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 2020-2021
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. As we celebrate our 120th anniversary in 2022, we are commited to conducting our business in a way that ensures we will be around for many more years. Our actions are guided by our core values represented by the PEBO Promise Circle, which embodies how we do business and our never-ending pursuit of creating value for our associates, our communities, our clients, and our 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 the physical and mental well-being of our workforce and are proud to have been recognized by American Banker in 2021 as a Best Bank to Work For and to have received a 2022 Top Workplaces USA national award. We provide a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that supports the health and financial wellness of our people. Some common features offered to our employees 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 we 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 path to a company-wide minimum wage of $15 per hour and increasing the company match percentage in our 401(k) plan from 5% to 6% in 2021. We provide educational offerings to colleagues suited for leadership roles within Peoples. 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 employees without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation 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, 2021, women represented 73% of Peoples’ workforce. We have adopted anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, whistleblower and anti-retaliation policies and annually provide training to our associates in these areas. We also make available to our associates an ethics/whistleblower hotline administered by an independent third party where associates can make confidential and anonymous reports. During 2021, we conducted unconscious bias and diversity training to our hiring managers and supervisors, and we encouraged every one of our team members to engage in collaborative efforts to facilitate the formation of deeper relationships with those around them based on mutual respect and understanding. We regularly conduct associate surveys to stay in tune with the concerns of our associates and to discover what we are doing well and what we need to improve.
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 support such as fundraising efforts, educational sponsorship, community development, food drives, and partnerships with local universities. Our charitable giving efforts are separated into two areas: financial contributions and volunteerism, both of equal importance and emphasis within our organization.
Peoples and our foundation, Peoples Bank Foundation, Inc., collectively contributed over $1 million in 2021 in sponsorships and donations to charitable causes and organizations within the communities we serve 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 and Peoples Bank Foundation contributed over $350,000 and raised $80,000 in matching donations from various business partners to help fight food insecurity in 2021. Since the pandemic began, we are extremely proud that our associates have donated over $230,000 out of their own pockets to local area food banks. And, late in the fourth quarter of 2021, Peoples, Peoples Bank Foundation, our associates and various business partners collectively raised nearly $53,000 to help tornado victims in Kentucky.
Peoples associates are encouraged to volunteer in their communities. We provide every associate with eight hours of paid time off to use 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. 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.
Environmentally Friendly and Sustainable Business Practices
We strive to operate our business in a sustainable manner and to be good stewards of the environment. With a view to increasing efficiency and reducing waste, we are continuing to digitize manual back office and financial center functions. We also offer digital delivery of banking services and electronic bank statements to reduce the amount of paper used in our business. In addition, we employ recycling collection bins for aluminum, plastic and paper, and we recycle toner cartridges and electronic equipment. We are also in the process of converting the lighting in our facilities to energy efficient LED light bulbs. Going forward, we will continue to focus on reducing paper usage through digitization, waste reduction and energy and resource efficiency in our facilities.
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. We are also proud to have been able to assist over 5,000 small businesses in 2020 and 2021 with their Small Business Association (“SBA”) Paycheck Protection Program loans, resulting in over $648 million in loans authorized. As a Preferred SBA Lender, Peoples Bank assisted 77 small businesses in 2021 with SBA 7(a) loans totaling $37 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 2021, Peoples Bank received the following accolades:
- Recognized as one of only 16 banks nationwide by Forbes as a Best-In-State Bank in more than one state (Ohio and West Virginia). This was the second year in a row Peoples Bank was recognized by Forbes
- Finished in the top 15% in the United States in terms of SBA 7(a) approved loans
- Best Bank award by both Marietta Times (Ohio) and ClutchMOV (Ohio & West Virginia)
- Best Bank, Best Mortgage Company and Best Loan Company award by Floyd County Chronicle (Kentucky) readers
- Recognized by The Herald-Dispatch Readers as the Best Bank in Boyd County, Kentucky for the third year in a row and Lawrence County, Ohio for the second year in a row.
- Best Loan and Best Mortgage Company award by Paintsville Herald (Kentucky) readers
- Best Insurance Agency by Appalachian News-Express readers in Pikeville, Kentucky and 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, 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. 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.
Members of our Board of Directors are elected annually to be more responsive to shareholders. Eleven of our twelve 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 43% 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’ Chief Risk Officer oversees our enterprise risk management framework and reports directly to the Risk Committee and reports administratively to our 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 incurring excessive risk taking. We believe that tying compensation to the results achieved is vital to the long-term sustainability of Peoples.
While we are pleased to share our ESG story, we do, however, remain conscious of the need to continuously improve on 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 2022 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.