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Jun 4: Vancity Faces Off Against Mountain...

Vancity Faces Off Against Mountain Equipment Co-op in "Eco-Commuter Challenge" for Clean Air

Vancouver, June 4, 2001 - It's the battle of the Vancouver "co-op" titans when Vancity Credit Union faces off against Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) in a contest of athletic prowess, stamina, wit and will in the first ever "Eco-Commuter Challenge" to be held on June 6 - National Clean Air Day.

In keeping with their reputations as leaders in corporate environmental responsibility, the "Eco-Commuter Challenge" is part of Vancity and MEC's participation in the 6th Annual Commuter Challenge sponsored by B.E.S.T. (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation).

The Commuter Challenge is a friendly but significant competition between organizations to encourage employees to commute to work using alternative forms of transportation. You can walk/run/ride/blade/paddle/skateboard or scooter but "leave your SOV" (Single Occupancy Vehicle) at home.

The idea is to promote the benefits of clean air commuting which will make the region more livable by reducing traffic congestion and harmful vehicle emissions that contribute to climate change.

Vancity and MEC are coming together to promote clean air commuting with a two-pronged contest. Scoring will be based on employee participation (the percentage of staff who take alternative forms of transportation to work on June 6) and an "Eco-Commuter Challenge" competition. The losing team will raise funds for the winner's charitable organization of choice.

In a race against time, nature and themselves, the "Eco-Commuter Challenge" will pit Vancity CEO Dave Mowat and three of his colleagues against MEC CEO Peter Robinson and his team.

While the Lower Mainland is starting its morning commute, the Eco-Commuter Challengers will kick off the race in North Vancouver with an exhilarating bike trek to Stanley Park; followed by running and orienteering, and end with a kayaking competition from the park to Science World.

The race has been designed by an MEC employee who raced in the Borneo Eco-Challenge and is expected to take about three hours.

"Borneo or no Borneo, I expect that MEC will be shaking in their hiking boots when they see the team we've put together," says Mowat. "But seriously, this is all in the spirit of promoting cleaner air, getting single car drivers off the road and partnering with an organization that shares our commitment to environmental causes and our values," he says.

MEC CEO Peter Robinson agrees. "This challenge is a great way to spread the word to our employees and community about what clean air commuting has to offer our environment and personal health. I only hope that the Vancity folks won't be too disappointed when their team comes up short at the finish line," he says.

Employees from both organizations are expected to gather at the finish line (near Science World) to cheer their teams home and crown the "Eco-Commuter Challenge" champs.

Media are invited to join the two teams in their quests for victory. Both Mowat and Robinson will be available for photos and interviews at various times throughout the race.