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July 2 2008 Media Release

Immediate release
July 2, 2008

Go for the green with Vancity
$302,000 in grants up for grabs for local environmental groups

Vancouver, July 2, 2008 – Vancity is inviting local environmental non-profit groups to apply by July 21 for $302,000 in enviroFundTM grants – the program’s largest grant sum to date.

With an eye to the environment, this year non-profit groups are encouraged to apply for project grants using a new paperless, online application system. The grants, to be awarded in November 2008, will go to groups working on imaginative solutions to environmental issues in their communities. In 2008, the maximum grant size has been increased from $40,000 to $50,000, and local groups are eligible to receive grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000.

“Vancity is commited to taking action on environmental issues and investing in other organizations and community projects that are doing the same,” says Vancity Board Chair, Patrice Pratt. “The Vancity enviroFund program is a great way for our members to have a say in the environmental issues that matter most to them, and for Vancity to help bring worthy local environmental projects to life.”

The enviroFund is funded by Vancity Visa*, which donates five per cent of its annual profits from its suite of Visa card products to the program. Each year, enviro Visa cardholders vote on the issue areas enviroFund will support. This year’s issue areas include; consumption and waste reduction, sustainable transportation, ecosystem preservation and restoration.

Since the enviroFund program started in 1990, more than $2 million has gone to support environmental projects for more than 60 local non-profit organizations. Past enviroFund grant recipients include: the Bowen Island Conservancy, the David Suzuki Foundation, Check Your Head: the Youth Global Education Network and the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust.

The Bowen Island Conservancy is using their enviroFund grant to help create the Fairy Fen Nature Reserve in order to permanently protect and manage the biologically diverse wetlands complex in the Bowen Island Cove to Cape Greenway. “enviroFund's support has ensured that this project can and will move forward to accomplish its objectives,” says Asha Rehnberg, past Board Member of the Bowen Island Conservancy.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2008 issue areas, and the deadline for application is July 21. 2008 enviroFund project applications must address one or more of the 2008 issue areas. For additional information, visit or call 604.877.7620.

Vancity is actively involved in supporting local environmental and climate change initiatives. The credit union is the first North America-based financial institution to become carbon neutral, and provides its members with innovative ways to address climate change through Green Choices products like the Clean Air Auto loan for low-emission vehicles and loans for energy efficient home renovations. Vancity also supports community organizations working on environmental projects through its community grants, green building grants, the enviroFundTM program. In 2008, Vancity is helping other organizations to reduce their own carbon footprints by sponsoring 25 small-and-medium-sized companies to launch their own carbon reduction programs with Ecotrust Canada workshops.

Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, with $14.1 billion in assets, more than 395,000 members, and 59 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria, as well as two Squamish Savings branches. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. For further information, visit:

TMVancity enviroFund, and enviroFund are registered trademarks of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union
* Visa Int./Vancity, Licensed User.