ACU is the first carbon neutral credit union in Manitoba
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 that promote positive actions to address the climate crisis.
In 2018, we became the first carbon neutral credit union in Manitoba and the first Canadian organization to purchase Fairtrade Certified offsets. We’ve continued to purchase offsets every year ever since.
Our commitment to environmental sustainability
Our commitment to environmental sustainability
We are committed to bettering the planet, and we take actions to create, protect, and sustain healthy environments. Our commitment to environmental sustainability is a part of ACU's corporate culture.
We’re invested in our planet
As a Certified B Corporation® we’re committed to real, long-term action on the environment and climate change. We’re committed to being transparent with our environmental performance and climate actions. Our actions and performance are evaluated in our B Corp Assessment.
ACU named a Greenest Employer 11 years in a row
At ACU, being proudly local and committed to building stronger communities includes caring for the planet we all share. As Manitoba’s only carbon-neutral credit union, we are committed to real, long-term initiatives that promote positive climate action. Here's why we were recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers.
Our employees play a vital role in ACU's success in bettering the planet for all. ACU employees actively participate in environmental programs, initiatives, and incentives that help to support ACU's environmental performance and in their efforts to reduce our impacts on the planet.
Highlights of our environmental sustainability initiatives include:
Since 2010, we’ve committed to reducing our paper consumption in an effort to reduce our impact on the environment. Thanks to a few key initiatives over the years:
- ACU members contributed to ACU’s overall goal of reducing our Greenhous Gas Emissions (GHG) by moving to e-statements from paper statements between 2010-2021. Resulting in a reduction of GHG emissions by 42.6 tonnes, and reducing the total amount of mailed statements by 914,000.
- We also worked to reduce our overall paper consumption, internally we reduced our paper consumption by 69% between and externally by over 81% between 2012 and 2022.
- We use 100% Post-Consumer Waste (PCW) paper.
We’ve been committed to building efficiencies in our locations where ACU operates. From lighting retrofits to using greener building practices, we continue to work to find ways to reduce our footprint on the planet.
- In 2018, the Rivergrove and Charleswood branches underwent energy efficiency retrofits. LED lighting and controls will be installed at Rivergrove. The Charleswood branch retrofits will include a near real-time power monitoring system (giving us minute by minute energy consumption information), LED lighting and controls, and new energy efficient baseboard heaters.
- In 2018, we purchased just over 2000 Gigajoules of green natural gas from Bullfrog Power to displace the natural gas used in our leaded and owned branches. This is equivalent to about 99 tons of CO2e displaced through the introduction of green natural gas into the national gas distribution system.
Over the years we’ve partnered and have taken part in various initiatives to promote active and greener modes of transportation.
- Continued support for GoManitoba – a carpooling and active commuting matching website and App.
- We promote active modes of transportation with employees at ACU with incentive programs like the Transit Eco Pass, as well as secure bike storage and lockers and showers at several of our locations.
- We were awarded a gold level performance in our workplace category in 2022 for our participation in the Commuter Challenge. We had 25% participation from employees. We sponsor and participate annually in Bike to Work Day and the Commuter Challenge.
We are committed to working with organizations and groups that are focused on climate change solutions in our granting program and commit to business initiatives they include:
- BizforClimate - an organization promoting positive actions to address the climate crisis
- Climate Smart - 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.
- 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.
- Fair Trade Certified Gold Standard manages best practice standards for climate and sustainable development interventions to maximise impact, creating value for people around the world and the planet we share.
- Katingan REDD+ Forest Protection in 2022 ACU purchased 211 tonnes of offsets from a project designed to protect and restore 149,800 hectares of peatland ecosystems in Indonesia.
- SunCulture Solar Water Pumps In 2022, ACU purchased 211 tonnes of offsets from Africa’s first solar irrigation carbon project helping Kenyan smallholder farmers transition to solar irrigation systems rather than using diesel and petrol water pumps.
- Luangwa Community Forests Project Protects over 940,000 hectares of vital forests in the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi ecosystems.
- Compost Winnipeg - offers collection and compost services to offices, multi-family residential buildings, on-site composters, small restaurants and cafés. And helped ACU divert over 16.1 tonnes of compostables from the landfill between 2016 and 2021.