June 4, 2014, Vancouver, B.C. – Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, ranked highest of any financial institution and second overall on the list of Canada’s Best 50 Corporate Citizens identified by Corporate Knights.
Organizations were measured on a suite of 12 financially relevant sustainability metrics. Some of the key areas Vancity was recognized for includes its commitment to diversity and the environment. The recognition acknowledges organizations that are raising the bar on corporate sustainability and actively focusing on improving their performance.
Vancity follows a values-based banking model that is redefining wealth in a way that enhances the well-being of its members and builds healthy communities. It was the first Canadian member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, an independent network of the world’s most sustainable banking organizations which are working to create a positive, viable alternative in the financial system.
The credit union has a strong representation of women and employees belonging to visible minority groups. In 2013, two-fifths of Vancity employees belonged to a visible minority group and two-thirds were women. At the senior management level, 19 percent of employees belong to a visible minority group and 42 per cent were women. In addition, five out of eight positions on their executive leadership team are women. Vancity was also the first financial institution to lend to women without a male co-signer, first with a female board member and first to market to the gay and lesbian community.
Vancity is also a leader in the area of environmental sustainability. In the past year, the credit union helped some 1,400 organizations in greening their business through grants, advice and workshops and 54% of the $468 million it provided in business loans was directed to supporting environmental sustainability initiatives. Vancity has been carbon neutral since 2007 and offers green products and services to help members reduce their carbon footprint.
Vancity focuses on meeting the needs of the real economy – where people live and work, where goods and services are created and purchased. Its chief source of capital is the community itself: member deposits fund member loans; money that is invested in those who are making positive impacts through their businesses, social enterprises and not-for-profit organizations.
Tamara Vrooman, president and chief executive officer “Our values-based banking vision is creating positive social, economic and environmental impact for people, which is inclusive, accountable and transparent. We could not have achieved this high ranking without the contribution of our 2,500 employees who are focused on advancing our progressive values-based banking model which responds directly to the needs of our members and the communities in which they live and work.”
Doug Morrow, Corporate Knights Capital’s managing director “Organizations named to the Best 50 represent the very best in corporate sustainability performance. They are leaders within their respective industries on a diverse set of sustainability metrics, and epitomize the concept of doing more with less.”
About Corporate Knights
The Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada list is a definitive annual ranking of Canada’s top corporate citizens. The ranking, in its 13th year, transparently measures a diverse range of Canadian enterprises on a suite of 12 financially relevant sustainability metrics, including greenhouse gas productivity, health and safety performance and pension fund quality. To ensure “apples to apples” comparisons, companies are ranked exclusively against their industry peers, and scored on a 0-100% scale using only those metrics that are widely disclosed in their respective industries.
Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 501,000 member-owners and their communities through 57 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria and Squamish. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $17.5 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.