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VSECU, Global Banking Leaders Commit to Measure Carbon Impact in Loans, Investments

3c article

MONTPELIER, VT – VSECU, a credit union for everyone who lives or works in Vermont, is joining more than 25 global financial leaders in committing to a concerted, worldwide effort among banking institutions to track and monitor the carbon impact of their portfolio of loans and investments within a period of three years, spearheaded by the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.

The Climate Change Commitment, otherwise known as the ‘3C Initiative’, reflects the dire need to correct our current environmental trajectory and aligns with the Paris Agreement goals to keep global temperature increases this century well below 2 degrees Celsius.

“Values-based banks and financial institutions from right across the world have come together in recognition of the fact that where we allocate our capital matters for our environment,” says Peter Blom, Chair and co-founder of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. “The Climate Change Commitment is a powerful, practical example of action the banking industry can take to contribute concretely to efforts to address the climate crisis. By assessing and disclosing their greenhouse gas emissions, banks can see their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. This enables them to make financial decisions that limit the impact of the emissions of their financed assets so they can keep their contribution within safe environmental levels, helping to safeguard the environment for future generations.”

The GABV intends to use the measurement methodology developed by a group of Dutch banks known as the Platform for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) and intends to work with Navigant, a global leading consultancy, to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of their loans and investment portfolios. PCAF covers most relevant asset classes, including listed equity, project finance, mortgages, commercial real estate and corporate debt.

“The Global Alliance for Banking on Values is a powerhouse team of institutions committed to creating healthier communities in the places where our members live and work,” says Rob Miller, CEO, VSECU. “The 3C Initiative is directly in line with what Vermont leaders are doing, both in terms of the State of Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan goal of meeting 90 percent of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2050 and Governor Phil Scott’s commitment to the U.S. Climate Alliance. We look forward to working with members around the world as we advance the movement of values-based banking to meet the challenges of tomorrow, specifically around mitigating climate change.”

The initiative is part of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values’ larger commitment to spearhead positive change among the financial industry on pressing social and environmental issues. The participating institutions, who have combined assets of $153 billion, intend to influence the wider banking sector by demonstrating that banks can assess and report on their greenhouse gas emissions. By doing so, the participating institutions plan to demonstrate to their stakeholders what their contribution is to keep the global increase in temperature within safe levels.

Currently, VSECU’s VGreen program is the state’s leading energy efficiency and renewable energy loan program. In addition, VSECU sources nearly 100 percent of the energy needed to power the organization from renewable sources.

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The ‘Climate Change Commitment’ (3C initiative) states that:
The members of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values have pioneered responsible finance proving, on a daily basis, that positive impact can be at the heart of everyday banking. Together they have financed positive social, environmental and cultural change all over the world. Addressing the urgent challenge of climate change, and decarbonising our economy, is only one part of this work, but it is more urgent now than ever. That is why the GABV’s 3C initiative members have committed to assess and disclose the climate impact of their portfolio of loans and investments within a period of three years, and ultimately to ensure the climate impact of their loans and investments are in line with the Paris Agreement.

The list of participating banks and credit unions who have agreed to the Climate Change Commitment in its initial phase include:

1. Alternative Bank Schweiz (Switzerland)
2. Amalgamated Bank (USA)
3. Banca Etica (Italy)
4. BancoSol (Bolivia)
5. Beneficial State Bank (USA)
6. BRAC Bank (Bangladesh)
7. Cooperative Abaco (Peru)
8. Cooperative Bank of Karditsa Coop.L.L. (Greece)
9. Credit Cooperatif (France)
10. Ecology Building Society (UK)
11. Ekobanken (Sweden)
12. ESAF Small Finance bank (India)
13. GLS (Germany)
14. LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited (Nigeria)
15. MagNet (Hungary)
16. Merkur (Denmark)
17. Missoula Federal Credit Union (USA)
18. NMB Bank (Nepal)
19. Opportunity Bank Serbia (Serbia)
20. SAC Apoyo Integral, S.A. (El Salvador)
21. Sunrise Banks (USA)
22. Triodos Bank (Europe)
23. Vancity (Canada)
24. Verity Credit Union (USA)
25. Vision Banco (Paraguay)
26. UmweltBank (Germany)
28. XacBank (Mongolia)

About the Global Alliance for Banking on Values
The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) is a network of more than 50 banking leaders from around the world committed to advancing positive change in the banking sector. Our collective goal is to change the banking system so that it is more transparent, supports economic, social and environmental sustainability, and is composed of a diverse range of banking institutions serving the real economy. The GABV was founded in 2009 creating a network of progressive financial institutions who had already been operating in a sustainable and viable way for many years.

Global Alliance for Banking on Values members are focused on following the principles of values-based banking.

VSECU is a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union for everybody who lives or works in Vermont, offering a full range of affordable financial products and services to its member-owners. VSECU is committed to improving the lives of Vermonters by empowering the possibilities for greater social, environmental, and financial prosperity. For more information about VSECU, call 802/800 371-5162 or visit