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Mar 1: Decreasing Greenhouse Gases

Vancity Awarded for Decreasing Greenhouse Gases

Vancouver, March 1, 2001 - Vancity Credit Union has been awarded a Leadership Award by Canada's Climate Change Voluntary Challenge and Registry (VCR Inc.) for displaying "extraordinary commitment, action, best practices and leadership toward the voluntary reduction of greenhouse gas emissions."

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are those generated during everyday economic activity by various sectors of our economy. They include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride. They are widely believed to contribute to global warming and climatic changes.

Vancity received the award today from Canada's Natural Resources Minister Ralph Goodale and VCR President Robert Flemington at VCR Inc. 3rd annual Leadership Awards Ceremony in Ottawa. Vancity was honoured for its outstanding Action Plan, its successful effort to reduce its ecological footprint through financial incentives, its employee awareness program on GHG reduction, and its energy efficiency upgrades.

"At Vancity, we are constantly striving to make a direct, tangible link between sound business practices, and responsible safety and environmental practices," said Vancity CEO Dave Mowat. "We are delighted to receive this recognition of our work in this important area."

As a result of the credit union's voluntary initiatives, the overall impact on energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions from Vancity have resulted in the following:

  • Annual 4,908,495 kWh decrease in electrical consumption between 1992 and 1999;
  • Annual 90.7 tonne decrease in CO2 emissions;
  • Annual energy cost intensity decrease of 20 per cent, or $5 per m2;
  • Annual energy use intensity decrease of 21 per cent, or 4 GJ per m2;
  • Annual equivalent CO2 emissions intensity decreased by 20 per cent or 0.006 tonnes per m2.

The data are contained in the credit union's annual Progress Report on greenhouse emissions, which received 92 out of 100 points when it was evaluated by VCR Inc.

"The impressive accomplishments of this year's Leadership Award winners and Honourable Mention recipients provide an excellent and highly pertinent example of the strong level of dedication that exists within both the private and public sectors across Canada to voluntarily reduce GHG emissions," said Robert Flemington, president of VCR Inc.

The Voluntary Challenge and Registry was established as a key element of Canada's National Action Program on Climate Change. VCR Inc. is a not-for-profit partnership between the private sector and governments across Canada. Its purpose is to encourage organizations from all sectors of Canada's economy to provide greater accountability for GHG generation and reduction.

The Challenge Registry component of VCR Inc. records the actions planned and executed by organizations, providing the opportunity to exchange information and to share best practices. It is intended to serve as a way of demonstrating and recording the contributions made by registrants to the overall national GHG emission reductions. More than 760 organizations have registered voluntary Action Plans with VCR Inc. Seventy-five per cent of the opportunity for businesses and governments to reduce GHG emissions is represented within the Challenge Registry.

Vancity's full Progress Report is available on VCR Inc.'s website at

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $6.9 billion in assets, 266,000 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.