Information pertaining to First Harvest Credit Union’s accomplishments regarding Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance
First Harvest recognizes the importance of conducting its business in a manner that both benefits its members and contributes to the well-being of its employees, and the communities it serves. As part of its efforts to achieve this goal, First Harvest strives to integrate Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) within all of its activities. Feedback received by First Harvest indicates that ESG is an important topic for members, employees, and the communities served by the credit union. Leadership and the Board considers the role of ESG when making decisions that affect the First Harvest, understanding that the successful integration of ESG into First Harvest’s business activities benefits everyone.
As part of its commitment to ESG matters, the credit union redesigned its Corporate Social Responsibility in June 2021. While First Harvest is proud of its actions taken to date to address ESG, Leadership recognizes that further development and maturation of First Harvest’s ESG strategy is necessary in the order for First Harvest to grow and flourish.
The examples below represent the Company’s ESG efforts and plans for future action:
- Digital Technology Investments have allowed the First Harvest to provide banking services to its members while reducing its paper waste output and carbon emissions
- The Headquarters office-lighting strategy, will reduce First Harvest carbon footprint
- Responsible waste management and recycling practices
- Utilizing electronic loan closings to significantly reduce the amount of paper documents
- Emphasis/installing electric car charging stations wherever possible
- Encouraging employee volunteerism program which promotes internal and external volunteer opportunities throughout First Harvest’s footprint. As part of its benefit package, all employees are eligible for up to eight hours of paid time off for approved volunteer work
- Effective February 13, 2022, increasing its minimum wage to $16 per hour for all employees. In addition, First Harvest absorbed 95% of a 30% increase in medical benefits for its staff. Employee and Town Hall discussions with executive leadership throughout the year continued into 2022
- Monitoring employee sentiment and concerns through the annual Employment Engagement Survey
- Utilizing Professional Development programs, such as ServiceStar, to attract, develop, and retain diverse candidates
- Providing educational resources, such as Financial Literary materials, to customers and potential clients
- Delegating oversight of First Harvest’s ESG program to the Executive Leadership Committee
- Establishing and developing groups such as the Diversity Committee to provide information on certain events and remind the staff regarding “this date in history” on ESG and diversity issues throughout First Harvest
- Enhanced diversity disclosures for the Board of Directors
- Adoption of Bifurcated Codes of Ethics for Senior Officers and all employees.
Diversity and Inclusion
First Harvest strongly believes that having a workforce and Board that is reflective of the communities it serves is an important way to provide value to its employees and members.
As part of this effort, the Company has taken several actions to encourage and promote diversity at First Harvest including:
- Requiring diverse candidate slates for First Harvest positions at the Assistant Vice President level or higher as well as consideration of women- and minority-owned businesses for vendors
- Providing Board oversight of First Harvest policies related to social responsibility issues, including diversity and equal opportunity employment
- Honoring Juneteenth as a First Harvest Holiday for the first time in 2021 before a federal holiday was established
- Appointed Kathy Heid, Senior Vice President, and Chief Talent Officer as the Diversity Officer for First Harvest.
First Harvest recognizes that developing a diverse and inclusive workplace is an ongoing process that requires broad participation from all employee levels and strongly supports Board, leadership, and employee involvement for diversity and inclusion events and initiatives.