Vancity's values of Integrity, Innovation, and Responsibility are more than just words - it walks the talk. Here are some of its recent innovations that demonstrate how Vancity lives these values, while making a positive difference for its employees, members, communities, and the environment.
Vancity was the first Canadian financial institution to offer socially responsible mutual funds. Its methodology incorporates financial analysis with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors to positively screen for quality companies that demonstrate performance in seven key areas: corporate governance and citizenship, environmental commitments, employee relations, diversity, community relations, human rights, and sustainable products. In 2015, Vancity divested oil, gas or coal-producing companies from its Global Equity SRI Fund and now offers members an investment fund that is free of fossil fuels. "If companies are not aligned with our values, we don't want to do business with them", commented Jodh Dhaliwal.
In 2014, Vancity became one of the first mainstream financial institutions to launch an alternative to payday loans for its members. Its 'Fair & Fast Loan' reduces costs for borrowers and helps them break the cycle of debt. The loan helps individuals find a way to break the payday loan cycle and establish a better credit history to build a stronger financial future. To date, Vancity has issued more than 1,700 loans valued at more than $2 million. "These people are already poor, they don't have money. We have been able to coach them, develop them and bring them into regular banking channels so they can have more money in their pockets to support their families", said Jodh Dhaliwal.
In 2011, Vancity became the largest organization in Canada to adopt the Living Wage policy recognizing the social and economic benefits of paying employees and service providers a wage that meets their basic living needs. In 2013, it re-certified as Canada’s largest living wage employer and implemented the living wage through contracts with the majority of major suppliers. "Small businesses are the backbone of any economic growth. We are always thinking of ways we can support small businesses so they can pay a living wage to their employees. When a company is growing, it is growing because of its employees; their understanding, alignment, and commitment to the values and the vision of the organization", added Jodh Dhaliwal.