Corporate Social Responsibility

At NBT, our responsibility to all our stakeholders, including our customers, communities, employees and stockholders, and our commitment to good corporate citizenship are based on the principles of community banking that have guided us for over 165 years. The highlights featured here are some of the many ways we are focused on what matters.

Focus On What Matter Infographic

ESG Commitment

In 2021, our Board of Directors articulated our commitment using the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) pillars. We believe this framework aligns with who we are as a company and represents our core values, and we are leveraging it to articulate and build upon our commitment to diversity, inclusion, sustainability and high standards of corporate governance. Accordingly, the Board has committed to the following:

  • Oversight of ESG matters at Board level and active participation and monitoring of the Company's ESG efforts within the Nominating and Governance Committee;
  • Commitment to each of the three pillars with action plans for each pillar;
  • Regular assessment of existing ESG practices within the Company and identification of opportunities for further development; and
  • Public disclosure of the Company's efforts and measurement of progress and results.
We welcome feedback on how we are doing and invite you to submit comments to [email protected].


The Company offers a financing product to homeowners on a national basis which provides an opportunity to power their homes with sustainable solar energy and reduce their carbon footprint at an affordable price. Since the inception of the program in 2017, we have originated over $670 million in consumer solar loans.

NBT customers have embraced our digital tools and adoption continues to increase on our consumer and commercial platforms. Services like mobile and online banking, remote deposit capture, electronic loan payments, eStatements and combined statements enable us to support all customers in their efforts to consume less fuel and paper. We continue to digitize loan origination and deposit account opening processes, reducing trips to the bank and paper documents for our customers. Across our footprint, we host community shred days with multiple confidential document destruction companies to promote safe document disposal and recycling.

The Company is focused on the environment and committed to business practices and activities that encourage sustainability and minimize our environmental impact. Our paper reduction and recycling efforts in 2021 compare to saving 4,377 trees. In larger facilities, we conserve energy using building energy management systems and motion sensor lighting controls. In new construction and renovations, we incorporate high-efficiency mechanical equipment, LED lighting, and modern building techniques to reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible. NBT has an ongoing initiative to replace existing lighting with LED lighting to reduce energy consumption. In 2021, our lighting and driving initiatives compare to removing 106 cars from the road for one year.

Social - Commitment to Our Communities

The Company is engaged in the communities where we do business and where our employees and directors live and work. We live out our core values of community involvement through investments of both money and the time of our employees.

Through our active contribution program, administered by market-based committees with representation from all lines of business, the Company contributed nearly $2.0 million in 2021, a 43% increase from 2020. Our efforts to distribute philanthropic resources across our footprint ensure alignment with local needs and support for hundreds of organizations that provide health and human services and promote education, affordable housing, economic development, the arts and agriculture. One example of our commitment to support impactful local initiatives is our relationship with Colgate University and support for their VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. NBT's support of this program enabled over 750 families in need to receive free assistance with tax preparation in 2020 and 2021 that returned over $3.2 million to Chenango and Madison counties in New York.

In addition to corporate financial support of community organizations and causes, employees are encouraged and empowered to volunteer and be a resource in their communities. They invest their financial and other expertise as board members and serve in roles where they offer direct support to those in need by engaging in all manner of volunteer activities. New employees participate in an onboarding experience that includes a community service activity. In 2022, NBT employees logged 8,500 volunteer hours.

Social - Offering Support Through Our Products and The Service We Deliver

NBT offers a comprehensive array of financial products and services with options that are beneficial to unbanked and underbanked individuals. Deposit accounts include low balance savings and checking options that feature minimal or no monthly service fees, help rebuilding positive relationships, and assistance for those just starting a new banking relationship. The new NBT iSelect Account was certified as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards (2021-2022) with no monthly charges for maintenance, inactivity or dormancy, no overdraft fees and no minimum balance requirement. An enhanced digital banking platform incorporates ready access through online and mobile services to current credit score information and a personal financial management tool for budget and expense tracking.

The Company is focused on making home ownership accessible to everyone in the communities we serve. Our suite of home lending products features innovative and flexible options, including government guaranteed programs like Federal Housing Administration and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs loans as well as programs developed in-house like our First Home Loan, Habitat for Humanity, Home in the City and Portfolio 97 programs. Our home lending team includes affordable housing loan originators, and we maintain longstanding relationships with affordable housing agency partners across our banking footprint that offer first-time homebuyer education programs and assistance with down payments and closing costs. We have supported affordable housing initiatives in the communities we serve by financing more than 125 construction projects for over $750 million that have created over 5,500 affordable housing units.

In 2021, NBT was proud to be among the banks that continued to deliver crucial relief through the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program. In all, we funded over 6,100 loans for $835 million in relief and provided support to businesses and non-profit organizations employing over 96,000 workers across our footprint. Our team leveraged their lending, operational and technical expertise to aggressively support this program, and we continue to guide our customers through the forgiveness process.

EPIC Retirement Plan Services is the Company's national benefits administration firm. EPIC RPS offers customized consulting, recordkeeping, actuarial and administrative services for all types of retirement plans. The firm has deep partnerships with clients across all 50 states and is "Helping America Retire" with over 300,000 retirement plan participants nationwide.

