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Environmental building projects get $175,000

Environmental building projects get $175,000 from Real Estate Foundation and Vancity

Vancouver, BC – March 1, 2006 – Vancity and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia have awarded $175,000 to six non-profit organizations across British Columbia to encourage innovative environmental building work.

Launched two years ago, the Green Building Grant program 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.

This year’s recipients include, the Ruby Lake Lagoon Nature Reserve Society in Pender Harbour for the retrofit of the Iris Griffith Interpretive Centre ($25,000); One Sky – The Canadian Institute for Sustainable Living in Smithers for the retrofit of its Energetic Solutions Centre ($25,000); Fraser Basin Council for policy work around increasing energy efficiency in new buildings ($12,500); Anglican Diocese of New Westminster for the retrofit of four church buildings ($50,000); Community Energy Assocation and City Green in Richmond and Victoria to update the green building component of the Toolkit for Community Energy Planning in BC ($12,500) and Fernwood Community Centre Society in Victoria for a retrofit of a heritage building being redeveloped for affordable housing, small business and community outreach ($50,000).

"The Green Building Grant program is a further extension of Vancity’s long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability and finding solutions for climate change,” says Vancity Board Chair Elain Duvall. “We’re thrilled to support groups doing important work that will have a positive impact on our communities for generations to come.”

The Real Estate Foundation supports sustainable real estate and land use practices. The Green Building Grant is part of the Foundation's ongoing work of enabling communities to make responsible decisions about the way they use land. In 2005 the Real Estate Foundation approved 97 grants totalling $2.9 million. Since 1988 the Foundation has made over $36 million in grants to non-profit organizations across the province.

The Vancity Group of Companies is Canada’s largest credit union, with $11.8 billion in assets, 330,000 members, and 47 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.