ESG HIGHLIGHTS BY LOCATION
Revitalizing and strengthening communities
By meeting the specific needs of each community, and finding great partners to do so, we help our communities grow. Our 2021 Report highlights a few of our exceptional partnerships.
Download the M&T Bank Wilmington Trust
2021 ESG Report (PDF)
We are proud to partner with Home HeadQuarters (HHQ), an incredible nonprofit housing and community development organization. Its mission is to create housing opportunities in Central and Upstate New York, and it is quickly expanding across the state to help communities from Buffalo to Albany. HHQ’s work has played a major role in stabilizing and revitalizing Central and Upstate New York neighborhoods.
In 2021, we worked with HHQ to facilitate affordable homebuyer classes for first-time homebuyers, funded their annual Block Blitz Initiatives and HomeBuyer Education Program through the M&T Charitable Foundation and provided a term loan as a source of funding for home improvement loans to LMI homeowners. In addition, our colleagues volunteered for HHQ’s community clean up and small repair initiative.
“M&T Bank is a long-time, engaged partner of Home HeadQuarters that, at every level of our nonprofit business, helps us deliver needed education, housing and financial support to first-time homebuyers and existing homeowners in our community,” says Kerry Quaglia, Chief Executive Officer of Home HeadQuarters. “M&T Bank employees are indispensable to our annual volunteer Block Blitz, our certified HomeBuyer Education courses and to our accessible lending efforts throughout Upstate and Central New York.”
New first-time homebuyer Sheona Williams (pictured below) stands with Latoya Allen, Home HeadQuarters Deputy Director, on the porch of her newly constructed home on Syracuse’s Near Northside. The former public housing resident took HomeBuyer Education classes, met with housing and financial counselors and saved for more than three years to purchase her new home. It was built by HHQ as part of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh’s Resurgent Neighborhood Initiative.
M&T supports Healthy Neighborhoods, a nonprofit organization that helps strong but undervalued Baltimore neighborhoods. Previously, Healthy Neighborhoods could not pay contractors until it had been reimbursed by Baltimore City. We provide a $1 million line of credit that allows small contractors to be paid promptly on completion of work. Our Charitable Foundation also contributes $25,000 each year, which – alongside donations from other partners has enabled improvements to 147 commercial buildings operated by 66 nonprofits.
Those energy-saving improvements included:
- heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment replacement
- air sealing and insulation
- lighting retrofitting
- door weatherizing
- water heater installation
- Energy Star appliances installation
- water-conserving fixtures installation
These energy-saving improvements to outdated and sometimes hazardous facilities lower operating costs. The nonprofits are then able to concentrate their resources on their programs.
Our Ignite program launched two business growth, or accelerator, programs:
- the 0 to 100 Accelerator in Baltimore, with the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-owned Business Development and Baltimore City Small Business Development Center
- the Howard County Accelerator, with the Maryland Innovation Center, the Howard County Economic Development Authority, the Howard County Executive’s Office and the Maryland Small Business Development Center
The accelerators provide formal education in business structure, finance, access to capital, pricing models, marketing, risk and networking. They also offer pitch competitions with cash prizes. A curriculum focused on Minority and Women Entrepreneurship was launched through our Business Education Center and will be expanded in 2022. In 2021, the client base for our Ignite program grew by 74 percent. Of the new customers, 86 percent were minority or women-owned businesses.
A project like Yard 56 is truly transformational for a community. Yard 56 is based on Eastern Avenue in East Baltimore, an area identified as lacking primary medical care, mental care and dental care health options.
When the Porcelain Enamel Manufacturing Company (PEMCO) closed in 2006 after nearly 100 years in Baltimore, the contaminated site was designated a brownfield. Because of the project’s location and its nature – replacing urban industrial blight with neighborhood retail and amenities and creating jobs – it is transforming this area of Baltimore.
Phase 1 of the project brought a much-needed grocery store to the area. In Phase 2, the project received a $23.5 million New Markets Tax Credit investment, enabling a long-term M&T customer and minority-owned developer to build a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). The FQHC will provide outpatient healthcare services to patients regardless of their ability to pay and will serve a predominantly medically uninsured community – creating essential services for our community. Through a combination of New Markets Tax Credit, Equity Bridge and Direct Construction loan, M&T was able to finance this crucial project in this previously underserved area of Baltimore.
Small Business Innovation Lab
Our Small Business Innovation Lab is a partnership with Canisius College. Piloted in Buffalo, it delivered a curriculum for multicultural business leaders, culminating in a pitch competition. Thirty-two small businesses participated, and three winners earned financial awards. The program will be expanded in 2022.
