Umpqua Bank directs heavy traffic on GreenStreet

Imperium Renewables turned to Umpqua Bank's GreenStreet lending program for working capital.

Imperium Renewables turned to Umpqua Bank's GreenStreet lending program for working capital. 

When commercial property owner Michael Kauth decided to make efficiency upgrades on some of his buildings, he chose to go with Umpqua Bank’s GreenStreet Lending program for the funding.

So did Seattle-based biodiesel producer Imperium Renewables Inc. when it wanted more working capital to fund the company’s growth.

A few years after Umpqua Bank launched it’s GreenStreet Lending program, the bank has declared the program a success. Umpqua partnered with the Energy Trust of Oregon in late 2008 to create the program with a specific goal in mind: make it easier for businesses and consumers to go green.

Since then, the program has loaned more than $50 million to businesses and consumers, helping fund more than 200 projects so far. The number of GreenStreet loans was up more than 250 percent in 2011 over the previous year.

The loan program, intended for eco-friendly projects, offers a fixed interest rate of 4.75 percent for businesses and waives origination fees.


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“It’s evolved from a local program to extend beyond our wildest imaginations,” said Umpqua’s Executive Vice President of Community Banking Rick Calero.

The program has funded projects throughout its West Coast footprint ranging from increasing energy efficiency and green building to eco-equipment purchases and sustainable farming. Projects have included:

• A $2.1 million solar installation for a beverage company in Bend.

• A $800,000 solar installation for a Eugene grocery store.

• A $2.6 million loan for an organic farm in Humbolt County, Calif.

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