ESG Programs

Environmental, Social, and Governance

At Brookline Bancorp we recognize and value the long-term importance of Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) topics. We are focused on aligning the furtherance of our ESG programs with our business strategies and goals. Our ESG programs reflect our Company’s Core Four Values - Accountability, Leadership, Teamwork and Adaptability. We are a commercial banking company focused on generating long-term value for all our stakeholders.

The Company’s Board of Directors oversees matters related to ESG topics including the Company's governance policies and practices, risk management and controls, human capital management, and the efforts undertaken by the Company to meet the needs of the communities we serve and how we advance sustainability efforts. The Company’s General Counsel and Chief Human Resources Officer oversee the Company’s ESG and diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DEI”) programs and provide the Board with periodic reports regarding ESG trends and Company ESG initiatives.

Across our Company and our banks, we are active in a number of areas including charitable giving, volunteerism, financial wellness, the adherence to ethical policies and procedures, responsible investing, and DEI.

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Environmental Commitment

We recognize the importance of combating climate change and evaluating our impact on the environment. We consider the environmental impact of our business including our branch locations and we seek to make environmentally conscious business decisions.

Learn More about our Environmental Impact.

Social Commitment

We believe that our long-term success is intertwined with the continued growth and success of our employees and the communities we serve. Each of our banks has a long history of charitable service to individuals and businesses in need.

Learn More about our Social Programs.

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Our Board and executive management team recognize that a robust and well-managed governance program is an essential business function.

Learn More about our Governance.


We care about the environmental impact of our offices and our branches. We are taking steps to measure our environmental impact with a focus on energy consumption and waste disposal throughout our operations. This includes ensuring that our branch and office locations meet or exceed current environmental sustainability standards. We evaluate each new branch location in light of its environmental impact.

Currently our office locations recycle paper waste. We purchase appliances, office equipment and other key energy-consuming devices that comply with current Energy Star standards. Our retired computer equipment and e-waste is recycled and disposed of responsibly. As we construct new and renovate existing buildings, we seek to identify and implement various levels of environmentally friendly technology based on industry standards. 

We encourage responsible practices throughout our office and branch network. We have offered electronic statements for more than 15 years and encourage our customers to opt in for this service. We also provide our investor relations materials digitally to further encourage the reduction of our environmental footprint. Branches are encouraged to reuse print marketing materials and make use of digital information where possible.

We provide our employees who work in our urban locations with supplemental discounts for public transportation.


We believe in the value of investing our time, talent, and resources in the communities we serve. We believe that the communities we serve are an integral part of our business success and we believe it is the right thing to do to contribute time and resources to those who need it most. Our community engagement is focused around the following pillars:

  • Financial Wellness
  • Education
  • Affordable Housing
  • Food insecurity
  • Services for the Homeless and Low-Income Families
  • Holiday Giving

Examples of our Community Engagement include:

  • Financial Wellness - We support a variety of financial education programs through donations and employee volunteerism.
  • Age-Friendly Banking - We are proud that Brookline Bank is the first bank to be certified for age-friendly banking through the City of Boston’s Age Strong Commission, an organization that provides guidance to older adults who may be affected by age-related issues such as vision and hearing loss. As part of this effort, branch employees at all of Brookline Bank’s locations have successfully completed the Age Strong Commission’s training program, which focuses on helping to prevent elder fraud and financial abuse as well as making life more inclusive for older adults.
  • Banking Services for the Disabled and Visually Impaired - We invest in technology that helps to ensure our digital information and services meet or exceed Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Many of our branch locations are wheelchair accessible and many of our ATMs offer “talking” ATM technology and feature braille orientation instructions.
  • Brookline Bancorp has a partnership with the AIRA Access Network, a visual interpreting service for blind and low-vision customers or for people who want access to objective visual information. This service is free for customers of Brookline Bank, Bank Rhode Island, and PCSB Bank and allows users to connect to the AIRA app on their mobile device or computer while conducting their banking. Customers can connect with trained professionals to receive verbal information on their surroundings and get help with tasks such as using the ATM, entering and moving around one of our banking offices or navigating within Online and Mobile Banking.

  • Community Giving and Volunteerism – Employees are encouraged to volunteer in the communities where we live and work.

