Navigating Business Transitions: The Role of Ethical Banking

May 16, 2024

IBA, as the premier business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, is firmly established as a respected professional service firm in the legal, accounting, banking, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and financial planning communities.  Periodically, we will post guest blogs from professionals with knowledge to share for the good of owners of privately held companies & family-owned businesses. The following blog article has been provided by Cynthia Weaver of Beneficial State Bank ( The content provided is not reflective of an opinion held by IBA and is solely affiliated with Ms. Weaver and the financial institution she is affiliated with professionally:

Navigating Business Transitions: The Role of Ethical Banking

Whether preparing a business for sale or considering a business to purchase, the decisions you make throughout the process will have an impact on our global environment.  As we confront the pressing challenges of the climate crisis, the spotlight intensifies not only on the core product or service the business provides but on the supply chain and business decisions made internally, including the selection of banking and financing services. There is both subtle and direct value for businesses to align with partners whose practices are focused on addressing climate change and the sustainable environment, including money-saving strategies and marketing advantages.

Where Your Bank Matters

The banking industry, a significant player in the climate crisis, can either perpetuate environmental issues or champion solutions. According to the Rainforest Action Network’s Banking on Climate Chaos Report, major banks have contributed a staggering $5.5 trillion to fossil fuel financing in the seven years since the Paris Climate Agreement. For business owners, your choice of bank can inadvertently support activities like fracking and deforestation. However, alternatives exist.

Traditional banks utilize your deposits to fund loans, often contributing to activities misaligned with your environmental values. Ethical banks have the power to finance solutions that directly address the environmental challenges we face.

The urgency to address climate change is undeniable, with extreme weather events, including floods, and fires. As business owners, we must consider how our choices can contribute to positive change, including choosing a bank focused on financing solutions to sustain our planet.

Make Informed Choices

As the ethical banking movement gains momentum, tools like Mighty Deposits, Bank.Green, and Nerdwallet offer comparisons of banks’ environmental impacts. Also, consider the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, which provides a starting point to find financial institutions aligned with your values and environmental priorities, including Beneficial State Bank. Many GABV member banks are driving impact in areas the United Nations recommends,  including:

  • Action 63—Invest in Solar Energy;
  • Action 81—Invest in innovative green technologies;
  • Action 82—Advocate for fossil fuel divestment by both corporations and institutions.

Aligning Your Banking with Your Environmental Values

When selecting a bank for deposits or financing, it’s crucial to scrutinize their investments. The impact of your deposits multiply when your bank aligns with your environmental priorities. Likewise, how a bank uses their income should be transparent and values-driven. Look for banks that focus on clean energy projects, sustainable construction, and environmental nonprofit organizations.

At Beneficial State Bank, we stand at the forefront of ethical banking practices. Our commitment extends beyond profits, embracing a triple bottom line that balances community impact, environmental outcomes, and a sustainable business model.

Our dedication to sustainability goes beyond financing. We actively measure and offset our operational carbon footprint, operate in green buildings, and support environmentally conscious initiatives. These operational commitments underline our dedication to a positive environmental impact.

As you navigate the complexities of buying or preparing a business for sale, consider the profound impact of your banking choices. Aligning with a bank committed to ethical and sustainable practices isn’t just a financial decision—it’s a strategic move towards shaping a sustainable future for your business and the planet. At Beneficial State Bank, we’re proud to lead the charge in banking for a sustainable future.

Learn more about Beneficial State Bank’s environmental impact and how the bank can support your business’ financial goals. Beneficial State Bank, Member FDIC.

If you have questions relating to the content of this article or the banking services offered by Beneficial State Bank, Cynthia Weaver would welcome the opportunity to talk with you.  Ms. Weaver can be reached at (206) 909-6834 or

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, accounting, legal, and financial planning communities on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family-owned businesses.  IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.