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Vancity releases sixth Accountability Report

Immediate release
September 26, 2008

Vancity releases sixth Accountability Report 2006-07 report demonstrates ongoing commitment to triple bottom line

Vancouver, BC, Canada - In an age when consumers are increasingly scrutinous of corporate behaviour, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union continues to lead the way in corporate transparency with its sixth Accountability Report. The report is a public account of the credit union and its subsidiaries’ economic, social, and environmental performance against the commitments made to members and employees.

The report covers more than a hundred performance measures, such as Board compensation, greenhouse gas emissions, employee turnover, member loyalty rates, and community investment.

Four-fifths of Vancity members surveyed say that accountability and transparency in business is of concern to them. “Reporting on our performance in such a public and thorough way is one way for us to show our members and employees that we are being open about our operations and impact,” says Vancity Board Chair Patrice Pratt.

In addition to measuring and auditing results, the organization sets performance targets and action plans to address areas that may be underperforming, and to demonstrate leadership. “The process helps us make us a better run organization,” says Vancity CEO Tamara Vrooman. “It identifies areas where we are doing well, and areas where we may need to spend more energy.” Updates on action plans are included in subsequent reports.

The report is externally verified to ensure it presents a balanced and fair account of Vancity’s social, economic and environmental performance. As independent social auditor David Simpson of InterPraxis notes there is no legislative requirement for Vancity to publish a verified accountability report. “It does so voluntarily,” says Simpson, who adds,, “Vancity is alone among all the mainstream Canadian financial institutions in adopting such a rigorous and demanding sustainability assurance standard. This not only helps to enhance the credibility of the report, but ultimately it should also lead to better performance.”

New this year is discussion on the top issues identified by members, including the war for talent, affordable housing, and the ABCP issue. The report also meets the Global Reporting Initiative voluntary report content standard of G3, level A+ — making it the first financial institution in North America to attain this level.

Moving forward, Vancity plans to explore how it might integrate its Annual and Accountability Reports into one strategic integrated report. As part of this, it will implement a more rigorous approach to determining what measures and issues are the most important to stakeholders to increase the report’s relevance and focus. Vancity’s last report won “Best Sustainability Report” in the North American Ceres-ACCA Sustainability Reporting awards.

To view the 2006-07 Accountability Report, go to or

About Vancouver City Savings Credit Union

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $14.1 billion in assets, 400,000 members, and 59 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, 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.