Human Capital Management

We believe the success of our business is dependent on the success and wellness of our employees. We also believe our commitment to living out our core values includes actively prioritizing concern for our employees’ well-being, supporting their career goals, offering competitive wages, and providing valuable fringe benefits, which aids in the hiring and retention of top-performing employees. We do this through:

  • Talent Development - Offering internal and external opportunities for our employees to engage in educational programs that promote personal career growth. This includes internal training and career advancement opportunities as well as tuition reimbursement programs.
  • Employee Well-Being - Eligible employees are provided with the option to participate in our health and wellness plans and benefits from programs such as:
    • Group health (medical coverage), and individual and family dental and vision programs for which we pay a majority of the monthly premiums.
    • Group life, accidental death and dismemberment, and long-term disability insurance coverage.
    • A flexible benefit plan under which employees can pay their ratable share of health insurance premiums on a pre-tax basis, a medical expense reimbursement plan which allows employees to defer part of their salary on a pre-tax basis to cover the costs of certain medical expenses not reimbursed through insurance or otherwise.
    • A dependent care plan under which employees can defer part of their salary on a pre-tax basis to cover qualified dependent care expenses.
    • A transportation plan under which employees can defer part of their salary on a pre-tax basis for qualified parking and transportation expenses.
    • Through the Company’s 401(k) Plan, all participating employees are eligible to receive an annual match contribution equal to 100% of the first 5% of each employee’s eligible compensation up to the annual maximum statutory limit. This annual match provided by the Company vests immediately.
  • Employee Engagement - All employees and their managers complete annual employee performance reviews. Employees receive feedback from their managers throughout the year. We also obtain feedback from our employees through informal and formal surveys.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We strive to create an inclusive environment that encourages, embraces and recognizes the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion ("DEI"). We are dedicated to creating, embracing, and supporting a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for our customers and our workforce which is reflective of the communities we serve.

Our Board oversees matters related to DEI and human capital management via regular reports from management. We provide equal employment opportunities in all aspects of employment from the hiring and onboarding process to compensation, benefits, opportunities for career advancement, training, and development.

We provide opportunities for continual learning and career development through ongoing performance and development conversations with our team members, internally developed training programs, customized corporate training engagements and educational reimbursement programs. Building a workplace culture that fosters these values is an ongoing process which requires participation from the Board, management, and staff.

The Company and each of its banks and subsidiaries has a DEI Committee which sponsors events for their respective organizations. These include:

  • Quarterly DEI Newsletters which provide insightful articles, opportunities, resources, and fun facts to increase awareness about DEI, prompt conversations amongst colleagues and provide skills to better serve our everyday lives and our customers.
  • Celebration of various cultures represented by our employees and the communities we serve.

Data Privacy and Cybersecurity

We have a data privacy and cybersecurity program overseen by the Company’s Chief Information Officer and Chief Risk Officer. The Company’s Information Security Officer reports to the Chief Risk Officer and is responsible for developing Company policies and procedures related to information security risk. Our Principal Security Architect reports to the Chief Information Officer and is responsible for developing the Company’s system security processes and procedures. While we recognize we are not able to prevent all potential incidents, our data privacy and cybersecurity programs are designed to prevent, identify, and mitigate cybersecurity incidents at the Company and for our customers. Our information security programs comply with the components of industry certification standards including ISO and NIST.

The Company’s Information Security policies and programs include the following:

  • All our employees receive data privacy and cybersecurity training on an annual basis.
  • Our cybersecurity program is aligned with industry standards, financial institution regulatory requirements, and applicable privacy laws.
  • Physical access controls are in place for entry into non-public areas, with tighter access rights for data centers.
  • Certain risk metrics are monitored and reported to the Risk Committee of the Board of Directors on a quarterly basis.
  • Annual risk assessments are performed to ensure that information and data security risks are identified and addressed related to information systems, customer information, and third-party service providers.
  • We have an Incident Response Plan that is tested periodically to ensure that adequate procedures are in place for responding, remediating, and reporting in the event of a security breach.
  • We periodically provide security and privacy information on our websites for our customers.


Our Board of Directors plays an important role in the governance and risk oversight of the Company. We recognize that it is not possible to identify all risks that may affect the Company and its subsidiaries or develop processes or controls to completely eliminate or mitigate their occurrence or effects. The Board is involved in risk oversight through direct decision-making authority with respect to significant matters and the oversight of management by the Board and its committees. Each of our banks has its own board of directors. These boards meet regularly and receive reports that are appropriate for their individual banks.

