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Sustainability

At Seacoast, our board and management team recognize the importance of operating in a responsible and sustainable manner that is aligned with our mission, vision and values.  While our Board of Directors (the “Board”) oversees the Company’s general ESG efforts, the primary oversight of ESG matters has been delegated to the Compensation and Governance Committee of the Board and implementation of ESG-related initiatives to members of our Senior Leadership Team. 



ENVIRONMENTAL



We have been serving our Florida-based communities since 1926 and are aware of the unique exposures of our communities to climate change and to weather-related events.

DISASTER RESPONSE PROGRAMS

Seacoast has invested a great deal of time and effort into developing a strong business continuity plan.  We understand that our customers may experience financial challenges as a result of business interruption from disasters and other emergencies.  Seacoast Bank assists by offering special programs to meet individual customer needs. 

CORPORATE ENERGY CONSERVATION EFFORTS

Select locations are LEED-certified facilities

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world, providing a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. Registered through the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. 

Select locations with electric vehicle charging stations

Electric vehicle (“EV”) charging stations, currently available at selected branches, provide a valuable amenity for our customers and associates and support the transition away from fossil fuels.  Use of these charging stations and the vehicles they support has a tangible impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

Using reclaimed water for irrigation

While water covers over 70% of the earth’s surface, only 0.5% of the earth’s water is drinkable.  To preserve that precious resource, our facilities use reclaimed water whenever possible to maintain landscaping.  Since 2013, Seacoast has saved 350,000 gallons of drinkable water by using reclaimed water.  

LED lighting

LED lights use energy much more efficiently than other types of bulbs, producing light up to 90% more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs and 80% more efficiently than CFLs. Throughout most of our facilities, interior and exterior lighting has been converted to LED, which also saves electricity and materials costs because the life span of LEDs far surpasses that of other bulbs.

Recycling program   

Recycling and paper shredding programs have been implemented across our footprint, including on our main campus. In addition, electronics are recycled according to federal, state and local guidelines, as well as certified R2 and ISO 14001 guidelines. 

Printing and paper reduction

We have optimized many of our operational processes, including consolidating printers and increasing awareness of printing and paper use.  These changes have helped substantially reduce our use of consumables such as paper, ink, and toner, while reducing electricity use and maintenance costs.  Toner cartridges are recycled and paper waste is disposed of responsibly.  

Supplies and sourcing

Centralized sourcing for the purchase of office supplies reduces waste and lowers costs. Our robust third party risk management function works to ensure that our suppliers apply sustainable and resilient business practices.



SOCIAL



We believe that a key element of sustainability is being a great place to work for our employees. In 2020 and 2021, Seacoast Bank was named one of the “Best Banks to Work For” by American Banker.  Seacoast has also earned the designation of “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for the third consecutive year since 2020.  We are also committed to serving the needs of low and moderate income communities.

HEALTH AND FINANCIAL WELL-BEING OF OUR ASSOCIATES

Seacoast provides access to a variety of resources to address personal health and financial wellness. Comprehensive Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) resources are accessible to all associates, addressing a wide range of topics from substance abuse to child and elder care resources. Associates are encouraged to balance their physical fitness with their work life, with a Company reimbursement for a portion of fitness center memberships. We also offer financial planning resources for help with student debt, retirement planning and one-on-one financial planning sessions to all associates.  

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

We strive to create an atmosphere where all associates feel welcome and confident bringing their whole self to work. Inclusion, respect, and fairness live at the core of our Company culture, and we believe the diversity of our associate base and of the communities we serve makes us stronger.  We believe each associate has a unique perspective that is valuable to our Company, our customers, and our communities.

As part of the many things we do to support our associates and their families, as well as additional steps we are taking to continue to build on this progress, we have established four Associate Resource Groups (“ARGs”): LGBT+, Military Outreach, Women Mean Business, and Black Associates and Allies Network (“BAAN”) all of which collaborate across regions. The Company places a high value on inclusion, engaging employees in our ARG programs, which are composed of associates with diverse backgrounds, experiences or characteristics who share a common interest in professional development, improving corporate culture and delivering sustained business results. Each group is sponsored by a senior executive leader. 

