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apr 7: Vancity first financial institution to win prestigious North American award for sustainability reporting

Vancity first financial institution to win prestigious North American award for sustainability reporting

Vancouver, April 7, 2005 — Vancity is the first financial institution in North America to win a prestigious Ceres-ACCA North American Sustainability Reporting Award for its environmental, social and sustainabiltiy reporting.

Vancity’s 2002-03 Accountability Report was praised for how it engaged with its stakeholders, including incorporating community leader feedback on its previous report; as well as how it benchmarked Vancity’s performance and incorporated triple bottom line thinking into company operations.

The other winners in the third annual awards competition included Hewlett-Packard of Houston, Texas, which won the top spot, YSI Incorporated, out of Yellow Springs, Ohio and Gap Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, California.

“Vancity was shortlisted in ACCA’s North American awards last year and again they have put together a solid sustainability report that achieves the appropriate balance of social, economic and environmental accountability for the company and the financial services sector,” said Roger Adams, ACCA’s Executive Director, Technical and a member of the Board of the Global Reporting Initiative.

Applications were received from 66 companies – a record number and a 40 per cent increase over previous years. Eight Canadian organizations made the shortlist.

“Vancity has long measured itself against a triple bottom line of environmental, social and financial performance,” says Elain Duvall, Chair of Vancity’s Board of Directors. “It’s an honour to be recognized alongside such distinguished company and gratifying to see that more and more, organizations are starting to realize that good business is good for business.”

Now in its third year, the North American Awards for Sustainability Reporting are given jointly by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (Ceres). The awards are designed to encourage excellence in sustainability reporting and corporate transparency. The international judges panel included representatives from Harvard University and Industry Canada to name a few. Winners are chosen based on the completeness, credibility and effectiveness of communication.

Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, with $10.5 billion in assets, more than 300,000 members, and 42 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 helping members and communities thrive and prosper.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has promoted transparency in reporting the impact of business activities on sustainable development for over a decade and is involved in reporting awards in more than 20 countries across the world. ACCA is the largest international accountancy body with 345,000 members and students in 160 countries.

Ceres is a coalition of 85 environmental, investor, labor and advocacy groups working together to increase corporate responsibility worldwide. Formed in 1989, Ceres created the Ceres Principles, a pioneering 10-point code of corporate environmental conduct that led to widespread adoption of environmental principles by mainstream companies worldwide. In 1997, Ceres launched the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which has become the international standard for corporate reporting on the “triple bottom line” of economic, social and environmental performance. GRI is now an independent institution, with over 640 companies using the guidelines worldwide.