The process of becoming a B Corp involves lengthy documentation, anonymous employee feedback, and a 200 question certification process with all data verified by the B Lab, a non-profit organization which created, and awards, the B corporation certification for for-profit organizations. If you’re not familiar with the moniker, think of it like a Fair Trade certification for businesses, only with even more rigorous standards.

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high quality jobs with dignity and purpose. 

The 200 question impact assessment includes questions that cover everything from industry leadership and environment action to employee engagement and satisfaction: whether the company has worked within its industry to develop social and environment industry standards, how the social or environmental mission of the company will be maintained over time, what percentage of full-time workers were reimbursed for continuing education opportunities in the last fiscal year, what percentage of management is from underrepresented populations, and what percentage of energy used is from renewable on-site energy production.

Why Piscataqua Savings Bank Become A Certified B Corporation

Piscataqua Savings Bank became a Certified B Corporation for a number of reasons: to be on the cutting edge of a movement that’s going to grow over time, to differentiate ourselves from other banks, to connect with customers that have equal or like-minded values, and to further our customer-centric ethos.

The process began after outgoing President and CEO Rick Wallis attended a conference presentation on the merits of becoming a Certified B Corp. Piscataqua Savings Bank already met or exceeded many of the qualifications of a B Corp as a result of our customer-centric foundation, but becoming a B Corp opened up other considerations, like energy use and environmental impact. This status now legally requires us to consider the impact of our decisions on our workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.

Piscataqua Savings Bank achieved certification in May 2019, but has continued to evolve to better meet and exceed the B Corp standard for future years, as the recertification process occurs every three years.

One of the biggest changes was the switch to renewable energy. Piscataqua Savings Bank purchases energy in bulk semi-annually. 100% of Piscataqua Savings Bank’s energy comes  from renewable sources, which improves on our overall carbon footprint.

In 2020, Piscataqua Savings Bank began a composting program. We also started offering Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investments in our 401K program and introduced a new feature to our Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) called the GreenLine. Customers who use their HELOC to make an energy-efficient home improvement, or purchase of a hybrid or electric car, will qualify for a reduced rate on that fixed portion of their line.

Piscataqua Savings Bank has a long history of giving back to the community. In 2020 alone, Piscataqua Savings Bank gave $113,000 to 115 unique organizations, including $60,000 towards COVID relief. This brings Piscataqua Savings Bank’s giving to over $1 million over the last ten years to community programs.

By far, the achievement we’re most proud of is the recognition Piscataqua Savings Bank has received for employee experience. As assessed by the B Lab, Piscataqua Savings Bank ranks in the top 10% of all B Corps in the world for employee experience. Piscataqua Savings Bank has long held the belief that happy, well-taken care of employees are the key to employee retention, greater institutional knowledge, and great customer service. It is an honor to be recognized for our dedication to employee wellbeing.

Piscataqua Savings Bank looks forward to many more years of achieving the highest possible standard of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose as a Certified B Corporation.

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