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

Seacoast offers competitive compensation, comprehensive benefits and appropriate training to provide growth, development opportunities and career paths within our Company.  We invest in our associates through training and development programs, as well as tuition reimbursement to promote continued professional growth. To ensure that we are meeting associates’ expectations, we conduct an Employee Engagement Survey each year.  The results of the survey and the process of continuous improvement are discussed with the Board at least annually. In 2021, our engagement score was 83% with 93% participation by the associate base, a 9% increase from the prior year.

INVESTING IN OUR COMMUNITIES

Demonstrating a strong commitment to serving its communities, Seacoast has established programs under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) that are responsive to the credit and deposit services needs of low and moderate income communities.  Seacoast’s CRA programs are designed to provide a vehicle that will assist in improving the quality of life and economic well-being of communities, families and businesses across our footprint.  Performance under the CRA is evaluated by federal supervisory agencies.  Seacoast Bank has earned an overall “Outstanding” CRA rating since 2009.

Seacoast broadened its commitment to address community needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Key lending programs were implemented in response to the business disruptions caused by the pandemic’s impact - the Paycheck Protection Program, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, supported small businesses, while offerings of loan forbearance and loan deferments supported businesses and consumers in compliance with the CARES Act.  Seacoast worked with customers to help businesses access the Paycheck Protection Program, funding a total of $832 million of loans to assist over 5,900 businesses through the program.   

Seacoast focuses on continued improvement and enhancement to its CRA program commitments by establishing and revising product offerings and engaging with community members to identify and help address community needs. 

Loan programs are designed to assist creditworthy, low to moderate income borrowers with solutions for financing the purchase or refinance of their primary residence, including assisting borrowers who are unable to qualify for Federal Housing Administration loan programs.

Local examples include Seacoast Bank’s partnership with the city of Tampa to provide down payment assistance to qualified first-time homebuyers through the DARE Homeownership Program and the East Tampa Community Revitalization Area Down Payment Assistance Program.

Seacoast has also partnered with the Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF), a Florida-based nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution that develops and promotes Black, minority, and underserved businesses through education, training, loans and investments. Seacoast committed to providing a grant to help fund BBIF’s operational expenses, which helps the organization to continue to train and support underserved businesses.

The CRA Public File provides information and details on Seacoast’s commitment to CRA and the CRA performance evaluation in meeting the credit needs of its communities, which can be accessed here.

Seacoast is a proud supporter of the United Way, donating over $1 million since 2010.  Additional charitable donations from Seacoast also supported organizations working to address social and racial unrest during 2020 and 2021. Seacoast annually participates in local back to school drives, food for families drives and holiday toy drives, each of which supports local underrepresented children and families. 

Seacoast Bank encourages all levels of staff and its directors to become active in community service by supporting various community, educational and nonprofit organizations.  Seacoast’s Community Ambassador’s Program was established to facilitate greater community engagement and foster better understanding and improve knowledge of CRA across our footprint. The team of Community Ambassadors is comprised of 25 associates, including the CRA Officer and Director of Compliance, along with at least two ambassadors from each market who meet on a quarterly basis to discuss initiatives and share resources. 

We also encourage investments, philanthropic giving and charitable donations in support of identified economic impact areas, financial literacy and capacity, food insecurity, small business development, housing insecurity, employment instability and access to credit and deposit services for the overall community - and especially for those of low and moderate income.  Organizations have the opportunity to connect with the Bank’s local markets for grant requests.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

We believe that a key element of sustainability is being a great place to work for our employees.  In 2021, Seacoast’s efforts in this area also earned several awards and recognitions:

Manager Excellence Program featured in American Banker

The Seacoast Manager Excellence Program is designed to provide foundational management and leadership skills with a Seacoast lens. It is a blended learning experience consisting of instructor-led training, case studies, group activities, self-study, and ongoing leadership development and support. Participants are introduced to the foundational skills that all Seacoast managers should know, learning how to understand and shape their personal leadership style while focusing on creating purpose, delivering results, developing self and others, and leading change.

