Research finds 68% of business owners are concerned about the future impacts of climate change on their business
Many U.S. consumers experienced more financial costs due to climate hazards over the past year
More than 4 in 5 U.S. consumers are concerned about the impact of climate hazards on small businesses in their community
DISTRIBUTED-WORK-MODEL/OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Block, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) announced the Sustainable Banking Initiative, a $25 million investment into helping decarbonize the economy and promote sustainability through community lending, alongside the company’s first Commerce and Climate Survey. Through deposits into Amalgamated Bank, National Cooperative Bank, and Community Bank of the Bay’s Bay Area Green Fund, Block’s $25 million commitment directly connects to the company’s purpose of economic empowerment and founding mission to help support the needs of small businesses.
In a Morning Consult survey commissioned by Block, results showed that both U.S. business owners and consumers are concerned about the intersection of commerce and climate change – particularly for businesses in their communities. According to the survey, 68% of business owners are concerned about the future impacts of climate change on their business. And more than half of business owners say climate hazards impacted their business last year at least a little - climate hazards being extreme heat, cold, flooding, wildfires/smoke, etc. Additionally, 82% of U.S. consumers are concerned about the impact of climate hazards on small businesses in the community. Through the Sustainable Banking Initiative, Block has placed $25 million of deposits into community lenders that are providing loans to businesses and individuals focused on sustainability efforts.
“At Block, we're always looking for opportunities where we can make an impact in alignment with our purpose of economic empowerment and the customers we serve. As the effects of climate change continue to impact our daily lives and the economy, we believe these initiatives are imperative to our sellers, customers, and employees. Therefore, when we had the chance to combine our belief in community-based lending with our ongoing commitment to sustainability through Community Bank of the Bay, Amalgamated Bank, and National Cooperative Bank, it felt like the right fit,” said Allison Rossi, Global Treasury Lead at Block.
With Block’s purpose at the forefront, the company began dedicating deposits to community-based lending through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) across the country in 2019. In 2020, the effort continued with a $100 million commitment to racial equity and social impact work, including more than $25 million of investments into CDFIs and MDIs. The Sustainable Banking Initiative is in addition to these existing CDFI and MDI investments. The $25 million for the Sustainable Banking Initiative was fully invested at the end of 2023.
Through deposits placed in the Bay Area Green Fund through Community Bank of the Bay, Aro Homes received construction loans for building single-family modular homes, which use cigarette butt bricks to improve thermal performance and fly ash concrete to bolster the strength of the building – and meet and exceed Green Building Codes and Standards.
“As California's first FDIC-insured certified CDFI, we understand that small and medium-sized businesses are not only integral to our local economy, but critical to our collective efforts to combat climate change. Since 2006, the Bay Area Green Fund has channeled capital exclusively into sustainable businesses and projects that exhibit responsible environmental practices. The investments from depositors like Block have enabled us to support solar installations, energy-efficient equipment upgrades, green building construction, and other eco-friendly projects. Additionally, this work boosts local jobs, models social responsibility, empowers community stewardship and demonstrates a strong business case for building environmental responsibility. We thank our partners at Block for supporting this mission,” said William S. Keller, Chief Executive Officer at Community Bank of the Bay.
Additionally, National Cooperative Bank’s portfolio includes community solar projects in Colorado and Minnesota that benefit local commercial businesses and community residents, including low-to-moderate income subscribers, by helping reduce dependency on fluctuating utility bills for businesses located in unprecedentedly cold or hot locations.
“When you make a deposit in National Cooperative Bank, your money helps serve our commitment to the community,” stated Casey Fannon, President and CEO of National Cooperative Bank. “Deposits help fund NCB’s loans in low- and moderate-income communities and our work in providing commercial and community solar renewable energy initiatives nationwide. Since the launch of our renewable energy lending, NCB has provided nearly 1 billion of financing for 1 GW of power nationwide.”
Renewable energy upgrades in both residential and commercial properties are made possible through deposits in Amalgamated Bank’s Sustainability lending, like Solar Holler, which is working to bring clean energy and jobs to coal country.
“Our balance sheet is values-aligned, so our banking clients know their deposits are being put to work in a safe and responsible way, both financially and socially. Our lending is directly contributing to the transition to a cleaner economy and is further proof that who you bank with matters,” said Ivan Frishberg, Chief Sustainability Officer from Amalgamated Bank.
To learn more about Block’s sustainability efforts, check out block.xyz/news/sustainability.
About Block, Inc.
Block, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) (formerly, Square, Inc.) is a global technology company with a focus on financial services. Made up of Square, Cash App, TIDAL, and TBD, we build tools to help more people access the economy. Square makes commerce and financial services easy and accessible for sellers with its integrated ecosystem of technology solutions. With Cash App, anyone can easily send, spend, or invest their money in stocks or bitcoin. Afterpay brings Square and Cash App together, connecting consumers and businesses. Artists use TIDAL to help them succeed as entrepreneurs and connect more deeply with fans. TBD is building an open source platform and developer infrastructure that enables everyone to access and participate in the global economy.