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Our Environmental Work

Environmental justice is economic justice. Many of the communities we serve are disproportionately affected by climate change, pollution, and related economic and health impacts. That’s why our environmental commitment is embedded in everything we do.

Core principles of our environmental work include:

  • We do not finance fossil fuel extraction, infrastructure or delivery.
  • We lend to organizations that have a positive environmental impact. 
  • We are expanding green financing options to help reduce energy burden for the communities we serve.
  • We benchmark energy usage, prioritize energy efficient investments, and follow green building guidelines in our real estate development.
  • We’re leading the way in carbon footprint tracking in the CDFI field. 

Looking ahead, we see the EPA's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund as an unprecedented opportunity to bring the benefits of a low-carbon transition to households and communities facing higher energy burdens and disproportionate risks from climate change. We have joined Climate United, a collaboration of experienced, mission-driven lenders and investors dedicated to bringing accessible clean energy solutions to Justice40 communities across the country.




  •  60% of our direct lending (1980-2022) has been to Justice40 disadvantaged communities
  • $420 million in commercial loans that support green lending (including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green businesses and non-profits)
  • $6.9 million in Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans to 63 environmental organizations
  • $42 million in home energy efficiency improvement loan purchases repaid via homeowners’ utility bills
  • Green vehicle discounts for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)
  • Residential rooftop solar loan (available in CA, expanding to other states)
  • Coming soon: Energy efficiency home improvement lending

Real Estate Investment

  • In all our real estate development and branch facilities work, we benchmark energy use and prioritize green building guidelines.
  • Our residential real estate developments have been solidly, consistently green since 2013. We certify to SystemVision standard, which provides a comfort & energy guarantee for all new homes that we build directly.
  • Self-Help has helped create 225 energy efficient, affordable housing units. They include renovations of dilapidated houses, new construction, and transit-friendly mixed use, like the Willard Street Apartments.

Self- Help Carbon Footprint

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2021 Carbon Footprint Report


Click the images below to learn more.


Kinston Rooftop PV (Kingfisher)

We finance renewable energy.

D-BRB Vacuum Truck 2

We support green businesses.


We build efficient homes.


We invest in home energy.

Community Foods storefront

We invest in sustainable food systems.


We help our borrowers save energy and water.

Howard changing lights

We reduce our impact.

How You Can Support

Our green work is made possible by all of our members who trust us with their deposits and investments. Join us in working for a better, greener world, and learn about how you can invest with us.

Our Green Term Certificate offers a competitive return & helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions through investments in sustainable businesses.

Join us in working for a better, greener world, and learn about how you can invest with us. Contact Keisha Bolden


Everyday habits let us align our actions with our values. Here are some simple actions that many Self-Helpers have adopted: