Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
Our ESG areas of focus are organized around our associates, our communities, our clients, and our shareholders.
Associates have contributed over
out of their own pockets to local food banks since April 2020
The Peoples Bank Foundation contributed over
in donations to charitable causes since 2018
Peoples Bank has a CRA rating of
for meeting the credit needs of our communities
Board of Directors is
diverse in terms of gender or race/ethnicity
OUR CORE VALUES – THE PEBO PROMISE CIRCLE
Our vision is to be the Best Community Bank in America. In 2023 and beyond, we are committed to continuing to conduct our business in a manner that aligns with our values, ESG areas of focus, and investment rationale. Our core values, represented by the PEBO Promise Circle, guide our actions, embodying how we do business and our never-ending pursuit of creating value for our associates, communities, clients, and shareholders. Being true to these core values in the decisions we make and in our business practices is essential to driving sustainable long-term growth.
The PEBO Promise Circle:
Respect for All
Commitment to Community
Lead the Way
Excellence in Everything
HOW WE SUPPORT OUR ASSOCIATES
We are devoted to fostering physical and mental well-being of our workforce and are proud to have been recognized by American Banker as one of the top 90 banks to work for in the United States in 2022. We provide a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that supports the health and financial wellness of our people. Some common features offered to our associates include the following:
• Medical, dental and vision benefits for employee, spouse and dependents
• Flexible spending and health savings accounts for both healthcare and dependent care
• Wellness program with incentives for participants who meet certain criteria
• Company-paid life insurance for associates
• Short- and long-term disability insurance
• Paid time off for full-time and part-time associates
• Paid maternity and parental leave
• 401(k) retirement savings program with company matching contributions of up to 6%
• Employee stock purchase program allowing for the purchase of Peoples common shares at a 15% discount
• Student loan pay down program that pays up to $200 per month towards the associate’s student loan
• Tuition assistance program
• Employee family scholarship program for children of our associates
• Employee hardship and disaster relief fund to provide financial support to associates in need
• Employee Assistance Program providing free counseling services
We are also committed to pay equity and regularly review our compensation model to ensure fair and inclusive pay practices across our businesses. Some of our recent workforce investment highlights include establishing a company-wide minimum wage of $15 per hour and adding parental leave in 2022. We also added two additional scholarships - bringing the total to four scholarships offered to children of associates - with a focus on technical or trade training for the two new scholarships, which we will begin to award in 2023. We provide educational offerings to colleagues believed to be suited for leadership roles within Peoples. We survey our associates twice per year to gauge their satisfaction and to solicit feedback, and management thoroughly reviews the results. Management addresses issues raised by the surveys in a timely manner and provides regular progress updates as the survey results are used to continually improve the workplace for associates. In addition, the Peoples Professional Development Associate Program provides a unique opportunity for recent college graduates to immerse themselves in the financial industry and gain valuable real-world experience.
Diversity & Inclusion
We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities for training, compensation, transfer, promotion and other aspects of employment for all qualified applicants and associates without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. A diverse and inclusive workplace begins with our core value of “Respect for All” – treating all associates and clients with respect. Our goal is to attract, retain and develop a workforce that is diverse in background, knowledge, skill and experience. As of December 31, 2022, women represented 71% of Peoples’ workforce.
HOW WE SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITIES
At Peoples, we continually strive to use our knowledge, talents and resources to improve the quality of life in our communities. We are committed to making a positive and meaningful difference in the neighborhoods where we work and live. Therefore, we measure success not only in financial terms, but also in our ongoing actions such as fundraising efforts, educational sponsorship, community development, food drives, and partnerships with local universities. Our charitable giving occurs in two distinct areas: financial contributions and volunteerism, both of which are of equal importance and emphasis within our organization.
Peoples and our foundation, Peoples Bank Foundation, Inc. (the "Foundation"), collectively contributed over $1 million in 2022 in sponsorships and donations to charitable causes and organizations within the communities we serve. Contributions were made in the areas of economic development, youth and education, human services for low to moderate income individuals, arts and culture, and environmental stewardship. Specifically, Peoples Bank Foundation awarded over $700,000 in grants and scholarships to non-profit organizations and local students in 2022. Peoples Bank made several donations in 2022, including $100,000 to Junior Achievement and fulfilling annual pledges of $200,000 to Marietta College and $50,000 to Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery. Since the pandemic began, we are extremely proud that our associates have donated over $336,000 from their own pockets to local area food banks. And, in the third quarter of 2022, Peoples, Peoples Bank Foundation, our associates and various business partners collectively raised over $50,000 to support affected families of Floyd County, Kentucky’s fallen heroes - three law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Peoples Bank Foundation and Peoples Bank also collectively donated $20,000 in 2022 to eastern Kentucky flood relief efforts. Additionally, Peoples, Peoples Bank and Peoples Bank Foundation, our associates and various business partners delivered $28,000 to the Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund in the first quarter of 2022 in recognition of the Cincinnati Bengals' unexpected post-season success.
