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Environmental Responsibility

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

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.

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:

We we’ve been named as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers. This honour is awarded to employers who lead the nation in creating and committing to a culture of environmental stewardship. ACU is pleased to be recognized along with so many other exceptional Canadian employers dedicated to building environmental sustainability principles into their workplaces.

To learn more our recognition for our environmental efforts, click here.

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 916,000.
  • We also worked to reduce our overall paper consumption, internally we reduced our paper consumption by 69% between and externally by over 86% between 2012 and 2021.
We made a commitment to switching to 100% Post-Consumer Waste (PCW) paper. PCW is a type of recycled paper that's made entirely from post-consumer waste, which is waste that people have actually used and recycled instead of discarding to landfills.
CTA: Want to switch to e-Statements? Here’s how.

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.

  • In 2018, we partnered with a number of organizations to support the GoManitoba – a carpooling and active commuting matching website and App. GoManitoba launched an informational video (sponsored by ACU).
  • We promote active modes of transportation with employees at ACU. In 2018, we we’re designated as a Bike Friendly Workplace for 200 Main Street. Decreasing the greenhouse gas impacts of employee commuting by 48% between 2010 and 2018
  • We were awarded a gold level performance in our workplace category in 2018 for our participation in the Commuter Challenge and we had 34% participation from employees. We participate annually in Bike to Work Day and the Commuter Challenge.
  • We provide incentives to employees to choose greener modes of transportation, like the Transit Eco pass.

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.
  • First Nations managed forestry program In 2021, ACU purchased 300 tonnes of offsets from a First Nations managed forestry program based in Coastal British Columbia.
  • Forestry project in Zambia – In 2021, ACU purchased 250 tonnes of offsets from a certified B Corporation based in Zambia.
  • Luangwa Community Forests Project Protects over 940,000 hectares of vital forests in the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi ecosystems.
  • Bullfrog Power - In 2012 we were the first credit union in Canada to purchase Bullfrog Power Green Natural Gas. Bullfrog Power offers the highest-quality renewable energy certificates (RECs) to help our customers maximize their carbon reductions and transform our energy systems.
  • 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 14.5 tonnes of compostables from the landfill between 2016 and 2021.

Featured advice and stories

 Dennis Cunningham Manager of Environmental Sustainability at ACU

ACU Employee Spotlight: Getting to know Dennis Cunningham

Dennis Cunningham grew up in Halifax, and as a child in the Maritimes, his environmental beliefs were first developed. Today, halfway across the country as the Manager of Environmental Sustainability at ACU, this lifelong passion is put into action every day, helping reduce the credit union’s environmental footprint. […]
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Celebrating a carbon-neutral success this Earth Day

Earth Day is always a time for celebration and action, with a notable achievement for Assiniboine Credit Union this year. But for ACU, here’s why environmental awareness is a year-round focus. […]
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40 per cent of your office’s waste could be saved from the landfill and redirected to an environmentally responsible composting program. How much of your office organics is your office currently throwing away? Chances are, a lot more than you even realize. […]

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