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Jun 2: Green Grant Launched

Vancity and Real Estate Foundation launch Green Building Grant Program

Vancouver, June 2, 2004 – Vancity Credit Union and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia are launching a joint grant program today to encourage green building strategies and reduce the environmental impact of real estate development in BC.

Launched just in time for National Environment Week and Clean Air Day, the Green Building Grant is a new intitiative that provides one or more annual grants of up to $50,000 to non-profit organizations for building renovations, retrofits and regulatory changes to support more environmentally friendly buildings.

According to the National Round Table on the Environment and Economy, energy use has the most significant impact on environmental quality both within and beyond a city's borders. In Canada, commercial and residential buildings account for about 30 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions and 65 per cent of electricity consumed. About one-quarter of all landfill waste is generated by construction and demolition activity. Energy efficient practices, such as natural lighting and ventilation, and the use of salvaged materials could greatly reduce those numbers.

The Real Estate Foundation supports sustainable real estate and land use practices. This grant is part of the Foundation's ongoing work of enabling communities to make responsible decisions about the way they use land. Since building “green” uses less energy and water, generates less greenhouse gas, uses materials wisely, and produces less waste, it is more sustainable than building conventionally. In the long run, green buildings benefit all of us – economically, socially, and environmentally.

The grant is a further extension of Vancity’s long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability and finding solutions for climate change. Recently, Vancity was the first financial institution in Canada to join the Canada Green Building Council, an organization dedicated to the design and construction of green buildings.

For more information, or to apply for a Green Building Grant, please visit .

Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, with $9.3 billion in assets, 305,000 members, and 41 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity was chosen as the best place to work in Canada for 2005 by Maclean’s Magazine as part of its annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers issue. 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.