Commitments tackle emissions and address social and economic inequity tied to the climate crisis
Building on decades of leadership on environmental sustainability and issues of social and economic inclusion, Vancity announced five ambitious commitments to address the global climate crisis
One of the commitments is to target net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 across the credit union’s entire lending portfolio, making it the first financial institution in Canada to commit to outpacing the global target called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by 10 years. The five commitments focus on building community resilience by strengthening local economies and addressing systemic inequities to support a just climate transition.
Social and environmental sustainability have long been at the centre of Vancity’s business model going back to its founding as a credit union. These commitments build on many years of climate action, going further to help build a future that is clean and fair for everyone.
The five commitments, integrated into Vancity’s business strategy, include:
Net-zero by 2040
Our ambition is to make Vancity net-zero by 2040 across all our mortgages and loans. That means the carbon emitted from anything we finance will be eliminated or significantly reduced, with any remaining emissions being brought to net-zero. We’ll start this work by setting our first target for 2025.
Financing an equitable climate transition
Unaddressed, climate change – like the pandemic – will change how we work and live, and will drive further inequality. We will focus our work in financial and social inclusion to provide banking and other solutions to help people who are affected by the climate emergency, as well as those seeking support in transitioning to cleaner and more sustainable living.
Investing in a better future
We will help our members invest for the future we need by offering only responsible investment options that can demonstrate the integrity of their Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) screening and stewardship process.
Be transparent and accountable
We will encourage change within the financial services sector by accurately measuring and openly reporting on how our own actions are improving the well-being of people, communities and the environment. We aim to continue implementing, testing, and helping improve emerging international standards for climate and impact reporting.
Walk the talk in all we do
We will live our values in our daily decision-making in order to serve the diverse needs of our members, staff, and our communities and do our part across our operations to contribute to a just climate transition.
In the coming months, Vancity will finalize and release the roadmap for meeting these commitments, as well as the associated targets for measuring and assessing our progress. This includes setting an ambitious initial target for reducing emissions by 2025.
Quote from Christine Bergeron, Interim President and CEO, Vancity:
“The financial sector must play a central role supporting the shift to a low carbon economy that is clean and fair for everyone. Vancity has long been at the forefront of confronting systemic inequity and addressing climate change, and these commitments will help Vancity do its part to address the climate crisis by engaging our members and communities as a key part of the solution. It won’t be easy to meet our commitments, but the days of business as usual are over. We must all do more if we want to address the urgent challenge that’s taking place around us.”