Buffalo Promise Neighborhood
M&T’s commitment to education began in 1993 when we partnered with Westminster Community Charter School and, in 2010, Buffalo Promise Neighborhood was established. This unique initiative brings together a team of dedicated professional M&T employees with backgrounds in business, academia and human services who focus on revitalization through education.
Most graduates of our Buffalo Promise Neighborhood schools have gone on to attend criteria-based public and private high schools and 50 students have attended private high schools through scholarships awarded through our Promise Scholars Program.
Buffalo Promise Neighborhood also includes two early childhood education centers for infants through Pre-K and an innovative parent support program that provides one-on-one coaching to assist with financial stability, continuing education and career advancement.
Our overall focus on family well-being extends further into community initiatives such as neighborhood beautification projects and health and wellness programs.
In our fast-paced and changing world, it’s crucial we invest in growing our tech talent through resources and programs that enable them to continually upskill and reskill, to meet the ever-evolving demands of the market. The Tech Academy was created to address these needs in our organization and throughout our communities.
In 2021, in partnership with global technology training provider General Assembly, the Tech Academy trained M&T employees – through virtual, instructor-led classes – in skills such as Cloud Computing, Java, SQL and Python. Employees also spent almost 12,000 hours learning on-demand through Pluralsight’s online technology skills platform.
In December 2020, in response to the negative economic impacts of COVID-19, the Tech Academy launched the Western New York Tech Skills Initiative, with General Assembly and a coalition of 12 regional stakeholders and industry partners. With this program, we strove to reach a diverse audience using the relationships and influence of community-based organizations. Since the program started in December 2020, we engaged a group of more than 1,200 people: 50 percent of those were female, 66 percent reported an annual income of $50,000 or less, and 38 percent did not have a college degree.
While we recognize the power of arming people with new skills in high-demand career areas, we also see a need to connect community members to real jobs. In the summer of 2021, M&T began collaborating with four regional employers, TechBuffalo and General Assembly to plan the inaugural Tech Academy Community Bootcamp: a 12-week full-time bootcamp to train 19 community members in Data Analytics, at no cost to the students. Offering an opportunity to interview for a job in Data Analytics with one of our employer partners at the end of the program, the inaugural bootcamp, launching in 2022, will give deserving community members the opportunity to start a career in technology.
Improving access to food and farmland - Providence Farm Collective
Since 2019, M&T has provided several capacity building grants to Providence Farm Collective, a nonprofit organization empowering just and equitable access to food and farmland to under-resourced communities.
This newly established organization is growing quickly to accommodate high demand from New Americans for food resources. In the 2021 growing season, Providence Farm Collective was home to 275 farmers and 84 summer youth employees, representing seven unique communities who worked together to manage 16 diversified, organic farms.
From cladding to chipping - Reuse marble
Our recycling effort is not limited to technology, paper and coffee pods. At our headquarters in Buffalo, New York, we are removing about 350,000 lbs of worn exterior marble cladding. Having mandated a ReUse solution at the start of the project, we have partnered with two companies who will repurpose the better pieces into benches, pavers and other elements. Any remaining cladding will be converted into decorative landscape chips. Our intent is to prevent any cladding going to landfill.
Funding a sustainable future - PUSH
We are long-time supporters of People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo). PUSH’s workforce development programs place workers in the renewable energy and green construction sector. They offer training to Buffalo’s low-income residents who are underemployed, jobless, returning citizens and youth not on a college track. Trainees are subsequently matched with contractors, building relationships for long-term workforce development.
Our Charitable Foundation has approved a $250,000 grant, over three years, for PUSH’s 2,500 square foot Net-Zero Sustainable Workforce Training Center.
Currently in its design and construction phase, the center will be a demonstration space for sustainable technology and construction, and a venue for PUSH’s workforce development and training.
A Culture of collaboration - People's United Bank
Culture is created through the millions of decisions and interactions of our colleagues, leadership and communities. One great example of the collaboration that is core to our culture from 2021 is how we rallied around promoting diverse suppliers to support our work related to the People’s United Bank acquisition.
Our Corporate Procurement department identified the acquisition, and related spend, as an exceptional opportunity to engage new suppliers in the People’s United Bank footprint, with a particular focus on businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
By engaging a broad group of stakeholders in the planning process we were able to make significant inroads: of the projected third-party spend related to the acquisition, over 20% will be with diverse vendors from these groups, creating new partnerships and opportunities with businesses in our communities.
This initiative provided not only great momentum for our Supplier Diversity program to build on in 2022, but also sparked related efforts, such as the organization of a cross-functional team to identify potential implicit biases in our sourcing process that may unintentionally disadvantage diverse suppliers.
