How We Did It

Energy use

Since 1997, we’ve reduced our absolute energy consumption by 50%.

Energy efficient retrofits: We’ve made many award winning upgrades to our offices, including upgrading our heating and cooling systems to more energy efficient models.

Energy efficient lighting: By installing better light fixtures and maximizing access to natural light, we’re able to light our offices using 30-watt bulbs.

Powering down computers: Our computer monitors switch off automatically after a period of inactivity, and by the end of 2008, our computers will too

Paper use

Since 1997 we’ve reduced the amount of paper consumer per employee by 30%.

100% post-consumer waste (PCW) paper: In 2005, we converted to 100% PCW copy paper, saving 3,000 adult trees. In 2006, we began to print our member statements on 100% PCW as well.

Double-sided printing: We set our printers to print on both sides of the page.

Opt-out of statements: We offer members the option to not receive statements by mail unless they hold a product where we are legally required to do so (i.e. a line of credit).

Staff transportation & travel

51% of Vancity Group employees commute to work using alternative transportation.

Discounted employee transit passes: In BC, We offer our employees discounted transit passes through Translink’s Employer Pass Program.

Support for carpooling: We’re members of the Jack Bell rideshare program in Vancouver, the Carpool.ca rideshare program in Calgary, and Smart Commute’s Carpool Zone rideshare program in Toronto.

Showers, lockers & secure bike storage: We provide facilities for cyclists at our offices so that they can look and feel great after their commute – we’re still figuring out how to help fight “helmet hair.”

Guaranteed ride program: We cover the cost of the bus or cab ride for staff that commute to work via alternative transportation and then need to travel unexpectedly during the day.

Cleaner car incentive: For staff that need to drive as part of their job, we offer a cash incentive of between $1,500 and $2,000 to switch to a car with low CO2 emissions.

Commuter Challenge: Every year we participate in (and often win) Better Environmentally Sound Transportation’s (BEST’s) Commuter Challenge. On that day, at least 90% of our staff commute to work via alternative transportation.

Waste

Since 1997 we’ve reduced the waste we generate by 62%.

Because the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol instructs organizations like ours not to include emissions from waste in our GHG footprint, we don’t. But we do generate waste as an organization and we do know that this creates CO2, so we do make an effort to reduce the amount of junk that we send to landfills.

Extensive recycling program: At Citizens Bank, we recycle: glass, metal, plastics, cardboard, paper, tone cartridges, computers, monitors, batteries, milk cartons, and coffee cups.

Tiny trash bins: Staff garbage cans are the size of a softball, and hook on to the side of recycling bins to encourage recycling.

Reusable mugs: We’ve issued reusable mugs to our staff so that there’s no need to get a paper cup when they go out for coffee.

Cradle-to-grave thinking in our purchasing: We seek to maximize the recycled content of the materials we purchase and seek only to purchase goods that can be recycled when we’re finished with them.

Employee campaigns

Cut the carbon: We received funding from BC Hydro to build an online tool that employers can use to track the emissions they’re saving from their climate friendly behaviour at work.

GreenFeat: GreenFeat is an annual campaign that encourages staff to adopt climate-friendly actions in the workplace with a goal to shrink our carbon footprint.

Go back to carbon neutral commitment page.