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December 10 2008 Media Release

Vancity wins Green Company of the Year!

TORONTO, ON December 10, 2008. The Canadian Investment Awards, Canada’s premier awards program, committed to recognizing long-term excellence and leadership inthe Financial Services industry, today announced that Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity) is the inaugural winner of the 2008 Green Company Award for Environmental Leadership. The award was presented at a gala event at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, on December 3.

“Sustainability is core to our values and shapes the way we do business,” said Tamara Vrooman, CEO of Vancity. “From our enviro Visa™ launched in 1992, to our partnership in the LEED platinum Dockside Green development in Victoria, our green initiatives differentiate us in the marketplace and gives our members a reason to choose Vancity beyond the competitive products and services we offer. In short, being green is good business.  Our members and employees share in the honour of being recognized by this award.” 

“Vancity had a very strong submission that showcased a long-term commitment to sustainability at the highest level of the organization,” said Sabine Steinbrecher, President, Canadian Investment Awards Inc. “The company sets both targets and measurements for improving environmental and financial performance. Vancity is a trailblazer, acting as an inspiration to other organizations keen to reduce their footprint while remaining competitive.”

“As much as I congratulate all companies that are going green, I would especially like to point out Vancity and Toronto-Dominion Bank  for their commitment to sustainability, as well as for their efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, and for their employee engagement programs,” said Peter Love, Chief Energy Conservation Officer, Conservation Bureau, Ontario Power Authority. “These companies are meeting their triple bottom line – financial, social and environmental – proving that sustainability and employee engagement help a company succeed on the international business stage.”

There were a number of Vancity initiatives that impressed the judges:

  • Sustainability is driven from the top and is an integral part of the corporate culture;
  • Lead the way for other financial institutions to follow by becoming the first North American-based financial institution to be carbon neutral;
  • Contribute 30 percent of net profits annually to members and the community, including sustainability initiatives;
  • Produce a biennial  accountability report  measuring social, and environmental performance;
  • Offer free energy audits to its business banking members who want to green their facilities;
  • Launched innovative employee initiatives such as a web based tool that helps employees reduce their carbon emissions,  promote the use of alternative commuting options and offers discounted parking stalls for carpool users;
  • Screens the organizations it does business with against both ethical and procurement policies that consider environmental and social performance.

“The Canadian Investment Awards is committed to reducing our industry-wide carbon footprint,” continued Steinbrecher. “Organizations like Vancity continue to push the boundaries and provide inspiration as we commit to long-term investing in the industry and community.”

The jury for the Green Company awards was a diverse mix of industry, sustainability and conservation experts. Canadian Investment Awards is proud to present the 2008 Jury and Steering Committees members for the Green Company Award:

  • Peter Love, Chief Energy Conservation Officer, Ontario Power Authority
  • Marc Duchesne, Director, Corporate Responsibly and Environment, Bell Canada
  • Paul Bates, Dean, DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University
  • Dr. Blair Feltmate, Director, Sustainable Development, Ontario Power Generation
  • Dr. Ron Dembo, Founder & CEO, Zerofootprint
  • Deborah Kaplan, Zerofootprint
  • Johanne Gelinas, Deloitte & Touche
  • Tim Faveri, Deliotte & Touche
  • Jean Jerome Baudry, Founder and CEO, Cybernomics
  • Nada Sutic, Manager, Green Initiatives, BOMA Toronto
  • Rick Huijbregts, Director of Vertical Sales, Cisco Canada
  • Michael Sullivan, Partner, The Strategic Counsel
  • Kathrin Bohr, Vice President & Managing Director, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility
  • Nancy Palardy, Senior Analyst, Jantzi Research
  • Chris Benedetti, Chair, Recycling Council of Ontario / Principal, Sussex Strategy Group
  • Lucy Becker, VP Communications, AGF Funds Inc.
  • Hadley Archer, Director, Business Engagement, WWF Canada
  • Scott Mackenzie, President and CEO, Morningstar
  • Kate Taylor, Co-President, Kaleidoscope Marketing and Communications Inc.
  • Sabine Steinbrecher, CEO, Founder, Canadian Investment Awards Inc. / Learning Library

For a detailed overview of all the Canadian Investment Awards, please visit

Thank you to all our partners and sponsors:
Platinum: CGI / Morningstar
Gold: Canadian Business / MoneySense
Silver: Broadridge Investor Communications Solutions, Canada / Canadian Hedge Watch / Fundata Canada Inc. / Grand & Toy / Informco / Investment Executive / Learning Library Inc. / Satyam Computer Services Ltd.
National Automobile Sponsor: Audi Canada
National Newspaper Sponsor: National Post
Strategic Partners: CCR Solutions / Kaleidoscope Marketing and Communications / VAULT Solutions
Partners: Bullfrog Power / Business News Network / Cave Spring Cellars / CNW Group / Data on the Spot / elemente Magazine / Imagine Canada / Investment Fund Institute of Canada / John Wiley & Sons Canada / Matrix Search Group / Pendo Systems Inc. / Tiffany & Co. / YMCA Investment in Values

About the Canadian Investment Awards
The Canadian Investment Awards and Event recognize leading investment products and firms illustrating an enduring commitment to excellence within the Canadian financial services industry overall. It is the only time each year in Canada, that the industry, investors and advisors come together to select top performers. The event attracts about 600 guests annually and represents the year long work of over 30 firms, 40 senior analysts and expert jury members researching and ranking 50 categories and is supported by over 30 principal sponsors.

The unusual nature of this collaborative structure provides an unbiased and objective outcome that is completely unique to these awards and to Canada. No other analysis process, nor any other resource, provides this broad industry representation via "collaborative results" and the top performers have become a valuable annual reference guide for Canadian investors and advisors.

For more information about the Canadian Investment Awards, please visit

About Vancouver City Savings Credit Union
Founded in 1946, Vancity is the largest credit union in English speaking Canada, with $14.1 billion in assets, 400,000 members, and 58 branches throughout Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Squamish. 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 improving the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.

For more information about Vancity, please visit

Media Contacts
Sabine Steinbrecher 
Canadian Investment Awards Inc. 
Tel:  416.483.2791 

Kate Taylor 
Kaleidoscope Marketing and Communications
Tel: 416.271.9078