Committed to our future.
Sustainability at Northwest
At Northwest, we’re committed to —
With deep roots in the areas where we live and work, Northwest and our employees have been heavily invested in supporting and sustaining our communities. We accomplish this in several ways, including Northwest Charitable Foundation grants, sponsorships, board service and volunteerism, donations of physical assets and providing financial education.
Our approach to cultural sustainability includes promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within our company and our communities, encouraging our employees to give their time to the communities and causes that have meaning to them, promoting a highly ethical environment and developing effective employee development opportunities.
Economic sustainability incorporates strong corporate governance practices, and responsible use and conservation of our resources. We are also committed to promoting economic development through investment in community-strengthening initiatives like affordable housing projects and financial education.
At Northwest, we embrace a spirit of innovation and are committed to continuously evolving our processes to make banking better. As part of this effort, we also look for ways we can minimize our impact on the environment, save energy and reduce our dependence on precious natural resources.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting work-from-home situation, we learned that we're able to successfully conduct business and serve our customers while significantly reducing our dependence on printing. At the same time, we realized considerable cost savings and environmental benefits.
As a result, we launched our "Be Green, Keep it on the Screen" initiative to continue these trends.
Prior to the pandemic:
- We printed an average of 1.5 million pages monthly, equaling 3,000 reams of paper
- We lost more than 100 trees each month to paper production
- We spent more than $400,000 yearly on print and paper (excluding customer statements and outsourced notices)
While working from home:
- Print use declined 61% in corporate offices and 41% in branches
- Print and paper costs reduced $15,000 to $20,000 a month, saving about $200,000 a year
- We established a PIN-to-print system to help us better track and manage our use of paper and other printing supplies
Increasing efficiencies & saving resources
- We’ve replaced many paper processes with digital solutions—including NW eSign for signing internal documents and Docusign for third-party and customer-facing documents — to create efficiencies and preserve resources.
- We adopted digital productivity tools including Microsoft Teams and ServiceNow, and educated employees on how to incorporate digital processes into their daily workflow
- We’re continuing our shift from traditional lighting to eco-friendly LEDs throughout our facilities and in our signage, which over five years has generated a 70% reduction in power use. Since 2016, we have invested over $500,000 in these lighting upgrades. In 2016 and 2017, we upgraded all of our external signage to LED.
- Since 2016, we have invested nearly $2 million in new HVAC equipment that is more energy efficient and uses a more environmentally friendly refrigerant
- All new builds and renovations to our existing facilities are designed using the most current environmental standards for construction
- If recycling is offered locally, we encourage employees to participate by providing bins in our facilities.
- We also contract with a third-party vendor to shred and recycle
confidential documents and files
- We encourage customers to “go paperless” by enrolling in our eStatements through online banking
- As facilities are renovated, we look for opportunities to donate furniture, electronics and equipment that can no longer be used by the bank, but may be useful to other individuals or organizations.