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.
Why we’re doing this
The fact that the climate crisis poses significant financial risks is finally dawning on the global financial system. Shareholders and regulators are increasingly requiring financial institutions to accurately account and transparently disclose the climate risks and impacts of their business activities.
Financed emissions - emissions from companies and activities financed by financial institutions - represent a key area of climate exposure. But they are also a key lever that financial institutions can use to effect systemic change by pushing the companies they finance to curb emissions-heavy activities.
Rigorous accounting and transparent disclosure are also critical in ensuring companies are making real, fundamental changes. Without them, it is all too easy for a company – or a financial institution – to avoid reducing its high-emissions activities by using climate-positive, and less systemic, action as an offset. The more effective accounting and reporting standards bring such moves to the surface.
The Vancity advantage
Vancity has a strong track record of impact reporting, and we are already working with the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) to test and refine cutting edge accounting and reporting practices. We also have a strong track record of demonstrating to financial institutions and other large organizations how they can have real impact, developing and piloting initiatives that others then adopt.
We will continue to be at the forefront of accurately measuring, and transparently reporting on, the positive and negative impacts of our actions, showing the way for other financial institutions to follow.
Actions to date
We piloted, for the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), newly adapted methodology for accounting the carbon impact of our residential and commercial mortgages.
We were the first Canadian financial institution to join the UN’s Collective Commitment to Climate Action, undertaking more stringent action and reporting requirements related to exceeding Paris targets and advancing the UN’s sustainable development goals.
We signed on to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Banking, undertaking concrete and time-bound action and reporting commitments. We have since become North America’s representatives on the Board overseeing the implementation of the Principles.
We declared our support for the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Our second TCFD disclosure report is scheduled for 2021.
We signed The Global Alliance for Banking on Values’ Climate Change Commitment and joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), committing to measure and disclose the climate impact of our loans and investments.
We became the largest organization in Canada to adopt the Living Wage policy.
We were the first financial institution in North America to become carbon-neutral in its operations, reaching this goal two years earlier than planned.
We became the first financial institution in North America to win a Ceres-ACCA North American Sustainability Reporting Award for our environmental, social and financial sustainability reporting.
We consulted with members, staff and community leaders as a key input in developing our Statement of Values and Commitments.
We published our first externally verified social report.
Our annual report included, for the first time, a section measuring our impact on members, staff, community, and the environment.
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.
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.
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.