Credit cards and climate action are topics that don’t often get paired together.
After all, credit cards are generally linked to buying and consuming more stuff. And, everything we purchase has an environmental footprint.
But, not every credit card is created equally. And many customers use their credit cards to track all their everyday expenses in one convenient place and receive rewards in return. In this economy, we need all the incentives we can get!
At Vancity, our credit cards reflect our vision of a transformed economy that protects the environment and guarantees equity for all. As a co-operative, we focus on what’s in the best interest of our members and their communities.
That’s why we distribute 5% of the profits we earn through our Vancity enviro™ Visa* cards back to the local community through the Vancity enviroFund™ every year. Since 1990, cardholders have helped raise over $14 million for local sustainability initiatives.
On behalf of cardholders, we are taking action on our climate commitments of achieving net-zero and financing an equitable transition by providing grants to organizations that make low-carbon living possible.
Why low-carbon living?
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with the right policies, infrastructure, and technology in place, we can achieve a 40-70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through lifestyle and behaviour changes.
That’s why the enviroFund program focuses on partnerships with organizations and businesses that achieve one of these two outcomes:
- Reduce carbon emissions of individuals and businesses
- Create the policy, business, and cultural context for low-carbon ways of life
Through our enviroFund grants, we want to invite our members on the journey to net-zero and give them the tools to get there.
Our track record.
From 2018-2022, the enviroFund provided grants to projects that were focused on advancing what we called ‘lighter living’ across Southwest BC. Lighter living encourages us all to consume less and waste less but also to focus on the things in life that really matter- connection to community, healthy, vibrant ecosystems, family etc.
But it’s not just an individual responsibility- we need access to sustainable products and services, and a supportive ecosystem to live lighter (and low-carbon) lives.
We created a compelling report on the impact of the enviroFund over the past 5 years, which you can see here.
We drew you in with the headline ‘how you can take climate action by using your credit card’ so let’s list some of the ways the enviroVisa can help you make an impact.
With every tap of your enviroVisa card, you are contributing to the enviroFund. Use your enviroVisa for everyday purchases and give rewards to the community, and to yourself in the form of cash back or travel.
Use the Vancity Carbon Counter, securely linked to your enviroVisa account, to estimate your carbon footprint based on your purchases. This tool will show you how your choices may impact the planet and follow your progress over time.
Get involved in climate action programs funded by the enviroFund:
Empower Me is Canada’s only energy conservation and behaviour change program designed for and delivered by members of diverse, multicultural, and multilingual communities. Through in-language workshops and one on one community support, the program empowers residents to better participate in climate action and lower their carbon footprint. See workshops available here.
CityHive is a youth-led organization that brings together young people from diverse backgrounds to tackle climate issues at a local scale. They currently offer three climate action programs for youth (under 30): Youth Civics and Climate Leadership program workshops, the Youth Climate Innovation Lab and the Climate ShareSpace. Learn more about these programs and how to get involved here [cityhive.ca].
My Climate Plan is a community-based platform and membership program to help people understand what climate impacts their household faces, get personal help to prepare and ongoing benefits to act. Their goal is to help people bridge from individual to collective action for climate safe communities. Free and paid membership programs can be found at myclimateplan.com [myclimateplan.com].
Want to help us start making a difference today? Discover how you can become a Vancity enviro™ Visa* cardholder here.
enviro™, Carbon Counter™ and Vancity enviroFund™ are trademarks of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union.
* Trademark of Visa Int., used under license.