Vancity credit union tops list of Canada’s responsible businesses

Five co-ops made were included in this year’s Best 50 Corporate Citizens, including Desjardins and The Co-operators

Vancouver City Savings Credit Union has been named Canada’s top corporate citizen for the second year running.

It is one of five co-op organisations in the Corporate Knights list of the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada, with finance giant Desjardins at number 2, insurance group The Co-operators ninth, outdoor gear supplier Mountain Equipment Co-op 15th, and fuel and lumber distributor Federated Co-operatives 50th.

Corporate Knights, a media and research company which focuses on “clean capitalism”, assesses factors such as carbon productivity, linking corporate pay to sustainability, percentage of taxes paid, gender leadership diversity, health and safety performance and pension fund quality when drawing up the list.

Read more: Co-op businesses included in list of great places to work

Chief executive Toby Heaps said the list sets “the Canadian standard for which companies are doing the most to advance a more fair and sustainable world”.

Vancity is continuing to grow its assets and membership (Photo: Alex Akopyan)

Vancity, the largest community credit union in Canada, also took the top position in 2013. It came second on 2014 and 2015.

“Amid growing membership and assets under management, Vancity continued to improve its industry-leading standards on waste productivity, CEO-to-average worker pay ratio, executive diversity and employee turnover,” said Corporate Knights.

It added that Vancity has been tackling social issues ranging from racism and refugees to gender equality and affordable housing, while growing its membership and assets under management keep growing. It now manages around CAD $25.6bn in assets and has 523,000 members.

Vancity’s overall score was 73.8% in the latest ranking, the highest among the nine financial institutions included. Desjardins came second and HSBC Bank Canada was third.

Vancity had some of the best scores in most of the 10 categories relevant to the financial services industry, including energy and waste productivity, gender diversity and low employee turnover. Its lowest scores were for water use and taxes paid.

Vancity’s president and CEO Tamara Vrooman said: “Vancity is honoured to be named Canada’s top corporate citizen for the second year in a row,

“We’re very proud of our values-based business model and our commitment to building healthy communities. This award is a great recognition of the work our 2,600 employees do each day to bring this model to life for our members.”

She added: “Even though we’re good, we always think we can aspire to be great. We are always looking for ways to improve our performance even when our performance is, relatively speaking, very strong.”






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