Money Tree Some banks don't just store green--they are green.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Mark Gile, co-owner of In Harmony, a $4 million sustainable landscaping company in Bothell, Washington, doesn't limit his environmentally friendly practices to the services he provides to clients.
It's a core value that runs through his entire business. So when he went in search of a $1.5 million loan, ShoreBank Pacific, which specializes in financial, environmental and social returns, was first on his list. "We like to deal with like-minded individuals," says Gile, 46. Plus, he felt his chances of getting a loan were higher due to his environmentally responsible profile. The decision paid off: Gile got the loan and used it to give his business an infusion of capital and pay off other loans.
Lenders that share your business's passion for sustainability can be valuable allies in your quest to save the planet while building an economically viable company. And companies like ShoreBank are blazing trails in the banking sector. "Green banks are pretty new--there are probably less than 10 out there," says Michael Whelchel, founder of investment bank Watershed Capital, which partners with entrepreneurs committed to sustainable practices. "Because of these banks, entrepreneurs can align their personal values with their actions in ways they couldn't before."