An important measure of our commitment to our customers and our communities is the high marks we receive from our customers. In 2022, NBT Bank was named one of Forbes World’s Best Banks. NBT Bank earned a top spot on the Forbes list of America's Best in State Banks in 2021 and was the top-ranked national bank in New York State. These recognitions followed back-to-back appearances on Forbes list of World's Best Banks in 2020 and 2019. NBT continues to see consistent recognition from industry leaders for the way we do business every day. NBT was also honored to be named to a CNY Business Journal's list of Best Places to Work for the third year in a row in 2022, a testament to our strong focus on hiring and retaining the best employees in community banking.

Social - Commitment to Our People

The Company's focus on investing in our people includes key initiatives to attract, develop and retain our valued employees.

NBT has a long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion ("DEI"). In 2021, 55.3% of NBT managers were women. Our DEI Steering Committee is comprised of members of the Executive Management Team, including our Chief Executive Officer. Our Chief Diversity Officer leads both grassroots and executive-sponsored strategies to continue our DEI journey. Our DEI plan is shared with our Board of Directors, management and employees, who are often included in implementing specific action items. More information can be located on NBT Bank's website at:

While our employee retention rate remains consistently high, significant effort is placed on retaining our valued employees. Our 2021 Employee Engagement survey provided insights leading to specific initiatives to enhance future engagement, including clarity around business strategies, decision making and development opportunities. The Company offers total rewards that address employees at various stages of their personal lives and careers, including a student loan repayment program, enhanced financial and emotional wellness programs and initiatives, undergraduate and graduation tuition, paid parental leave, recently enhanced paid time off, additional flexibility in work schedules with hybrid and remote work, paid leave benefits and a retirement transition option. Since the program started in 2020, NBT has contributed $582,800 to student loan repayment for over 200 employees across generations and years of service. NBT's incentive programs recognize all full-time employees at all levels and are designed to motivate employees to support achievement of company success, with appropriate risk assessment and prevention measures designed to prevent fraud.

The Company focuses on the future by encouraging and promoting internal talent development. In 2021, we doubled the number of participants in our development programs to encourage individual growth and foster retention. We offer several programs at all levels, including:

  • Our Management Development Program that aims at attracting qualified diverse college graduates;
  • Our Professional Development Program that provides an entry point for early career professionals that prepares them to take on positions of responsibility around the Company;
  • Our Emerging Leaders program is focused on developing essential leadership skills and building confidence for those with approximately 5 to 7 years of professional experience; and
  • Our Star Impact program is designed to further develop leaders who are already established in their leadership roles and demonstrate potential for assuming expanded responsibility in their role or through promotion.

Employees also have access to career path and exploration programs supported by mentors, individual development plans and internal learning resources. To support this process, we employ an internal career manager to work as a liaison with employees and managers to direct their personal career aspirations. The Company also has a robust talent review and succession planning process. Significant time is spent at the Board and Management level identifying and providing development opportunities for potential successors.

The Company seeks to further refine NBT's workforce programs through our Employee Engagement Survey. A comprehensive survey is planned on an annual basis with follow-up pulse surveys. Our most recent survey was completed in September 2021. We were pleased at the high level of participation and overall engagement, which was consistent with pre-pandemic levels. Divisional and corporate actions are underway to address survey insights. We believe engaged employees will drive retention and effort, ultimately correlating to a better experience for our customers.


The Company is dedicated to being a financial industry leader in corporate governance and business ethics, and we have maintained a Proxy Advisor Governance Score of "1" from ISS Corporate Solutions. The Company's Board of Directors is composed of individuals with diverse professional and business experience. All our directors, other than the Chief Executive Officer, are independent. They all share a commitment to fostering an effective risk environment coupled with a strong internal audit structure. Their unwavering commitment protects our clients, stockholders and reputation. Our Code of Ethics reflects the Company's expectation for the conduct of our directors, officers and employees. Through recurring training and disclosures, as well as periodic communication related to specific topics, the Company maintains the highest level of ethical conduct. In 2021, 96% of NBT employees completed Ethics training, and 99% completed Information Security training. The completion rate for the Board of Directors for both Ethics and Information Security training was 100%.

Our Board of Directors believes that a fully engaged Board of Directors is a strategic asset of the Company, and that knowledgeable and fresh viewpoints and perspectives are important for informed decision-making. The Board of Directors regularly evaluates whether it collectively has the right mix of skills, experience, attributes and diverse viewpoints necessary for it to drive stockholder value. The results of this evaluation are used to help identify the desirable skills for potential Board of Directors nominees and to screen director candidates. In the past two years, NBT has added three new directors, including two women and one African American. The Board will continue to seek and recruit highly talented and diverse director candidates in the future, as we expect several Board positions will become available through natural refreshment due to the Company's age of 72 retirement standard.

In addition to the foregoing commitments, our Board of Directors believes in strong governance practices, including:

  • A non-classified Board with annual director elections;
  • Maintenance of independent committees of the Board with independent chairs and an Independent Lead Director;
  • Regular executive sessions of the Board of Directors independent of management; and
  • Meaningful stock ownership guidelines for directors.

Finally, our Board understands the importance of aligning performance with compensation. Our compensation philosophy and programs for executives are balanced and risk appropriate, demonstrate long-term alignment with sustained performance and stockholder interests, and provide a competitive and effective program to attract, motivate, and retain the best talent. In 2022, 97% of NBT shares voted to approve the compensation of our named executive officers.

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