Seacoast Bank Named to Forbes’ 2021 America’s Best Banks Ranking

Seacoast was included on Forbes Magazine’s ranking of America’s Best-In-State Banks and Credit Unions and has the distinction of being the only Florida-based community bank to be included on the list.

Seacoast Bank Named One of the “Best Banks to Work For” by American Banker for Second Consecutive Year

American Banker identifies and recognizes U.S. banks for outstanding associate satisfaction. The award is given based on a two-step process, including an evaluation of our policies, practices, and demographics, and employee surveys conducted to directly assess experiences and attitudes with respect to the workplace. The combined scores determine the top banks and the final ranking.

Seacoast Bank named one of Orlando Business Journal's 2021 Best Places to Work

Seacoast is proud to be named one of the Orlando Business Journal's 2021 Best Places to Work. This recognition validates Seacoast’s commitment to our employees’ well-being, as well as our numerous diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index

Seacoast was also recognized as part of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality. Seacoast is one of 767 companies – spanning nearly every industry and geography across the nation – earning a top score of 100%.  This is the third consecutive year we have earned this distinction.



GOVERNANCE



Seacoast is committed to long-term success through strong corporate governance and ethical business practices, with appropriate controls and transparency forming the foundation for achievement of our strategic mission. 

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES

An important element of our corporate governance framework is our governance policies, which include:

  • Corporate Governance Guidelines
  • Compensation Recoupment Policy
  • Insider Trading Policy
  • Related Party Transaction Policy

These policies and other governance documents are available on the Investor Relations page at www.SeacoastBanking.com or by clicking here.

CODE OF CONDUCT / CODE OF ETHICS

Seacoast believes in maintaining a high standard of ethics and has adopted a Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics and a Contingent Worker Code of Conduct.  All associates are required to comply with the Code of Conduct, and complete an annual certification.  In 2021, our certification completion rate was 100%.  For additional details about our Code of Conduct click here.

Additionally, the Bank has established an independent anonymous 24/7 Employee Ethics Hotline for reporting unethical practices, which can be accessed by phone or internet.  The hotline includes a reporting system that allows management and employees to work together to address any potential unethical issues related to financial reporting, fraud, inappropriate conduct, harassment, discrimination, or other matters in the workplace. All reports are reviewed, investigated and addressed, as applicable, by one or more of the Company’s Chief Risk Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Human Resource Officer, and the Board’s Audit Committee.

Seacoast expects its associates to create an atmosphere that supports respect, integrity, teamwork, and excellence.  Retaliation or harassment against any reporting person, or any whistleblower is explicitly prohibited. Any incidents of potential retaliation are to be reported directly to the office of the Chief Human Resource Officer for investigation and corrective action, in order to protect the confidentiality of the reporting person.

DATA PRIVACY AND INFORMATION SECURITY

Seacoast is committed to protecting our customers’ personal and financial information. The Bank has adopted Information Security and Data Privacy policies that are reviewed by the Enterprise Risk Management Committee (ERMC) of the Board of Directors on an annual basis.  Through an integrated enterprise risk management process, key risks, including those related to privacy and cybersecurity are evaluated by the ERMC at least quarterly, and reviewed by the full Board.  We have also adopted an Online and Mobile Privacy Policy and Privacy Policy Statement to ensure compliance with requirements of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The Privacy Policy and other Information Security resources can be viewed by clicking here.

Our Board recognizes the importance of maintaining the trust and confidence of our clients, employees and business partners.  We strive to continuously assess and update our response to information security risks and changes in the cyber security landscape.  Information security risks are identified using internal risk assessments, internal audits, regulatory exams and third-party testing.  Identified risks are prioritized, tracked and managed with senior management oversight. 

