Best Corporate Steward - Finalist, Capital One Financial Corporation

BCLC Note: Capital One is a two-time finalist in the 2011 Citizens! Visit the Best Business Neighbor page to learn more about Capital One's Investing for Good volunteer program.


Capital One Financial Corporation is a diversified bank that offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses, and commercial clients. Capital One serves banking customers through approximately 1,000 branch locations in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One has 43 million customer accounts and one of the most widely recognized brands in America.

Doing Well and Doing Good

"As a local bank, we are uniquely positioned to catalyze economic opportunity for individuals and small businesses in communities in our footprint. Creating community and individual economic development opportunities is at the core of our businesses and it is the fundamental way we create shared value.

"Through an integrated program that we call “Investing for Good,” we’re orchestrating the delivery of core banking services along with specialized community development and philanthropic support to generate lasting, local community impact and valuable business results."

Corporate Stewardship Highlights

Investing for Good

Investing for Good begins with data gathering. Capital One studies each community, talking with community leaders and residents to uncover what is important to them. Capital One then looks for ways to incorporate collaboration, innovation, and results measurement into programs that will create economic opportunities, leverage community strengths, and address local needs.

Finally, Capital One coordinates its resources to ensure maximum return for both the community and its business. Those resources include our products and services, the talents and leadership of associates, and innovative community programs.

Investing to Good comes to life through four focus areas that are building blocks for economic success: financial literacy, education, affordable housing, and small business/workforce development. These focus areas intersect to powerfully drive communities toward economic well-being.

In 2010, associates contributed more than 126,000 hours to communities, nearly all towards Investing for Good focus areas. Learn more about Investing for Good on Capital One's Best Business Neighbor page.

Environmental Stewardship

Capital One participates in an array of environmental organizations including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders Program and the Green Building Initiative and also regularly reports to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

In 2010, Newsweek ranked Capital One as the 56th “Greenest Big Company in America.”

The following are a few ways Capital One works to be a corporate steward of the environment:

  • Reducing Emissions: In 2009 we set a goal to reduce our emissions by 10% over the next five years. We are on track to meet that goal by engaging in a range of tactics including reducing energy consumption in buildings and increasing use of renewable energy.
  • Greening the Supply Chain: Paper use is one of the key environmental issues for our industry. We established a Paper Procurement Policy which includes goals to increase the percentage of post-consumer waste recycled content and the percentage of Forest Stewardship Council's sustainable certification for virgin sources.
  • Supporting Communities: We also heavily support the environmental sustainability of our communities. In 2010, our associates volunteered more than 13,000 hours toward environmental projects.

Supplier Diversity

In addition to improving the environmental sustainability of its supply chain, Capital One is committed to strengthening its diversity. One of the ways is through the Capital One Diverse Supplier Mentoring Program.

Through the program, Capital One associates offer guidance in their areas of professional expertise to minority and women business owners. Over the past three years, more than one-quarter of its diverse suppliers have completed the program.

Financial Literacy

Capital One recognizes that financial literacy and money management skills are crucial building blocks for economic success. The company invests in financial literacy programs to set individuals of all ages on the path to a life of fiscal responsibility and economic self-reliance.

Financial literacy programming is executed through a combination of local banking services, nonprofit partnerships, and Capital One associate volunteers.

  • Elementary School Students -- KidzBANK.  Leverages the resources of local Capital One Bank branches, an elementary school program that helps students to learn banking basics and the importance of saving.
  • Middle School Students -- Capital One/ Junior Achievement Finance Park.  Interactive learning facility where kids become adults for a day and experience the challenges of making budgeting decisions for themselves and their families. Since its launch in 2006, the program has reached tens of thousands of students. This year, Capital One and JA are launching JA Finance Park Virtual, an online version of the nationally recognized program.
  • High School Students -- Bank It. Co-developed with the Search Institute, this online resource helps parents and young adults effectively talk about financial choices, challenges and dreams.
  • College Students -- EverFi. Brings financial topics to life through an interactive online educational gaming environment. Students learn about budgeting, student loan management, credit scores, and more.
  • Adults & Seniors -- MoneyWi$e. National program offering free, multilingual financial education on a range of topics including building and maintaining good credit, micro-business basics, and elder fraud has reached more than 3.5 million consumers. MoneyWi$e training is offered in Capital One bank branches, community organizations, Capital One-supported affordable housing developments, and online.

In 2010, more than 36,000 people participated in financial literacy programs. Participant program evaluations show knowledge gains, as well as enhanced levels of comfort in talking about and managing money.

Due to increased program efficiencies and the addition of online versions of several programs, in 2011 Capital One anticipates reaching nearly 100,000 people.

Executive Leadership

Capital One executives treat shared value as a principal element of business strategy. Executives guide the stewardship strategy and visibly lead by the example. In 2011, for example, nearly the entire Executive Committee participated in One Week, a week of service in May dedicated to Investing in Good issues.

CEO Rich Fairbank has been particularly involved in advancing Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park. He personally opened a new permanent Finance Park facility in Virginia in 2010 which will serve an estimated 14,000 middle school students annually.

Capital One Bank President Lynn Carter has driven the strategy for Investing for Good initiatives across the banking footprint, such as the student-run branches in high schools and the local neighborhood-based initiatives in markets like Gentilly.