We actively pursue environmentally sustainable activities and business practices to develop a more sustainable organisation. We do not have any loans to organisations involved in the fossil fuel exploration/export business, including coal seam gas, and have a policy not to provide loans for mining enterprises.
Summerland Credit Union's Sustainability Position Statement
Summerland is a customer owned financial institution. We provide more than just banking, and as our customers are our owners, they and their communities must benefit from high service levels and ethical treatment through our delivery of financial services.
Our ethical and community values are reflected through a strong commitment to sustainability. We believe that sustainability requires a holistic approach and must recognise the links between our environment, our economy and our communities. In entrusting us with their financial assets, we combine our responsible economic management with strong environmental management processes. We want our customers to know that their assets are not being used to actively damage or impact our environment.
Our Sustainability Principles
Summerland uses the following principles to protect and enhance natural, social and human capital:
Natural Capital: our practices endeavour to live off the earth’s interest/resources that are renewable – not its core capital
Social Capital: we act as a good corporate citizen that contributes in cash and in kind to local, national and international communities
Human Capital: we support an engaged workforce and customer base and maintain good relations with our suppliers and stakeholders
Summerland began the journey toward a more sustainable future in 2008, and will continue to be a progressive values-based organisation. Our commitment to sustainability will positively enhance Summerland’s reputation and our environmental and social contributions into the future.
Since 2008 Summerland has partnered with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s Sustainability Advantage Program which has assisted us in developing a sustainability vision and put in place long-term goals to plot a strategic sustainability path. Summerland has set a framework for the development and implementation of sustainability strategies, which integrates a range of practices, policies and products into different components of our business.
Long Term Environmental Goals
Our commitment to a sustainable future will be a fundamental aspect of our business practices which will be reflected in financially sound, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable practices
We will demonstrate commitment to our sustainable development through implementing specific projects addressing environmental management and resource use efficiency
Our commitment to sustainable development will be communicated with our employees, members, the community in which we live and our external stakeholders
2014-2017 Environmental Goals
Grow the commitment to environmental sustainability within all levels of the organisation
We will develop ownership of the credit union’s Environmental Sustainability program
Reduction in resource use and efficient recycling of waste
Continual improvement in resource efficiency throughout the credit union
Leadership in environmental sustainability and engagement with all our stakeholders regarding our environmental initiatives
Ensuring we achieve and maintain leadership in environmental sustainability within our community and within the credit union movement
Striving for higher levels of accreditation and recognition to demonstrate our leadership in environmental sustainability
In achieving leadership we will collaborate with stakeholders to achieve our environmental goals
Since 2008, we have made changes to over 45 different aspects of our business and as a result achieved firstly Bronze & then Silver Partner Status in the Sustainability Advantage Program.
Margot Sweeny accepting the Bronze Partner Award from Don Page MP, 2011
Margot Sweeny receiving the Silver Partner Award from Robyn Parker, Minister for Environment and Heritage
We are proudly the first organisation in the Northern Rivers to be awarded this status and are currently working towards obtaining Gold Partner Status.
Summerand supported Divestment Day in Lismore, in October 2014. This growing movement, internationally and in Australia encourages people who disapprove of the big banks investing in fossil fuel/CSG mining to close their accounts at those banks and move to a banking alternative that shares their values, like Summerland.
Summerland also supported Divestment Day in May 2014.
Even the rain didn't dampen the enthusiasm of people divesting from the big banks. Murwillumbah Divestment Day, 2 May 2014
Visit the Australian Government's Living Greener website, information, how-to's and rebates for sustainable living.
Green Event Checklist
Whatever event you’re planning, there are ways to make it more environmentally friendly. Whether it be preventing or reducing waste and litter; recycling as much as you can; or sourcing sustainable supplies – any of these actions will help to reduce the impact on our environment.
If you can plan a green event, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve conserved resources and reduced landfill waste. Best of all, you’ll also provide a model for others to follow.