Net-zero by 2040
Our ambition is to make Vancity net-zero by 2040 across all our mortgages and loans. That means the carbon emitted from anything we finance will be eliminated or significantly reduced, with any remaining emissions being brought to net-zero. We’ll start this work by setting our first target for 2025.
Why we’re doing this
In 2018, Canada’s residential and commercial buildings were its 3rd highest-emitting sector, accounting for nearly 13% of the country’s emissions. The road to meeting or exceeding Canada’s Paris targets inevitably runs through curbing emissions from the country’s built environment.
Financial institutions must play a leading role in this effort because emission from buildings financed through their mortgage and loan portfolios expose them to significant climate risks. This means offering mortgages, retrofit loans, and other loan products that enable people to reduce emissions from their homes and commercial buildings. This also means advocating for governments to enact necessary systemic changes, such as updating building codes and zoning.
The Vancity advantage
Bringing the emissions linked to mortgage and loan portfolios to net-zero takes financial institutions into uncharted territory. But Vancity is no stranger to leading Canada’s financial institutions into such territory. After all, we were the first in Canada to offer mortgages to women without requiring a male co-funder, the first to introduce a vehicle for energy-retrofit financing, and the first (in North America) to become carbon neutral in our operations.
That’s why we will work with our members to find how we can best empower them to reduce emissions and increase climate resilience in their homes and commercial properties. We will also use our voice, alongside our members and communities, to help inspire and inform policy solutions that make climate action more affordable and accessible. Our first steps, in the coming months, will be to measure and publicly disclose the current emissions in our entire portfolio, and to work out a roadmap with significant milestones to get our portfolio to net-zero.
Actions to date
As a member of the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), we piloted newly adapted methodology for accounting the carbon impact of our residential and commercial mortgages.
We launched our Planet-Wise Renovation Solutions, offering 3 refreshed options for energy-retrofit financing.
We launched Planet-Wise Teardown Financing, an initiative to spotlight how our various mortgage options can be used to reduce the environmental footprint of home renovations.
Vancity Investment Bank acquired Co-Power Inc., offering investors green bonds to fund community-level energy efficiency projects.
2014 – present
We’ve issued $2 billion in loans for green buildings, green businesses, clean tech, renewable energy.
Victoria’s Dockside Green development, spearheaded by Vancity, became the world’s first LEED® Platinum community and the first ‘greenhouse gas positive’ community in North America. It set world records for Platinum ratings for both LEED® for Core and Shell (LEED®-CS) and for Stage 2 LEED® for Neighborhood Development (LEED® ND).
We were the first financial institution in North America to become carbon-neutral in its operations.
We introduced Bright Ideas Home Financing, Canada’s first financing vehicle for energy-efficient home renovations.
Financing an equitable climate transition
Unaddressed, climate change –like the pandemic – will change how we work and live, and will drive further inequality. We will focus our work in financial and social inclusion to provide banking and other solutions to help people who are affected by the climate emergency, as well as those seeking support in transitioning to cleaner and more sustainable living.
Investing in a better future
We will help our members invest for the future we need by offering only responsible investment options that can demonstrate the integrity of their ESG screening and stewardship process.
Be transparent and accountable
We will encourage change within the financial services sector by accurately measuring and openly reporting on how our own actions are improving the well-being of people, communities and the environment. We aim to continue implementing, testing, and helping improve emerging international standards for climate and impact reporting.
Walk the talk in all we do
We will live our values in our daily decision-making in order to serve the diverse needs of our members, staff, and our communities and do our part across our operations to contribute to a just climate transition.