Our data security strategy includes a host of defense mechanisms that include, but are not limited to:

  • Policies and procedures
  • Annual employee training, educational opportunities and regular associate communications
  • Third party program oversight
  • Encryption technologies
  • Incident response program

We provide our associates with ongoing training opportunities and educational resources to strengthen cybersecurity awareness, keep abreast of cyber environment trends and continue to build knowledge in safeguarding against potential security and fraud risks.  Additionally, our information security team maintains awareness of trends and best practices by pursuing professional certifications and educational opportunities with industry experts and professional organizations.

Periodic penetration tests are performed by independent third parties and are audited by an external firm with expertise in information security.  During 2021, we did not experience a material compromise to any of our data systems or vendor platforms, and did not incur any expenses resulting from information security breaches, penalties or settlements.  Should an information security incident occur, we have resources to assist with forensic analysis, response strategies and crisis communications.

BANK SECRECY ACT / ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING PRACTICES

The Board, and its Enterprise Risk Management Committee (ERMC”), is responsible for the oversight of our Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) / Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) / Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) Program.  The BSA/AML/OFAC program is designed to help monitor, detect and prevent financial crimes and report suspicious or illicit activities to adhere with applicable laws, rules and regulations related to anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing initiatives.  As part of the BSA/AML/OFAC framework, the Board has adopted policies and procedures to comply with those requirements. The BSA/AML/OFAC policy is reviewed annually and approved by our Board, and all employees and Board members are required to complete annual training related to BSA/AML/OFAC.    

In addition, Seacoast has procedures in place to comply with anti-bribery laws, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which contains anti-bribery provisions prohibiting individuals and businesses from making corrupt payments to foreign officials to obtain or retain business, and accounting provisions that require keeping records and accounts that accurately and fairly reflect transactions and the disposition of assets.

BOARD OVERSIGHT OF STRATEGY AND RISK

Our Board has ultimate oversight responsibility for strategy and risk management, and directly advises management on development and execution of the Company’s strategy.  Oversight is also provided through the extensive work of the Board’s committees – Audit Committee; Compensation and Governance Committee; Corporate Development Committee; and Enterprise Risk Management Committee – in key areas such as financial reporting, internal controls, compliance, corporate governance, compensation programs, capital planning and risk management. The ERMC oversees the integration of risk management at Seacoast, monitors the risk framework and makes recommendations to the Board regarding the Company’s risk appetite.  Additionally, the Compensation and Governance Committee oversees risks and exposures related to the Company’s corporate governance, director succession planning, and compensation practices to ensure that they do not encourage imprudent or excessive risk-taking.

BOARD COMPOSITION

Seacoast continues to build a diverse Board with experience aligned with our strategic mission to ensure a balanced mix of directors with a deep knowledge of Seacoast and its markets, as well as new members with fresh perspectives.  Our Board consists of all independent Board members, with the exception of one executive officer and one former executive officer.  All members of the Audit Committee and Compensation and Governance Committee of the Board and the Chair of the Enterprise Risk Management Committee are independent directors. Women account for 27% of the Board of Directors, including our Compensation and Governance Committee Chair.  To further strengthen our corporate governance, our independent directors annually select a Lead Independent Director from the independent directors.  Our lead independent director chairs regularly scheduled executive sessions, without management present, at which directors can discuss management performance, succession planning, board informational needs, board effectiveness or any other matter. 

Our Corporate Governance Guidelines require that a substantial majority of the Board be composed of independent directors.  In accordance with those guidelines, non-employee directors must advise the Chairman of the Board or Chair of the Compensation and Governance Committee in advance of accepting membership on any other public company board and before accepting membership on the audit committee or compensation committee of any other public company board.  Employee Directors may serve on no other boards of public companies, unless otherwise approved by the Compensation and Governance Committee.

SHAREHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

The Company engages with our shareholders to ensure that the Board and management are aware of and address issues of importance to our investors.  We regularly meet with various institutional shareholders and welcome feedback from other shareholders, which is considered by the Board or appropriate Board committee.  To facilitate shareholder participation in meetings, the Company provides for voting on proxy resolutions by mail, internet, and telephone.