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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.

Self- Help Carbon Footprint

We report the greenhouse gas emissions of Self-Help Credit Union and Commercial Real Estate operations and avoided emissions associated with our solar loan portfolio for Calendar Year 2021

In 2020 we were among the first CDFIs to report on both our own footprint and also that of the commercial borrowers in our CDFI loan portfolio. 2020 Greenhouse Gas Analysis. We co-authored a guide to help other CDFIs do the same.

2021 Carbon Footprint Report

At Self-Help, 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 $6.9 million to 63 environmental organizations, helping them maintain 645 jobs during the pandemic.
  • Since 1989, we have invested $419 million in projects that have created a positive environmental impact in the communities we serve.
  • Our investments include loans to 274 businesses and nonprofits that have come to us with a proven commitment to providing a sustainable future.
  • Self-Help has realized 225 energy efficient, affordable housing units. They include renovations of dilapidated houses, new construction, and transit-friendly mixed use, like the Willard Street Apartments.
  • Areas of investment include renewable energy, energy-efficient homes and sustainable food systems, and other green businesses.
  • We do not invest in projects involving fossil fuel extraction or production.

We work with other lenders and advocate to advance sustainability:

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

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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.

Join us in working for a better, greener world, and learn about how you can invest with us. Contact Keisha Bolden and follow our Sustainability Director on Twitter @SelfHelpGreen.


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