Developing diverse talent together - DSU
Delaware State University’s 130-year mission – to empower students to turn their dreams into reality, as one of the nation’s premier Historically Black Colleges and Universities – is one we are proud to support and partner to deliver. Our relationship with the university is deep and broad. To name a few of the many ways we are involved:
- as their bank, we provide the financial services essential to running the organization
- as a funder, we provided a $100,000 grant in 2021 to establish an M&T Scholarship Program
- as a partner in developing talent, we are the founding partner for the Executive POD (Pipeline of Diversity) Mentoring program with the College of Business, which pairs students with executive mentors at M&T and provides professional development sessions
- as community members, our leaders serve across the institution, on the DSU College of Business board and the DSU Career Pathways Program Employer Roundtable
Improving access to housing
Safe, high-quality, affordable housing is key to tackling inequality and building communities. There is a shortage of nearly seven million units of affordable, available housing across the US (source: National Low Income Housing Coalition).
Overcoming this challenge requires long-term commitment from both the public and private sectors, and we are committed. M&T Bank and M&T Realty Capital Corporation have teams dedicated to the financing of affordable housing (which has rent or income restrictions to help keep it below market price), from construction and bridge loans to mortgages.
In 2021, M&T Bank and its affiliates provided $1.73 billion in financing to 106 projects that contain affordable housing. This includes $589.8 million in CRA-eligible financing for 2,790 affordable units within M&T’s statewide footprint.
In 2021, we committed $117 million in investments, through Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity, which added an estimated 768 new or renovated affordable housing units in the communities we serve. The total book value of our LIHTC investment portfolio was $691.5 million as of December 31, 2021.
Our affordable housing investment portfolio includes projects targeted toward tenants with specific needs, such as seniors, families, veterans, victims of domestic abuse and those with health conditions like mental illness and vision impairment.
EquityOne is an enterprise-wide campaign of education, awareness and action promoting racial equity in the targeted increase of Black, Brown and Latin representation in senior management, which has already brought us closer to our 2025 goals.
Diverse protégés are connecting with sponsors throughout the bank and having the opportunity to develop as leaders. Both protégés and sponsors are engaging in critical learning about racial equity, and they’re bringing that knowledge to their peers. We’re excited to see how the first class of 175 protégés grows and continues to influence change throughout the organization.
Highlighting one pair of protégé and sponsor is Tyré Robinson, a Business Banking Regional Manager, and Destiny East, Senior Talent Acquisition Coordinator. Since starting the program in May, Destiny has grown her network, developed relationships with senior leadership and landed a new role within our Talent Acquisition team.
“Have an open mind,” advises Destiny. “This is a great opportunity to connect and build relationships within the bank. Be flexible; business is busy at the bank, and you may need to reschedule some meetings.”
“I think that it’s important to pair people with similarities in certain respects but to consider the importance of differences,” suggests Tyré. “Sponsors and protégés should approach the relationship seriously and be willing to devote the time and energy to helping each other grow.”
Tyré is now participating as a protégés herself. She is paired with Michele Trolli, Head of Corporate Operations and Enterprise Initiatives, and a member of our Enterprise Leadership Team, to enable her to develop further in senior management.
In 2021, we became the first U.S. bank to team up with MagnusCards® by Magnusmode, a free app that provides autistic and neurodiverse individuals with step-by-step visual guides (in the form of digital Card Decks) for home and community independence. The app is a life skills library with guides for cooking, taking the bus, going to restaurants and many more activities of daily living. The M&T and MagnusCards® collaboration created new Card Decks that provide visual cues and step-by-step instructions to help people access fundamental banking services.
M&T Card Decks provide practical guidance to help users navigate daily tasks and experiences, such as making ATM transactions and using a debit card for purchases. It uses applied behavior analysis, offering prompts and positive reinforcement to support experiential learning.
“Increasing access to financial literacy for people with autism is essential,” observed Magnusmode Founder and President Nadia Hamilton. “Managing money goes hand in hand with adulthood but there are so many people who are never empowered to learn these skills.”
M&T’s Disability Advocacy Network (DAN), an employee resource group that advocates for the needs of people with disabilities, identified MagnusCards as a potential opportunity for the bank, and guided its implementation and launch, working alongside M&T’s technology team and colleagues throughout the bank.
“Our MagnusCards® will help people count money, use their debit card to purchase things, withdraw cash from an ATM or teller and deposit cash and checks into an ATM,” said David Zolnowski, Senior Finance Manager, president of DAN’s Western New York chapter and a parent-advocate whose son has Down syndrome. “Each of these essential guides will be extremely helpful to people with disabilities.”
M&T Bank ESG Report
It is our pleasure to share our Environmental, Social and Governance Report. Our environmental sustainability strategy is rooted in a single purpose: making a difference in people’s lives.
Download the M&T Bank Wilmington Trust
2021 ESG Report (PDF)