Jim Bradley, , Home Savings Bank

Jim Bradley and Home Savings Bank go back a long way. His father is a former president of the bank, and Jim started helping out there while still in high school.

"In some respects I grew up at Home Savings Bank," he says.

After studying real estate and finance at UW-Madison, Bradley joined the bank in the mid-1970s. It was during this time that his father spearheaded construction in Stoughton of the state's first solar bank office.

"We've had an interest in newer technologies and the whole idea of environmental stewardship since the 1970s," says Bradley, 59.

For the next 30 years, however, energy conservation was not a big focus of the locally owned bank, says Bradley. But when it came time to build a new branch on East Washington Avenue in Madison, there was renewed interest in building green.

"Just as in 1976 when solar technologies were new, the LEED certification process was relatively new in 2006," says Bradley, who took over as president and chief executive officer from his father in 1985. "We were building a new office, and we were interested in concepts around sustainability."

Among the bank's features is a drive-up island that doubles as a rain garden, capturing all the runoff from the site. Bradley says the natural light and air quality make the building a great place for employees and customers. The bank also serves as a model to the larger community.

"We thought we had an opportunity to create a facility where people could come in and experience a green space and understand that there are certain benefits they could use in their homes and businesses."

Bradley says businesses are always looking for ways to distinguish themselves. "We embraced sustainability for our organization and as a contribution to our community." The East Washington Avenue branch, he adds, "was a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate in a physical sense what sustainability means."

- Judith Davidoff