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The Journey to Zero

The journey to zero

Tracking our footprint – the evolution

Vancity has been measuring and reporting out on our environmental footprint since 1992.

While we’ve always used the best methodology available to guide our measurement, different methods have been considered ‘best practice’ at different times. The result is that, although we have over a decade worth of environmental data, it’s hard to know for sure how comparable our data is year-over-year.

A second challenge is that it’s only recently become fashionable to express one’s environmental footprint in terms of CO2 emissions, so much of our earlier data is expressed in different units of measure.

For that reason, Vancity was thrilled when, in 2006, the International Standards Organization (ISO) launched a new standard for reporting on carbon emissions. We finally had a standard way to measure and report out on our emissions.

In 2007, Vancity hired a PhD student from the University of British Columbia to build us an emissions model that was compliant with the new standard. As well, he created a handbook [1050KB PDF ] that outlines our procedures and methodologies. We used this model to calculate our 2007 emissions, which were 6,000 tonnes of CO2 – equal to the emissions that 1,200 cars produce in one year.

Vancity 2007 Emissions by Source

By nature of our operations as a financial institution, we are not a high emitter and our long-standing commitment to keeping our emissions low means they are manageable, but 1,200 cars is 1,200 and we have been, and continue to be, focused on reducing our footprint.

Focus on reducing emissions

We’ve been working to reduce our emissions since 1990. Our goal? To reduce our emissions as much as possible by focusing on three areas:

We chose these three areas based on the guidelines in the World Resources Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol. This helps an organization identify all material sources of emissions.


Find out more

Learn more about how Vancity can support your organization in taking action on climate change.