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Oct 5: Vancity Environfund Grants Support...

Vancity EnviroFundTM Grants Support Local Environmental Solutions

Vancouver, October 5, 2000 - The Vancity EnviroFund is awarding $50,000 in grants to four local community groups which are bringing imaginative solutions to environmental issues in their communities, Vancity Board of Directors vice-chair Reva Dexter announced today.

"Our goal is to model and advocate ways of doing business which are socially and environmentally responsible," said Dexter. "Our members share these values. This year, members holding Vancity VISA* cards voted to support projects which address air quality and transportation, watershed conservation and hazardous wastes and toxins. I'm pleased that this year's EnviroFund grant recipients are focusing on each of these areas."

The four grant recipients for 2000 are:

Alouette River Management Society Watershed Works Program ($15,000)
The Alouette River Management Society Watershed Works Program will coordinate the implementation of inventory, monitoring and habitat restoration projects - including tree planting, water quality testing, and plant and animal inventories. The Alouette River Management Society will also raise public and resident awareness about the four Alouette watershed streams, with hands-on participation from teachers and students at four local schools.

Alma Mater Society (AMS) Bike Co-op Human Resources Coordinator funding ($17,500)
The action-oriented AMS Bike Co-op Society at the University of British Columbia will hire a human resources coordinator to help organize and promote student run programs to promote and support cycling as an urban transportation alternative, particularly for students and staff at UBC.

Labour Environmental Alliance Society's Cleaners, Toxins and the Ecosystem project ($15,000)
The Labour Environmental Alliance Society's Cleaners, Toxins and the Ecosystem project will determine which potentially carcinogenic or toxic cleaning agents are used in fish- and meat-processing plants, and by commercial janitors, and will then develop strategies to replace these products with safe alternatives. Their goal is to improve employee health and safety while eliminating toxins from entering community watersheds in the Fraser River/Georgia Strait ecosystems.

Recycling Council of British Columbia's Chemical and Hazardous Materials Exchange ($17,500)
The Recycling Council of B.C.'s Chemical and Hazardous Materials Exchange is a province-wide service that encourages the transfer of reusable chemical and hazardous materials to another user, as an alternative to disposal. The project encourages the movement of waste materials up the 3R "ladder" (reduce, reuse, recycle) - from recycling to reusing. The EnviroFund grant will assist the Recycling Council in increasing the amount of hazardous and chemical materials diverted from disposal, while also increasing awareness about reusable by-products. The Vancity EnviroFund was established by Vancity Credit Union in 1990 to support local community initiatives which address specific environmental concerns in constructive and creative ways. All three of Vancity's VISA cards (the Vancity EnviroFund VISA, the Vancity Travel VISA and the Vancity Gold VISA) support the EnviroFund, with a minimum of 5 per cent of VISA card profits donated to the fund each year. Vancity VISA card holders vote each year on which environmental issues they would like EnviroFund to support. The Vancity EnviroFund has awarded more than $685,000 in EnviroFund grants since 1990.

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $6.4 billion in assets, 263,000 members, and 39 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility, and to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.