: We assisted 440 small businesses and nonprofits across Oregon under the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program, with over 350 of these loans benefiting Eugene. Our team worked tirelessly to approve $114 million in loans, supporting local jobs and stabilizing the economy. 
  • Philanthropic Contributions: Summit Bank has donated generously to local nonprofits, including a $25,000 pledge to FOOD for Lane County. We also collected funds from clients and colleagues to aid wildfire relief efforts. 
  • Volunteerism: Our colleagues are encouraged and supported to volunteer three days of paid time off in the community, resulting in 940 hours of community service in 2022, with 370 hours added in 2023 so far. 
  • Affordable Housing: We continue to partner with NOAH (Network of Oregon Affordable Housing) to finance affordable housing for low and moderate-income Oregonians. 
  • Supporting Underserved Communities: Summit Bank donated $150,000 of our PPP loan profits to make 26 microloans averaging $6,000 each to underserved community members. These loans targeted minority-owned, women-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, and emerging small businesses, breaking down barriers to lending and banking. 

Employee Engagement in CSR 

We believe in the power of collective action, so we actively encourage our colleagues to participate in CSR efforts. Our programs include: 

  • Charitable Contributions Match: We match employee contributions to qualified organizations up to $250 per calendar year, recognizing the importance of nonprofit organizations in our community. 
  • Community Service: After ninety days of employment, employees can receive three paid time off per calendar year for community service performed during regular business hours. 

At Summit Bank, we understand that a strong business community is built on a foundation of social responsibility. We are committed to continuing our journey towards a more sustainable, equitable, and vibrant future for our community. Together, we can make a difference, one responsible step at a time. 

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