ACU is a Manitoba climate leader
ACU is recognized as a climate change leader within the Manitoba business community and our credit union peers.
This is why we support environmental groups focused on climate change solutions in our granting program and commit to business initiatives like the recently launched BizforClimate – an organization promoting positive actions to address the climate crisis.
In 2018 ACU became the first carbon neutral credit union in Manitoba and the first Canadian organization to purchase Fairtrade Certified offsets. Since becoming carbon neutral, we have purchased 2300 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission offsets.
Carbon Neutral in 2021
A total of 760 tonnes of offsets for our 2021 emissions were purchased from three different sources. While our 2021 emissions were estimated to be 690 tonnes the purchase was topped up by 10% to account for potential underestimations in our inventory.
We purchased 100 tonnes of Fair Trade Certified Gold Standard offsets, 300 tonnes of offsets from a First Nations managed forestry program based in Coastal British Columbia, and 360 tonnes from a forestry project in Zambia managed by a B Corp partner.
ACU follows an internationally recognized protocol to identify significant sources of GHG emissions. We use data from Manitoba Hydro, our suppliers and service providers, and employee surveys to calculate our annual GHG emissions. We use tools and training from a social enterprise called Climate Smart to more accurately estimate our annual emissions.
ACU is committed to being transparent on our environmental performance and climate actions. Our actions and performance are evaluated in our B Corp Assessment click here to view the results.
The offset purchase amount is equivalent to ACU’s annual corporate emissions for energy consumed at our locations, employee commuting, business travel, office paper member statements and waste to landfill.
Every year we purchase high quality offsets from International projects. These projects meet very stringent international certification standards.
ACU purchases Fairtrade Certified carbon offsets purchased by the Fair Climate Fund.
ACU works to reduce our GHG emissions wherever possible and we purchase carbon offsets for those emissions we cannot prevent. Purchasing carbon credits is another way to take climate action beyond our local areas of influence. Almost one third of the offsets purchased are Fairtrade Certified by the Fair Climate Fund. The Fair Climate Fund’s aim is for a fair climate: a world in which those who contribute most to climate change invest in CO₂-reduction projects that benefit people who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Another third of our offsets are from a Gold Standard certified project that supports clean water initiatives in villages in Laos.
Our 2020 offset purchase also included 250 tonnes from a certified B Corporation based in Zambia. The Luangwa Community Forests Project protects over 940,000 hectares of vital forests in the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi ecosystems.
Our carbon offset purchase complements ACU’s purchase of Green Natural Gas from Bullfrog Power. In 2012 we were the first credit union in Canada to purchase Bullfrog Power Green Natural Gas.
Learn more about how ACU reduces its GHG emissions.