The natural environment of the Northern Mountain and Pacific Northwest states is what make our communities so special. First Interstate is dedicated to preserving these places for all of us to enjoy.
First Interstate is committed to folding conservation considerations into our core business strategy and values. Our ESG Steering Committee is tasked with tracking and reporting on our efforts to help keep us moving in the right direction. We believe becoming a more sustainable Company won’t happen overnight — it is a progressive effort. We are working to introduce practices that, when taken individually and collectively, can effectively reduce our carbon footprint and create a better environment for everyone.
First Interstate continually seeks opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint. That includes finding ways to use square footage more efficiently to produce cost savings and be responsible in our operations practices. Smaller buildings and spaces require less energy, and in recent years, we have taken steps to increase occupancy levels where permitted, reducing overall square footage. Additionally, as facilities are remodeled or built, we are folding Energy Star standards and LEED principles into our design process and finished product.
As we upgrade our workplaces, we always look for opportunities to divert materials to community organizations, area nonprofits, schools, or clients who know of a pressing local need. First Interstate branches set individual goals to reduce, reuse, and recycle within their facilities, and they organize at least two branch events each year promoting sustainability. Our ESG Steering Committee is exploring additional ways to eliminate one-time use and disposable supplies, empowering employees to find ways to minimize waste at work and at home.
First Interstate has long encouraged clients to sign up for online banking, online bill pay, and electronic statements to reduce waste. In 2020, 165,881 new clients chose to support sustainability efforts with paperless delivery, helping us achieve a paper statement adoption rate of 21.6%. We also moved to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure that employs energy-efficient workstations, which are 75% more energy efficient than traditional personal computers.
At our core, First Interstate is a community bank. Our 2021 Community Responsibility Report illustrates how civic duty is at the heart of everything we do.