From the first day we opened our doors in 1969, Starion Bank has believed that being a responsible community member means lending a helping hand whenever possible. That of course includes being a good steward of the environment.
Along with investing in our communities through donations to local organizations like theaters, athletic stadiums and medical facilities, we’ve also committed substantial time, energy and resources to support sustainability efforts both for our branches and for the areas we serve.
We don’t just serve our communities; we live in them! Which is why we’re so committed to their success for generations to come.
Saving Energy Through Solar, and More
You may wonder how well solar works in the Midwest, an area known for cold and snow. While it’s true that May through September are peak months for solar production, the sun shines year around. All of Starion's service areas average more than four hours of peak sunlight per day, which is equal to Florida and other states known for sunny weather. Even on cloudy days, a solar array still produces energy.
Starion Bank has installed solar panels on several of our branch buildings, supplying up to half of the energy needs for those branches. While these panels save us thousands of dollars every year in energy bills and reduce our carbon footprint by up to 30-40 percent.
Our solar investments not only help Starion stay more efficient, but they also help reduce strain on the local power grids during those sweltering summers and frigid winters. On days when the bank is closed, our solar panels still produce energy. We can feed that energy back into the grid, helping power our communities.
In Fargo, North Dakota, we are the largest investor in the Cass County Electric Cooperative Prairie Sun Community Solar, North Dakota’s first active community solar garden. This is just one of the many ways Starion has extended our proven eco-friendly initiatives in ways that help the communities we serve.
In addition to solar energy, all Starion locations use automatic LED lights with motion sensors, so the lights turn off when employees aren’t present. We also installed dual flush toilets to reduce water usage. And since this is the 21st century, we also work hard to decrease officer paper usage through digital records storage and recycling.
Our branches are alive, literally!
In 2012, we converted our traditional, manicured landscaping to incorporate more native prairie grasses and flowers around our branches. The native grasses and flowers have all been adapted to the local climate and soil and therefore require less water and resources to maintain.
Local college programs and community organizations have visited our prairie grasses and flowers to understand better how they beautify the community and provide increased plant and animal habitat beyond what a traditional lawn would offer. Over the years, our branches have been home to rabbits, pheasants, and even geese!
Our Fargo Urban Plains office has one of the first living roofs in the Fargo-Moorhead region. This 3,000-square-foot roof uses soil and vegetation to insulate and reduce energy usage by up to 20%. It also absorbs greenhouse gases and lowers flood risk by reducing storm water discharge into sewers. Not bad for roof space!
Extending the benefits to our customers
Of course, while we’ve invested a lot in making our branches greener, that’s just the beginning! Our eco-friendly projects flow much further than our physical spaces. We’ve taken every opportunity to extend our efforts to offer even more direct benefits to our customers.
Regenerative and Holistic Agriculture
If you’re a farmer or rancher, you know that healthy soil is the foundation of your operation. That’s true whether you raise livestock or grow crops.
Current growing methods rely on tilling and chemical fertilizers. These not only disturb the fragile ecosystem beneath the surface, but also contribute to erosion, nutrient and wildlife depletion, and do considerable damage to the long-term productivity of the soil. This, in turn, hurts ag producers financially and has contributed to the 30-year reduction in family farms we’ve seen nation-wide.
Starion Bank knows that helping the environment is more than just planting flowers around our branches. We also want agricultural producers to thrive, while helping to conserve our land. To further this mission, we have been developing partnerships with agencies and coalitions that can help producers move towards regenerative farming and ranching.
Starion Bank is also hosting schools and retreats that cover the main philosophies and techniques of regenerative agriculture so that producers understand the fundamentals and can develop a structured, profitable framework for their own agribusinesses.
Our mission is to be financial experts that can help solve the financial needs of our customers. In the agricultural industry, we see a new set of needs that is going unfulfilled by the banking industry – the support of traditional operations to transition themselves into sustainable, profitable, regenerative enterprises.
Volunteering and Community Support
As a stalwart community supporter, we provide monetary and volunteer support to groups and causes that share our commitment to making the cities and towns we serve strong and vibrant.
For more than five decades, Starion Bank has been a local and regional leader in conservation of our natural resources, building up our communities and working tirelessly to help others do the same.
We understand the importance of going green and remain committed to doing our part. You can always be sure that we are working toward a more sustainable, eco-friendly future and making our decisions with the local community and environmental impact in mind.