Learn About Sustainability

Investing in Our Future – A Note from Brandi Colander, DCGB Board Chair

Just this past week, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released their State of the Global Climate report. The news was sobering as to be expected. The report found that in 2021, the world broke records for greenhouse gas concentrations, and our oceans are warmer and more acidic than ever. Today the Biden Administration also launched a week of action around their Justice40 environmental justice efforts. Our charge is clear: we must ALL move toward clean energy sources.

Three years ago, I was tapped as Board Chair for the DC Green Bank. Since then, I’ve had the great pleasure and fortune to serve.

DC Green Bank’s mission is to provide access to capital to grow the clean economy in an inclusive way. Our innovative financing solutions prioritize making the clean economy affordable for all DC residents, businesses, and community institutions. DC Green Bank focuses its investments on solar energy, greener and more efficient buildings, infrastructure resilience, and transportation electrification.

I want to take a moment to share some of the great work our team has been doing. In addition to scaling capital to $30M by the end of this fiscal year and building out our core team:

• We created a true model of a clean, inclusive, and equitable future with Faircliff Plaza East. This project includes a nearly $2 million pre-development loan for the design and planning stage for an affordable housing redevelopment project. The final building is envisioned to increase the number of affordable units on site by more than 50% – from 80 to 125. The building will have a solar-integrated green roof as well as up to 10 electric vehicle chargers.

• We granted our first Community Impact Initiative (CII) loan to Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington, which will allow this pillar of the Ward 2 community to pursue upgrades to its sanctuary building cooling system and considers additional building efficiency upgrades and capital improvements that have been deferred.

• We’ve made approximately $750,000 of affordable financing available for small businesses to invest in more efficient facilities, equipment, and operations and increase cash flow through our Small Business Loan Fund.

So why does the DC Green Bank’s work matter? We’re creating tangible solutions to preserve the livability of the District and the planet for the foreseeable future with inclusive prosperity at the forefront.

I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve as the DC Green Bank’s inaugural Board Chair and proud of our team. Together, we are making real investments in our future, creating affordable renewable energy solutions for all residents and business owners.