Peoples associates are encouraged to volunteer in their communities. We provide every associate eight hours of paid time off for community service each year. Peoples Bank is proud to be able to support many events and organizations across our footprint, including youth sports and education programs, as well as community development organizations. There are Peoples associates with backgrounds in residential lending on affordable housing non-profit boards of directors in Cincinnati and Columbus. And there are Peoples associates serving as treasurers on local food banks and pantries that serve multiple states. Our associates regularly volunteer their time with local United Way organizations and serve on boards of other local non-profit institutions. In 2022, we partnered with Cristo Rey High School in Columbus, Ohio to provide three internships to low-income high school students. Supporting our communities is core to our mission, and we will continue to partner with, and strengthen our relationships with organizations that share our values.
HOW WE SUPPORT OUR CLIENTS
One of our core values is Clients First. This means doing what is in the best interest and meets the needs of the client, not pushing products. We are committed to meeting the financial needs of those in the communities we serve, including all low and moderate income and minority areas within our communities. We have consumer lending products such as our Dreams2Keys program, which helps borrowers in a low to moderate-income census tract or located in a majority-minority census tract gain homeownership. We offer many ways to avoid the maintenance fee on our checking and savings products. As a Preferred Small Business Administration Lender, Peoples Bank assisted 41 small businesses in 2022 with SBA 7(a) loans totaling $14.7 million. Most importantly, we are proud that Peoples Bank received a Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) rating of “Outstanding” on its most recent performance evaluation by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. This rating is reflective of our record of meeting the credit needs of the communities we serve, including low-income and moderate-income neighborhoods.
In 2022, Peoples Bank received the following accolades:
- Recognized by Newsweek as one of America’s Best Banks 2023, winning the award for Best Small Bank in Ohio
- Finished in the top 15% in the United States in terms of SBA 7(a) approved loans
- Best Bank award by Marietta Times (Ohio) for the third consecutive year
- Best Bank, Best Insurance Agency award by Floyd County Chronicle (Kentucky) readers
- Recognized by The Herald-Dispatch Readers as the Best Bank in Boyd County, Kentucky for the fourth year in a row and in Lawrence County, Ohio for the third year in a row.
- Best Insurance Agency and Best Mortgage Company award by Paintsville Herald (Kentucky) readers
- Best Insurance Agency and Best Loan Company by Appalachian News-Express readers in Pikeville, Kentucky and Herald-Dispatch Readers in Boyd County, Kentucky
- Best Insurance Agency for second consecutive year by Herald-Dispatch Readers in Boyd County, Kentucky
Security of client information is also a top priority for Peoples, and we have established strong governance measures to protect the privacy and security of client information to ensure compliance with all privacy and cybersecurity laws and regulations through physical, electronic and procedural safeguards. We evaluate our cybersecurity readiness through internal reviews and external audits, as well as through regulatory oversight by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Financial Institutions.
HOW WE SUPPORT OUR SHAREHOLDERS
Peoples Bancorp Inc. ("Peoples",Nasdaq: PEBO) is a member of the Russell 3000 index of U.S. publicly-traded companies. Peoples offers services through Peoples Bank (which includes the divisions of Peoples Investment Services, Peoples Premium Finance and North Star Leasing), Peoples Insurance Agency, LLC and Vantage Financial, LLC.
We believe that strong governance and sustainability oversight is essential to providing long-term value for our shareholders. We are proud that our stock dividend payout ratio is in the top 25% of our peer group, and are committed to continuing practices that allow for this level of stock dividend. Our corporate governance program provides a foundation for operating our business in a manner that is fair, ethical and responsible. Our Corporate Governance Guidelines reflect our Board’s commitment to sound and effective governance and serve as a framework for the governance of our company. Our Code of Ethics outlines our principles that help each of us make the right decisions when conducting business.
As of the date of our Annual Meeting, twelve of our 13 directors are independent, which allows for our Board to provide objective oversight of management performance and overall risk management. Our Board is also diverse, with 54% of directors being diverse in terms of gender or race/ethnicity. Our leadership structure consists of a different person serving as each of the Chief Executive Officer and non-executive Chairman of the Board, with the Chairman of the Board being an independent director. We believe this leadership structure allows the Board to provide effective oversight of management.
Peoples utilizes a comprehensive enterprise risk management framework to identify, assess, measure, monitor, report and control risks throughout the company, including ESG risks. The Risk Committee is comprised of all of the independent directors of the Board and is responsible for oversight of our risk management processes. Our management level risk committee, which consists of senior leaders at Peoples and reports directly to the Risk Committee, develops our risk appetite, monitors key risk indicators and assesses and monitors current and emerging risks. Peoples’ Director of Risk Management oversees our enterprise risk management framework and reports directly to the Risk Committee and administratively to our Chief Executive Officer ("CEO").
We believe our compensation programs and philosophy are appropriately designed to reward performance, protect the interests of our shareholders, and provide appropriate incentives to executive management, while not encouraging excessive risk taking. We believe that tying compensation to the results achieved is vital to the long-term sustainability of Peoples. For more on our executive compensation practices, see “EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION: COMPENSATION DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS” beginning on page 42 of this Proxy Statement.
While we are pleased to share our ESG story, we do, however, remain conscious of the need to continuously improve our ability to create value for our associates, our communities, our clients and our shareholders. Doing so is essential to achieving our goal of being the "Best Community Bank in America". In 2023 and beyond, we will remain vigilant to maintain rigorous ESG standards, enhance our sustainability efforts and focus on implementing a best-in-class program.
For more info, including our latest investor presentation, quarterly earnings and dividends press releases, visit investor relations page.