As our changing climate affects the lives of people around the world and in our local communities, we need meaningful climate action to be accessible for everyone. Many people want to make a positive impact but don’t know where to start.
At Vancity, we have five climate commitments to help build a clean and fair world and ensure that no one gets left behind in the transition to a clean economy. This year, we released our first climate report to show our community the measures we are taking to leverage our assets and resources for the good of the planet.
Ensuring that we walk the talk on climate action is important to us. Equally important is bringing our members along with us on this journey.
One way that we have done this is through the Vancity enviroFund™ program.
What is the Vancity enviroFund™?
Every year, 5% of profits from the Vancity enviro™ Visa* credit cards go to the enviroFund. Since 1990, we have distributed $12.2M dollars to hundreds of environmental projects in our communities.
This means that every time an enviro™ Visa* cardholder uses their card for their purchases, a percentage of the profits will go to fund climate-action projects in their community. Without our members, the enviroFund would not be possible!
Additionally, the enviroVisa offers an optional Carbon Counter that cardholders can use to better understand the carbon impact of their purchases.
Enabling greener choices through the enviroFund.
From 2018-2022, the enviroFund distributed $3.7 million dollars to projects that help people take climate action through our specific focus area — lighter living.
Lighter living is all about making sustainable life choices accessible. We used enviroFund dollars to invest in projects that make it easier for us all to live lighter and preserve the earth’s resources for future generations. Lighter living means greater access to more sustainable products, and the shared use of goods and services. It means having more time for ourselves, our communities and our natural world.
In May 2023, we published a report that highlights how the Vancity enviroFund™ made lighter living possible and more mainstream, by providing grants to 191 projects in Southwest BC.
Prioritizing lighter living.
Our lighter living priorities were determined based on the latest science and research on our ecological footprint in Southwest BC. The highest priority areas are broken up into four categories, as some actions carry more weight when it comes to addressing climate change and ecological crisis.
- Food – 50% (Meat and dairy consumption, wasted food).
- Mobility -25% (Fossil fuels used in private vehicles and other modes of transport).
- Buildings- 15% (Gas heating, energy and materials used in construction, inefficient energy use).
- Stuff -10% (Resource extraction, manufacturing, transportation, waste).
In our quest to promote lighter living, we partnered with OneEarth Living, a non-profit “think and do tank” dedicated to advancing sustainable everyday living around the world. Together, we identified over a thousand organizations, initiatives, and businesses focused on lighter living and discovered new Vancity enviroFund™ opportunities that we could support and ignite change together.
Our partners and impact.
So much exciting work was funded through the enviroFund, which is highlighted in our report. We are truly inspired by the impact of each project, but we can also see how all these actions have collectively shifted societal norms and created new business opportunities. Three high impact footprint areas and partners featured in the report include:
- Building deconstruction: Unbuilders.
- Food waste and recovery: Food Stash Foundation.
- Textiles: Threading Change.
If you’re interested in learning more about what we’ve achieved with hundreds of our partners committed to lighter living initiatives, be sure to check out our Lighter Living Impact report.
The exciting journey ahead.
As we continue on the journey towards a sustainable future, one thing remains clear: our success relies on every one of us — a collective commitment to climate action that is both accessible and attainable.
According to research from leading climate scientists in the 2022 IPCC report, up to 70% of greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2050 can come from lifestyle and behaviour changes. That’s why the Vancity enviroFund will continue to fund projects that help individuals and businesses reduce their carbon emissions and enable low-carbon ways of life for all.
Want to help us start making a difference today? Discover how you can become a Vancity enviro™ Visa* cardholder here.
* Trademark of Visa Int. Used under license.