UNFCU releases 2017 sustainability report

Wed, 20/06/18

UNFCU released its 2017 Sustainability Report (PDF) last week, highlighting the strong progress it is making towards its 2020 sustainability goals. Among its eight goals, UNFCU maintained carbon neutrality even while increasing its membership, reduced paper use, and enhanced energy efficiency.

“In publishing its second sustainability report, UNFCU is not only demonstrating a commitment to communicating on key metrics, but also to having a positive impact on the environment through the development of new initiatives,” said Isabella Marras, UN Environment Coordinator of the Greening the Blue Initiative, the network that is spearheading UN system efforts towards climate neutrality and resource efficiency.

“At UNFCU, we are applying a sustainability lens to our business decisions. In addition to environmental benefits, this is reducing costs in several areas,” said Pamela Agnone, executive sponsor of the UNFCU Global Sustainability Program. “It is also sparking conversations among partners, vendors, and staff alike on new actions we can take regarding social, economic, and climate issues. Reflecting our members’ purpose, we aim to inspire others and grow our movement.”

UNFCU’s Global Sustainability Program is managed by a team of staff-volunteers dedicated to advancing sustainability at the credit union and sharing best practices. Among their initiatives, the group is organizing a Sustainability Summit for credit unions at the United Nations this fall.

Last year, UNFCU developed new sustainable purchasing policies, implemented business travel guidelines, and increased adoption of its online banking platform by its global membership. In addition to resource conservation, UNFCU continued to expand its efforts with regard to diversity and inclusion, as well as corporate philanthropy, all in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2017 report is an interim year update to the 2016 baseline report (PDF) that draws from best practices in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines. The report includes environmental sustainability performance metrics that have been independently reviewed by sustainability experts from Envision Realty Services and Kosmenko & Co.

Accomplishments highlighted in the report:

  • 100% carbon neutral, having a net zero carbon footprint by reducing energy use and using Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and Verified Emissions Offsets (VERs) since 2016
  • 78% Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design-certified office space by square footage
  • 23% reduction in paper use, since 2015
  • 19.9% increase in public donations achieved for the UNFCU Foundation in 2017
  • 5.9% reduction in energy use, since 2015 

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This story was originally posted on the UNFCU website.

Categories: Leadership, Offsets, Procurement, Waste