The Board or, as appropriate, a committee of the Board, receives regular periodic reports from management on a variety of governance and risk topics including but not limited to, compliance risk, information security and technology risk, market risk, credit risk, regulatory risk, operations risk, and various other matters relating to the Company’s business. The Board or a committee of the Board approves significant transactions and other decisions including, among others, significant new hires and promotions to the Company’s executive management positions. Select details regarding several of the Company’s standing committees are provided in the chart below.

Audit Committee

Responsible for (i) reviewing the scope of the proposed audit, including the adequacy of staffing; (ii) discussing the contents of our audited financial statements with management and the independent auditor; (iii) appointing, compensating, evaluating, overseeing and/or replacing the independent registered public accounting firm; (iv) pre-approving the scope of services provided by and fees paid to the independent registered public accounting firm for audit, audit-related and permitted non-audit-related services; (v) overseeing the internal and external audit function; and (vi) reviewing with management and the Company’s General Counsel the nature and status of significant legal matters. All members of the Audit Committee are independent and financially literate in accordance with the Nasdaq rules.

Compensation Committee

Responsible for overseeing the establishment of compensation levels for executive officers of the Company and the Company's subsidiaries and reviewing compensation and related matters. Each member of the Compensation Committee is independent under the Nasdaq rules.

Nominating and Governance Committee

Responsible for the annual selection of the candidates to be presented for election as directors, including nomination of sitting directors for re-election, reviewing and monitoring the Board’s adherence to the NASDAQ rules with respect to independence, and reviewing the Company’s committee structure and making any necessary recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding committee appointments. Each member of the Nominating and Governance Committee is independent under the Nasdaq rules.

Risk Committee

Responsible for monitoring and reviewing the Company’s enterprise risk management framework and processes, emerging risks, and the adequacy of risk management functions within the Company.

Ethics in Finance

We have adopted a number of policies and procedures related to the ethical conduct of our business as a bank holding company and the business of our banks as financial institutions. A sample list of policies and procedures in this area are linked or described below. The Board reviews and approves each policy on an annual basis and receives periodic training from members of management on select areas as appropriate. Company employees participate annually in a combination of live and virtual trainings. The scope of employee training is dependent on job function, however, all employees receive annual training on the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, select Compliance regulations, and Information Security.

Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (including our whistleblower policy) – The Board of Directors receives reports of any violations of the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics or relevant whistleblower reports. The Internal Audit Manager provides reports to the individual banks of any violations or whistleblower reports.

Code of Ethics for Senior Financial Officers

Insider Trading Policy - The Board and impacted employees are trained annually on the Company’s Insider Trading Policy which is designed to adhere to insider trading laws and regulations. Trades by Company insiders must be approved by the Company’s Insider Trading Compliance Officer and may only be made in open windows unless subject to a preapproved Rule 10b5-1 program.

Compliance Policies - The Company has a comprehensive compliance program that is designed to adhere to the requirements of compliance laws and regulations applicable to the Company and its banks. These include:

Information Security Policies - Our information security policies are designed to adhere to current industry standards for the prevention, detection, and mitigation of information security risks. The teams responsible for these areas review and update these polices on an as needed basis as-new and emerging trends or threats are identified. The Risk Committee of the Board receives quarterly reports on information security and the Board of Directors receives periodic reports. The Board also receives biannual reports on cybersecurity risks from an independent consultant engaged directly by the Board.

Anti-Money Laundering and Office of Foreign Assets Control Policy and Program - The Company has a comprehensive AML/OFAC policy that sets forth the responsibility of each director, executive officer, and employee for compliance with its requirements. This includes:

  • The appointment of a Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Officer responsible for providing program oversight.
  • Applying reasonable measures under its Customer Identification Program (“CIP”) to identify and verify the identities of its customers consistent with the requirements of the USA PATRIOT Act.
  • Obtaining and verifying the identities of beneficial owners of its covered legal entity customers.
  • Developing and maintaining customer risk profiles designed to understand the nature and purpose of customer relationships.
  • Maintaining and updating, on a risk basis, customer due diligence information.
  • Conducting ongoing monitoring of customers and their activities to uncover and report to the appropriate regulatory and law enforcement agencies unusual and suspicious behaviors indicative of money laundering, terrorist financing, and other serious financial crimes.
  • Filing additional reports and maintaining and retaining required records as required under the Bank Secrecy Act.
  • Monitoring for, and as applicable, blocking, freezing, rejecting, and reporting restricted and prohibited financial transactions and other dealings with named parties subject to the Office of Foreign Assets Control economic sanctions programs and other required U.S. government watch lists.
  • Mandated appropriate and adequate training of bank personnel.