“We at Ethical Markets are delighted to join all our colleagues in the B. Corporation network in welcoming our longtime friend Ken LaRoe, back into Florida after his work in the European Union with our friends there at Banking on Values and our coalition partners of the Green Economy Coalition!
Let’s make 2021 the year we all commit to accelerating the global transition we have tracked in our Green Transition Scoreboard® since 2009, from fossilized economies to the cleaner, greener, more just and inclusive, knowledge-richer societies of the Solar Age!
~Hazel Henderson, Editor“
In 2018, Florida lost its only Certified B Corp bank.
Having co-founded and operated Florida’s first and only B Corps in real estate development and resort hospitality, I believed convincing an existing bank, especially ones where I had strong relationships and existing partnerships, to become a B Corp would be easy.
Based on every ethical measurement of success (including profitability) B Corp banks and the members of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values outperform their competitors; and society and the environment wins in the process.
Despite many conversations, I failed to convince a single existing bank to meet the highest level of social and environmental responsibility. Thankfully, my friend Ken LaRoe was determined to help Floridians invest their financial resources in industries that benefit what matters most to us – our planet, our present, our future, our pursuit of happiness.
Over my 20+ year career, I have never significantly invested outside of my core competencies. However, as I look back over those years it is noticeable that many traditional banks and businesses have contributed to the mounting problems faced by my friends, family and community. I now have the opportunity to make a real difference and to help the businesses and citizens of Florida gain access to a local bank that will combat the climate crisis. Florida for Good’s members and my businesses need renewable energy and other lending programs that help us survive, thrive and act as a force for good.
To be fully transparent, my investment is not solely good natured. Climate First Bank will be a B Corp and that means it will be more resilient and build solid value for its shareholders while delivering prosperity for all of its stakeholders.
As such, I joined Ken and four other incredible founding board members – Chris Castro, Nancy Wolf, Dom Mjarten, Michel Glorie- and together we will fill the banking void through Climate First Bank (i/o) in 2021.
I am sharing this background with you today because the bank is close to achieving the final dollars necessary to open, and every dollar it raises beyond this will be an additional dollar it can use to fund positive impact in our communities. Additionally, you have an opportunity to be proud of your investments and to be part of this exciting launch. Below you will find a recent letter from Climate First’s Chairman, Ken LaRoe, which provides additional information. I hope you will join us and I look forward to working with you towards an exciting future.?