Thinking Local: Sharing the Green Bank Model

As part of the green bank movement, we at the Montgomery County Green Bank feel it is our responsibility to share what we know and help other jurisdictions figure out if the green bank model is right for them. On June 7, we convened a day-long workshop at The Historic Inns of Annapolis, in Annapolis, Maryland. We brought together several Maryland / DC / Virginia county/government officials and administrators with six green bank practitioners from several other states and localities to explore the various approaches to the green bank model.

Titled “Thinking Local: The Benefits of a Green Bank for your Community”, the workshop was focused on elevating the concept of green bank model in Maryland, Virginia and elsewhere. We started a conversation by exploring the different facets of green banks, answering questions on strategy, structure, and products, and sharing learnings on best practices.

The day’s proceedings went quickly, with a substantive dialogue and everyone engaged and asking questions. How do you fund a green bank? How can you structure a green bank? What financing programs have been tailored for commercial and residential needs? How is the green bank model helping states achieve their environmental goals? What challenges have been faced in setting up green banks, and how were they overcome? These questions and more were on the table and were readily answered by the assembled green bank practitioners.

I’d like to take a moment here and thank the green bank practitioners in attendance, who so generously shared their knowledge and insight on this important work. Thank you to Bonnie Norman, Principal and Chief Marketing Officer at E3 International LLC, for her commitment to helping shape and organize the event, and to our program presenters including Bert Hunter, EVP and CIO of the Connecticut Green Bank, Mary Templeton, President and CEO of Michigan Saves, Kristine Babick, Program Lead for the soon-to-be-launched DC Green Bank, Lynn Heller from the Climate Access Fund in Maryland, and Jeff Schub from the Coalition for Green Capital. We were also honored to have Stuart Clarke from the Town Creek Foundation, one of our funders, attend and give opening remarks. And I am grateful to the many county officials from across Maryland and Northern Virginia, who took the day to be with us and were so open to the possibilities of the green bank model for their communities.

We are pleased to have started this conversation, and it is one that we as a group have committed to continuing. We look forward to sharing the results of this conversation with you as it evolves.

Tom Deyo, CEO

Montgomery County Green Bank