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Self-Help Credit Union

Our Environmental Work

At Self-Help, our environmental work focuses on supporting low-income people who are disproportionately affected by climate change and pollution. We do this by investing in organizations and entrepreneurs that create sustainable development in communities historically overlooked by the environmental movement. 

We evaluate the social impact of all the loans we consider and make investments in sustainable energy projects and building more sustainable communities.

  • We extended paycheck protection financing worth $4.2M to 31 environmental organizations, helping them maintain 363 jobs during the pandemic.
  • Since 1989, we have invested $357 million in projects that have created a positive environmental impact in the communities we serve.*
  • Our investments include loans to 236 businesses and nonprofits that have come to us with a proven commitment to providing a sustainable future.
  • Areas of investment include, but are not limited to, renewable energy, energy-efficient homes and sustainable food systems.
  • We do not invest in projects involving fossil fuel extraction or production.
  • We’re among the first financial institutions pledging to benchmark our loan portfolio under the new carbon accounting standards, Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials. We’re proud to have been part of the working group that helped adapt the method for North America.

Our sustainability work is made possible by all of our members who trust us with their deposits and investments.

*Note that $357 million is an updated impact figure. A previously reported number ($386) included some loans from our Food Systems sector that are now accounted for elsewhere.


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Green Lending- combating climate change
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Green Lending- Nonprofits, business, and projects
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Green Lending- Clean energy
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Green Lending - Finance Green Buildings
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Green Lending- Home energy loans
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Green Lending- Sustainable businesses
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Green Lending- Historic Buildings
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Green Lending- Energy


Green Infographics
Green Infographics
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Green Infographics
Green Infographics

Investing in Sustainable Food Systems

Community Foods Market is a full-service grocery store, health resource center and community hub that engages residents to lead healthier and more socially-connected lives. Self-Help’s $1,985,000 loan helped fund construction of the 14,000 square-foot grocery store to support the vibrant community of West Oakland.

“My vision is that Community Foods will be a platform for social innovation and the start of a sustainable food ecosystem. It was important for me to work with trustworthy lenders aligned with that mission … Self-Help is passionate about the impact this project will have on the community." - Brahm Ahmadi, co-founder and CEO of Community Foods