California Green Business Network awards Bay Federal Credit Union Green Business Certification

CAPITOLA, CA (November 9, 2022)

Bay Federal Credit Union has transformed its Salinas, Watsonville, Freedom, and Aptos Branches, garnering Green Business Certifications and joining more than 4,500 businesses in the California Green Business Network.

The conversion, which involved implementing 50-plus sustainable measures, established a blueprint for Bay Federal to “Go Green” with its entire branch network.

“To help protect our precious natural resources, Bay Federal is committed to being a good environmental steward,” said Carrie Birkhofer, Bay Federal’s President and CEO. “We’re pledging to bring all of our branches into the California Green Business Network in the coming months.”

Micah Arnold, Facilities Senior Project Coordinator, spearheaded Bay Federal’s participation in the green business programs, using a strategic approach. As a result, many of the changes that were implemented at Bay Federal’s Green Business Certified branches have already been put in place at other locations.

“Because we have multiple locations and departments, 240 employees, and financial regulations that we’re required to meet, we had to methodically assess each measure and then plan accordingly,” Mr. Arnold said. “The bonus is that this will allow us to certify our other locations faster.”

Mr. Arnold and his team worked with Jakki Castorena-Davila, a Bilingual Sustainability Consultant with the CGB Network, to ensure Bay Federal’s success in its continued green evolution. Ms. Castorena-Davila regularly assists businesses in the tri-county area in fulfilling the program requirements.

“It’s really important that businesses take this as a step because we all have to deal with climate change, and this is a way that businesses can reduce their environmental impact,” Ms. Castorena-Davila said.

Santa Cruz County now has 325 businesses in the CGB Network. Combined, they have:

  • Saved over 2.7 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Saved over 1.7 million kilowatt hours of energy
  • Saved over 4.5 million gallons of water
  • Saved over 2,000 gallons of fuel

Mr. Arnold encourages business owners who may be on the fence about joining the program to just dive in and apply.

“You’ll have many resources to help you to certify,” Mr. Arnold said. “Whether you’re concerned about how using non-toxic cleaning products will impact your operations or you’re unsure how to implement the changes — or even how you will fund the changes — your program coordinator will hold your hand through the entire process.”

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About Bay Federal Credit Union

Bay Federal Credit Union is a full-service, not-for-profit financial institution that serves over 86,000 members and 2,400 local businesses throughout Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey counties. With more than $1.6 billion in assets, Bay Federal is the largest member-owned financial institution in the region. The organization has been proudly serving its members and the community since 1957. Bay Federal is a certified Community Development Financial Institution, with a primary mission of promoting community development alongside their financial activities. Bay Federal has an award-winning employee volunteer program in which employees have given their own money and volunteer for numerous local schools, nonprofit organizations, and community events each year.


Amy Ivey,
SVP, Chief Marketing Officer
Bay Federal Credit Union

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