This engagement is mutually beneficial, helping both the Atlanta Fed and the public we serve. Maintaining the public trust necessary to function as a central bank requires engagement on several fronts.
Corporate citizenship is essential to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. It embodies the Bank's commitment to participate fully in the life of our communities, both within and outside the normal scope of our work. The Atlanta Fed's mission is critical to the economic health of our region and communities, so it is only logical that the bank be engaged in volunteer and civic activities that strengthen their economic vitality.
This engagement is mutually beneficial, helping both the Atlanta Fed and the public we serve. Maintaining the public trust necessary to function as a central bank requires engagement on several fronts, including three we will spotlight:
Environmental stewardship and sustainability
In 2010, the Atlanta Fed adopted its first five-year environmental plan. The document addresses nine areas that cover the Sixth Federal Reserve District's environmental impacts: recycling and waste reduction, water, energy, transportation, green purchasing, buildings, education and communications, business methods, and public engagement.
The plan includes specific goals for each area. For instance, over the next five years, the Bank aims to reduce water use by 10 percent, electricity consumption by 15 percent, and paper use by 20 percent. The Bank is making progress toward these and other green objectives through a comprehensive recycling program, water conservation measures including low-flow faucets, automated lighting systems, and fuel-efficient fleet vehicles.
The Atlanta Fed has also incorporated sustainable design and construction standards. Last year, the bank achieved the coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification for the renovation of the employee café in the Atlanta office. Moreover, the Bank's early steps to green its operations received recognition from the state of Georgia in 2010 with the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia's Silver Award.
Community and civic engagement
Atlanta Fed employees have a firm commitment to community involvement. Throughout the Sixth Federal Reserve District, employees volunteer time and expertise through a strategic program focused on three areas critical to the economic vitality and general health of our communities: education, health and human services, and community development. Last year, employees volunteered more than 5,500 hours of their time in 99 different projects. In addition, many Atlanta Fed staff members serve in leadership roles in numerous nonprofit organizations throughout the Southeast.
One of the bank's longest-standing projects is the annual Financial Education Day, which takes place every fall. Since its inception in 1997, this program has reached more than 2,000 eighth graders, who learn basic personal finance from Atlanta Fed volunteers.
More than 50 years ago, staff members created an employee-owned charitable fund that regularly donates to nonprofit agencies in the Southeast. In 2010 alone, the fund raised and donated more than $430,000. (The Federal Reserve itself is prohibited from directly contributing to charitable organizations.)
Diversity and inclusion
Like environmental stewardship and community involvement, diversity and inclusion, in action and thought, are essential to the Atlanta Fed. Since 2004, the bank has woven this commitment into the daily fabric of our organization by
Building on this foundation, in 2010, the Atlanta Fed established an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, as called for by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.