UN Sustainable Development Goal

Responsible Consumption and Production


user photo Submitted by Dalton Messman
Date published: 21 Jun 2017

Arbor Financial Credit Union

Overview Arbor Financial Credit Union (Arbor)is a financial institution located in Southwest Michigan that is developing creative ways to run a more sustainable company. Arbor has taken steps to meet the twelfth UN sustainability goal, which is sustainable consumption and production. Because of their initiatives, Arbor is having a positive impact on the local Michigan community and society at large. Innovations Arbor has built new branches in the past years and has done so with the environment in mind. Three of their newly built branches were built with environmentally sound building techniques and materials. Examples of these are the use of high-efficiency windows, recycled metal for their roofs, and eco-friendly interior paint. One of the branches even went on to receive the Green Building of America Award. Their second innovation is how they issue reusable water bottles to all their employees. Americans used roughly 50 billion plastic water bottles last year and only recycled a fraction of those. Arbor hopes that by issuing these water bottles they will be able to reduce their waste. Their last innovation is how they try and reduce their use of paper products. Arbor has done this in a few different ways. First, Arbor encourages all members to enroll in e-statements. Arbor also encourages their members to participate in their Momentum Checking account, which encourages the members to use debit cards instead of paper checks. Lastly, Arbor has introduced many dual-monitor computers to reduce the amount of paper copies that employees will need to make. Overall Impact Arbor has cut down on its energy consumption through the use of its high-efficiency windows and their motion sensor lights. Along with this, Arbor has reduced the amount of waste that they produce with their use of reusable water bottles and their use of many electronic documents. Along with this they have created a positive impact on the overall southwest Michigan community by using recycled materials to build their newer branches. This helps reduce the amount of wasted materials that are left in the community and make for a better overall environment. Inspiration Arbor has a simple explanation for why they take on these initiatives, it is simply a part of who they are. They realize that there can be cost benefits and publicity reasons for what they do but it all comes down to who they are as a company. Business benefits Arbor has realized many cost benefits because of their initiatives surrounding more sustainable consumption. They reduce their paper costs with the use of their e-statements and their momentum checking account. They limit the amount of paper they need to purchase and the cost of disposing of the wasted paper. Their energy efficient buildings help reduce the cost of their energy use as well. This all leads to Arbor increasing its bottom line and allows them to give more back to their members. Social and Environmental Impact Arbor has created a community around these initiatives by including their members in many different events. One important even that members are included in is Arbor’s “Shred Days”, where members can bring in unwanted paper and electronic devices and have them properly recycled. This, among many other events, is how Arbor is creating a better Southwest Michigan for all. Interview(s) Tina Mason, Director of Marketing Candy Spears, Branch Manager By Dalton Messman & Craig Qualley