All who call the West home have a responsibility to protect it — businesses included. Investing in the environment is critical to the health of customers, each business’ reputation, and the future of the places they call home.
WRA partner FirstBank is no exception. The bank is a leader when it comes to environmental action. That’s why WRA switched our operating accounts to FirstBank in early 2022. After the pandemic, we were searching for a local bank that would be responsive and connected to our mission and organizational needs — one with ties to the communities we work in and with a genuine commitment to serving those communities.
WRA also chose First Bank because they have strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria and do not make investments in fossil fuel extraction. It was critical for us to work with a bank that wasn’t investing in business activities that are responsible for driving climate change. Climate change is a shared challenge; we all play a part in fighting for a better future. We were looking for a new banking partner that embodied this idea.
FirstBank was the perfect match. The bank, headquartered in Colorado, has branches across Colorado, Arizona, and California. Being based in the same region as WRA, they understand the challenges a changing climate poses for us all. They generously supported victims of the Marshall Fire by contributing $250,000 to the Boulder County Wildfire Fund; that fire affected many of WRA’s Front Range staff and our families, donors, and partners.
Luckily, FirstBank’s longstanding commitment to “banking for good” means doing what is right for their customers, communities, and employees. As their customer, WRA’s assets are managed with an investment philosophy consistent with ESG criteria
As for their communities, FirstBank has donated more than $85 million and thousands of volunteer hours to nonprofits, including environmental organizations, since 2000. Their actions contribute to a larger movement of corporate giving. Corporations nationally donate, on average, between $20 and $26 billion to nonprofits annually.
FirstBank’s involvement in regional giving is robust. They helped launch Colorado Gives Day, Arizona Gives, and Coachella Valley Giving Day, which have collectively raised over $450 million for thousands of local nonprofits since their respective inceptions. WRA has participated in Colorado Gives Day for years and has gained many new supporters through the event’s promotion. It’s even inspired some friendly fundraising competition among WRA’s staff!
It is important for FirstBank to engage in these sustainable investments.
As for their employees, FirstBank has been named a top workplace year after year. They offer 16 hours of volunteer time off annually to all full-time employees to support involvement in their communities. And they’ve even implemented Ozone Alert Days to encourage employees to work from home on poor air-quality days — an all-too-frequent occurrence around our Western region.
WRA’s banking relationship turned into a rewarding partnership with FirstBank in the short time we have been working together. They joined our corporate sponsorship program with the largest commitment of financial support made since the program was launched. FirstBank’s commitment recognized that corporate sponsorships play a role in sustaining our work fighting climate change and its impacts.
WRA is also a beneficiary of the bank’s Go Green Checking campaign. This summer, the campaign raised $60,000 to benefit three nonprofits, including WRA, supporting our work to ensure healthy rivers. WRA’s efforts to protect rivers and save water is a cause very near to FirstBank, as their customers, communities, and employees experience the impacts of drought in Arizona, California, and Colorado.