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Berkshire Bank is spending the proceeds from its first $100 million “sustainability bond” to affordable and workforce housing, green buildings and funding access for small businesses in Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut.

The $12.3 billion-asset Berkshire said in a regulatory filing that it issued the bond in June 2022, and became the first public community bank holding firm with under $150 billion in total assets to issue a sustainability bond. Sustainability bonds, also called “green bonds,” are typically used to fund environment-friendly projects and are often aimed at ESG investors.

Around 41 percent of the bond proceeds went to the development of 330 units of affordable and workforce housing units, while 33 percent went to the construction of over 200,000 square feet of buildings certified to LEED Gold or Platinum standards and producing net zero carbon emissions.

The rest, or the 26 percent of the bond’s money, was allocated to funding small businesses located in low- to moderate-income communities and neighborhoods.

“The allocation of our inaugural sustainability bond issuance is helping to accelerate our impact and further empower the potential of people and businesses across our footprint. By aligning our capital strategy with our sustainability objectives, we’re able to deliver value for our shareholders, innovative solutions for our customers and a net-positive impact for our communities,” Gary Levante, senior vice president of corporate responsibility at Berkshire, said in a statement

The debt issuance is a 5.50 percent, fixed-to-floating rate subordinated notes due 2032.

Berkshire’s Maiden $100M Sustainability Bond Funds Affordable Housing

by Nika Cataldo time to read: 1 min