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Vancity gives international researchers some food for thought

July 29, 2014

Vancity was the only Canadian financial institution singled out for its efforts to create shared value in banking in a new report by international consultancy FSG.

According to the report, "Banking on Shared Value", financial institutions around the world are failing to capitalize on creating shared value—that is, growing profits by taking advantage of market opportunities that create social and environmental value, such as affordable housing, alternative energy and agricultural development.

"What struck us as unique about Vancity is their impact lending work," says Neeraja Bhavaraju, a co-author of the report. "There are a lot of retail banks that focus on financial inclusion or their relationships with individual customers, but few think strategically about building their local communities."

The report focuses on Vancity's support of the local and organic food industry through impact lending and investing—providing specialized financing solutions for the sector; connecting businesses to experts, partners and learning opportunities; and working proactively to strengthen the larger local foods ecosystem (read Vancity's case study).

FSG works with many of the world’s leading corporations, nonprofit organizations and charitable foundations. It has completed more than 400 consulting engagements around the world, produced dozens of research reports, and published influential articles in Harvard Business Review and Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Read the report