Vancity in 2020: Advancing an Equitable Climate Transition
In a year of extraordinary uncertainty, Vancity was able to apply its values-based banking model for the benefit of members, employees and communities. This is not new for Vancity – it has been doing this for 75 years. Vancity’s responses to the challenges of climate change, racism and the COVID-19 pandemic are outlined in Strength in community, Vancity’s 2020 annual report, which can be viewed at vancity.com/AnnualReport.
Action on the climate crisis is a key theme of the Vancity 2020 annual report. It includes Vancity’s first analysis of the financed greenhouse gas emissions on Vancity’s loans and investments using the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials methodology.
Vancity’s commitment to becoming an actively anti-racist organization is detailed throughout the report as is how the COVID-19 pandemic showed how a co-operative can mobilize its membership to help each other get through a crisis together. Stories that showcase how Vancity creates value include a social enterprise that feeds community, reducing landfill waste from building demolition, and support for local business to pivot and adapt during the pandemic.
2020 highlights in the report include Vancity’s:
- Commitment to achieving net-zero emissions across all of its loans and mortgages by 2040.
- Five climate commitments to help realize the vision of a climate transition that is fair and includes everyone.
- Appointment as North America’s representative on the United Nation’s Board responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) and reporting its first self-assessment detailing progress against the PRB commitments.
- Support for members impacted by the pandemic by temporarily cutting credit card interest rates to zero and deferring $4.1B in loan and mortgage payments for up to six months.
- Commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization and its participation in the 50-30 Challenge which sees it aiming to have a senior leadership team with at least 40% as Indigenous, Black or People of Colour, LGBTQAI2S+ and someone living with a disability.
- 30% of 2020 net income returned to members and communities totalling $13.9M.
Vancity’s values-based banking model is also aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The work that Vancity does to support the goals are highlighted throughout the 2020 Annual Report. The report was prepared in accordance with the International Integrated Reporting Framework and the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Reporting Standards, Core option. Its adherence to the AA1000 principles and key data in the report was externally assured. This is Vancity’s second year disclosing their approach to managing climate risks and opportunities in alignment to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 550,000 member-owners and their communities, with offices and 54 branches located in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay, within the unceded territories of the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw people. With $30.5 billion in assets plus assets under administration, Vancity is Canada’s largest community credit union. Vancity uses its 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.