Banking for a Better Environment: Credit Unions Nationwide Go Green

The banking industry has always been about ‘the green,’ and lately that has taken on a new meaning, thanks to the evolution of environmentally friendly business practices in the workplace. Many leading credit unions are driving this change by focusing on and adopting environmentally friendly or “green” business practices, which are designed to minimize the impact on the local environment and to cut down on costs and resources. This, in turn, is putting more life back into the communities that credit unions serve.

Since economic growth is tied to the health of the environment, several credit unions across the nation have made giant efforts to become more eco-friendly. Committed to integrating environmental practices and sustainability principles into their business strategies, these credit unions are focusing on creating new and effective ways to incorporate the community into their overall business tactics by placing their communities’ longevity first.

“We are constantly striving to incorporate more environmentally-friendly practices into our everyday operations and across all of our branch locations,” explained Ralph D. Spencer, Jr., President & CEO of Suffolk Federal located in Suffolk County, New York. “We are also embracing state-of-the-art technology that can help lower the need for paper consumption, speed up the transaction process, reduce energy consumption, save valuable resources and, at the same time, improve member service and credit union response times,” he continued.

In addition to concrete efforts of integrating more earth-conscious products and services, many credit unions have begun educating their members on supporting green initiatives which includes offering online banking classes where members can sharpen their skills to implement online and mobile banking tactics into their daily lives.

For Suffolk Federal implementing environmentally friendly tactics into their long-term plan is of extreme importance. The credit union recently completed the installation of solar roof panels at many of its branches, reducing its overall carbon footprint. Additionally, the ten-branch credit union recently rolled out a new online banking platform which includes the leading digital technology including free eStatements and electronic bill pay to lessen its overall impact on the environment by limiting the amount of paper consumption. The credit union is also works to encourage members to embrace Suffolk Federal’s new mobile banking platform and to effectively utilize electronic bill payments by using their MasterCard Debit Card. And, to further implement sustainable green practices, Suffolk Federal is also encouraging its employees and members to incorporate energy-saving tips in their everyday lives including “The Three Rs” of reducing, reusing and recycling of goods.

For credit unions like Suffolk Federal becoming environmentally responsive and conscious for both present and future generations as well as for the local community is of extreme importance. “Empowering members and employees to embrace new tactics and to encourage an environmentally new way of thinking and doing business is paramount to sustaining, impacting and ensuring that local communities where the bank does business as well as the local economy can blossom and thrive into the future,” Spencer explained.

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