Valley Bank, Community Preservation Corp. announce $100M commitment to ESG loans

Relationship will support commercial real estate financing for new construction tied to Environmental, Social, Governance principles

In an effort to give back and do good for the communities it serves, Valley National Bank announced Thursday that it will partner with the Community Preservation Corp. to fund up to $100 million in permanent loans that meet various Environmental, Social & Governance standards, such as green building practices and reduced emissions.

Officials at Valley and CPC said they are working to intentionally address the impacts of climate change through the mortgage process by incenting developers to reach further with a lower rate and higher leverage.

Earlier this month, Valley closed its first ESG-linked loan through its new partnership with CPC — a $1.9 million loan to 1 Solstice Lane in Geneva, New York, through the CPC’s Sustainable Mortgage Program.

The project is a 12-unit apartment complex completed this past January that has multiple electric vehicle charging stations, is employing highly efficient heat pump systems for heating, cooling and hot water, and has a rooftop solar array sized to cover all electricity used by the building, making this project Net Zero Energy.

Christopher Coiley, Valley Bank’s head of the Commercial Real Estate Lending Group, said the initiative matches the bank’s vision and mission toward ESG.

“As one of the premier regional banks in the country, with more than 90 years of service, we understand the critical role we play in creating a sustainable future throughout the communities we serve,” Coiley said.

Valley and ESG

Valley Bank said it is committed to building a responsible and sustainable future for the communities it serves. In recent years, the bank has dedicated significant resources to making Environmental, Social & Governance a strategic priority.  In early 2020, Valley created an ESG Council to bring together leadership across the entire organization to provide direction to its ESG efforts. Since that time, Valley has made significant strides forward in its ESG-related initiatives. Here is a link to its ESG report.

“In CPC, we’ve found the perfect partner to help us fulfill that promise. As we move forward, we’ll continue to work with aspiring and innovative entrepreneurs who are making a positive impact on the local community and helping us create a more sustainable future for everyone.”

Sadie McKeown, president of the Community Preservation Corp., agreed.

“Decarbonizing the built environment through the financing of sustainable and affordable housing is a critical part of CPC’s mission as a nonprofit housing finance company. As an institution that shares our commitment to ESG principals, Valley was a natural fit for this partnership,” she said.

“With such a prevalent influence over the economics and condition of our housing stock, the lending industry has a tremendous opportunity to take the lead in advancing practices and policies that improve the financial and physical quality and sustainability of the buildings and communities in which we live and work.”

Ryan Wallace, a partner at Solar Village Co., which developed 1 Solstice Lane, said working with like-minded institutions always is a plus.

“From a developer perspective, it is exciting to work with lending and origination partners who understand the financial benefits of sustainable design and construction,” he said.