Climate First Bank (Website) will open at 1150 S. Orlando Avenue [GMap] in Winter Park, led by Ken LaRoe, the man who brought First Green Bank to the area before selling it off and making, well, bank.
“I’ve lived in Central Florida all my life and over the years have witnessed irreversible changes to our irreplaceable ecosystems as a result of the climate crisis. I came out of retirement because I believe that for there to be real change, action needs to come from all sectors, especially in banking and finance. Climate First Bank’s investments in clean energy and sustainable infrastructure will not only preserve nature but also save people money, boost the local economy and create new jobs.”– KEN LAROE
Climate First Bank opened its first location in St. Petersburg in June 2021, with dedicated personal and commercial loans that are meant to incentivize customers to invest in sustainable alternatives like solar energy, green retrofits, and electric vehicles.
The bank is pending to become a B Corporation, which would make it the only legal Benefit Corp that’s also a bank in Florida.
The project is expected to break ground before the end of the year and will renovate the current building on Orlando Avenue into a LEED Accredited office space.
The City of Orlando’s Director of Sustainability, Chris Castro, is one of the founding members of the bank, which states on its website that it will be supporting programs with IDEAS For US, a non-profit that Castro helped to found while he was a student at UCF. Castro still serves on the board of directors for IDEAS For US as the president.