First Green Bank Adds Branch in Orlando
Browdie, Brian, American Banker
Byline: Brian Browdie
First Green Bank in Mt. Dora, Fla., is living up to its name.
The $196 million-asset bank said Thursday it has opened a branch in Orlando that continues its commitment to the environment.
The branch, which opened downtown in December, occupies the first floor of a building that another bank had occupied.
First Green Bank retrofitted the leased space with carpet made from recycled materials, applied paint to the walls that emits no volatile organic compounds and installed cabinets made of bamboo.
The bank also changed out the restrooms with waterless urinals and other fixtures that cut water consumption by roughly 25%, and replaced light fixtures with energy-saving LED and compact fluorescent bulbs.
"We decided to do all the improvements to a LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] silver standard," Ken LaRoe, First Green's founder and chief executive, told American Banker. "Basically, we went back to the level of where it was a shell building."
The makeover reflects the company's mission, which is to do right by the environment and the bank's employees, community and shareholders. LaRoe, a self-described committed environmentalist, started the bank in 2009, three years after selling another bank he ran for a decade. …