Aug 19: Global Leader in Corporate Transparency

Vancity’s accountability report cites progress on social and environmental performance.

Vancouver, BC – Vancity Credit Union, recognized as a global leader in corporate transparency, is raising the bar even higher on sustainability reporting with the release of its latest social and environmental accountability report.

The document, which acts as a report card for Vancity’s social and environmental performance, is being highly anticipated by organizations such as Stratos, a leading Ottawa-based sustainability consulting firm.

In 2003, Stratos rated Vancity’s last accountability report as second in its Canadian best 35 sustainability reporting survey and a leader in sustainability reporting worldwide.

Vancity’s new report rigorously scrutinizes the credit union’s social and environmental performance through an intense process that combines community consultation with an exhaustive examination of every aspect of its business practices.

Vancity has been publishing an accountability report every two years since 1997, and is one of the few organizations to analyze its performance against aggressive targets. Vancity is also one of only a few Canadian companies to have its report verified by external auditors. The result is a document that stands out in its quest to tell the whole story – good and bad.

According to its latest report, Vancity continues to make strides in fighting climate change by reducing energy use, promoting employee commuting alternatives, and launching Canada’s first clean air auto loan. However, there is still work to do as paper consumption is up and total waste recycled is down.

"We’re not sugarcoating our results. By taking a hard look at ourselves, warts and all, we are able to take steps to improve. That makes us a stronger organization - one our members know they can trust," says Vancity board chair Elain Duvall.

For Stratos president George Greene, Vancity’s integration of social and environmental factors as key elements in their business strategy makes it a true innovator and leader.

"Vancity isn’t just jumping on the transparency bandwagon, they’re driving it, and setting an example for organizations throughout the corporate world," he says.

Vancity’s new social accountability report can be downloaded at vancity.com/accountability03, is available in its 41 branches or can be requested by mail by calling 604-877-7000.

Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, with $9 billion in assets, 305,000 members, and 41 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.