ESG Highlights Report

Environmental, Social & Governance Highlights

Doing the right thing has long been the guiding principle of all we do. ESG represents new ways of categorizing the good efforts our colleagues undertake every day to serve our clients, investors and communities.  We believe that operating a sustainable business is a multi-faceted undertaking. We recognize that incorporating sustainable practices into our strategy and operations is essential and we strive to create positive change in the communities we serve, through our day-to-day business activities, longer-term strategic initiatives and community engagement.

Executive Message

We remain true to our values and guiding principle: Do the right thing; for all our stakeholders, our communities, colleagues, clients and shareholders. In this spirit, I am pleased to present our inaugural environmental, social and governance (ESG) report to share the ongoing efforts of Banner teams working across our four-state footprint and to establish a benchmark on which you can hold us accountable as we strive to improve year over year.

I am particularly proud of the “outstanding” rating Banner Bank received from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for our Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) evaluation in 2021. Awarded to only a small portion of all banks operating in the U.S., this rating acknowledges the work we do to support all our communities, including low- and moderate-income families and small businesses, in ways that are consistent with sound banking practices.

We are strengthened as a business by our highly diverse clientele, which ranges from family farms to complex corporations, grassroots non-profits to municipalities, and young families to retirees. In an ever more challenging economic, regulatory, and climatic environment, our objective is to be a steadfast financial partner to all of our clients.

Housing affordability remains a critical issue in western states, and you will see in this report how we increased our support for struggling communities in 2021 by providing a company record $433 million in community development financing supporting affordable housing. To address the divergence between sustainability and affordability for individual borrowers, we have launched new loan programs to make it easier for people with lower incomes to build and buy energy-efficient homes or upgrade their existing homes. And as we experience an array of extreme weather events, we remain committed to supporting homeowners impacted by flooding, fire and other natural disasters. In 2021, we issued zero-fee, zero-interest rate emergency loans totaling $893,000.

Behind the scenes, our employees quietly contribute to a broad variety of community projects that matter to them, and we offer up to 16 hours of paid time off per year for volunteer work. As we continue our commitment to being an employer of choice, we have added new parental leave benefits, introduced employee resource groups and continued our efforts to provide a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment.

We are in the process of calculating Banner’s carbon footprint and aim to be able to disclose our greenhouse emissions in 2023. Additionally, many geographies we serve are directly impacted by climate change, and we understand we must do our part to deploy sustainable means of service delivery such as digital banking and paperless statements. These efforts apply to our own business practices as well as our support of clients and communities affected by natural disasters.

Thank you to all Banner stakeholders for your continuing interest in, and commitment to, our organization. With steady, sustainable progress, I am confident Banner will continue to thrive for another 130 years. Still connected, knowledgeable and responsive; and still doing the right thing.

ESG Highlights

Areas of Focus

Environmental
We are striving to find more sustainable ways of working, from the projects we finance to the way we operate across our footprint of 190 buildings. In 2022, we began to measure our Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions so that we can begin to understand our carbon footprint and how to reduce it. 
Social Responsibility
The community spirit on which Banner was founded in 1890 as a small thrift is as strong as ever. While we’ve grown to serve four states with more than $16.8 billion in assets at 2021 year-end, we remain deeply connected and responsive to the people we serve.
Governance
For over 130 years, people have trusted Banner Bank to behave with the utmost integrity to protect their interests, money and privacy. Behind our company’s guiding principle, ‘do the right thing,’ is a rigorous governance structure that upholds our high standards and adapts to new and emerging risks.