Vancity Credit Union.

Vancity Credit Union.

March 31, 2011 16:00 ET

Vancity enviroFund™ Prepares To Distribute Over $1 Million To Local Non-Profit Organizations For Environmental Projects

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 31, 2011) - Vancity announced today they will distribute over $1 million this year in support of local environmental projects from the Vancity enviroFund™ program which began in 1990. Vancity enviro Visa cardholders were asked to vote on the key environmental issue areas they wanted the enviroFund to support. The top two selected were Sustainable Agriculture and Ecosystem Preservation and Restoration. This year sets a record for the largest sum of funding issued in the history of the fund. 

A total of $450,000 in grants were announced today in support of eleven innovative projects ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 that address sustainable agriculture in communities where Vancity members live and work. Vancity is currently inviting community groups to submit enviroFund applications that address ecosystem preservation and restoration projects. Approximately $580,000 is available for local environmental groups working on this key environmental issue with grants ranging from $25,000 to $50,000.

Every year Vancity donates a minimum of five per cent of enviro Visa* card profits to the Vancity enviroFund to help non-profit organizations address environmental concerns in a positive, constructive and creative manner.

"Thanks to our enviro Visa cardholders, we're able to help provide funding for food systems that support and contribute to local and organic foods for a healthier and more sustainable environment," said Jean-Marc Handfield, Vice President Visa & Payment Solutions and MSC. "The success of this program is due to the contribution of our cardholders, we are very grateful for their ongoing support."

This year, enviroFund projects are protecting the diversity of plants and animals, sustaining our local agricultural lands, reducing the carbon footprint associated with our food miles and building a more resilient local food sector. Recipients receiving grants associated with Sustainable Agriculture projects include:

  1. Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust - Multi-functional Cover Crops ($28,000)
  2. Ecotrust Canada - This Fish: Seafood Traceability Initiative ($50,000)
  3. Environmental Youth Alliance - Pollinators Paradise ($40,000)
  4. FarmFolk/CityFolk Society - Seed Security Food Security ($50,000)
  5. Fraserside Community Services Society - Biggest Little Garden in Town ($20,000)
  6. Public Health Association of BC - Growing Capacity Through Farm-to-School ($35,000)
  7. Richmond Food Security Society - Richmond Incubator Farm Pilot Project ($50,000)
  8. Salt Spring Island Agricultural Alliance - The SSI Agriculture Infrastructure Project ($50,000)
  9. United We Can - SOLEfood Farm Network ($44,000)
  10. University of BC Farm Centre for Sustainable Food Systems - Growing Farmers: Feeding the City ($39,000) 
  11. Your Local Farmers Market Society - Local Food Connections($44,000)

"Vancity is committed to supporting non profits and businesses providing local, healthy food for local communities. Without our members, we wouldn't be able to support these sustainable agriculture projects with our largest enviroFund grant todate," said David Berge, Senior Vice President Community Investment, Vancity.

Since the program was established in 1990, over $3 million has been awarded to local groups to support initiatives such as the protection of wild salmon stocks, wetland preservation and many other beneficial projects. Past recipients include organizations such as the David Suzuki Foundation, Evergreen and the Stanley Park Ecology Society. 

About Vancity enviroFund™:

The Vancity enviroFund is funded by our enviro Visa cardholders as five per cent of annual Visa profits are donated to the program. We thank our cardholders for the program's success.

Through daily purchases with a Vancity enviro Visa, cardholders make an incredible difference in our communities by supporting non-profit groups throughout our operating area. Cardholders can also get involved with these groups by attending workshops held by the recipients, volunteering, or by donating their rewards points to the Vancity Community Foundation. Please visit www.vancity.com/envirofund to learn more.

About Vancity

You're part of something greater when you do business with Vancity. We're committed to making a positive impact on the quality of life where we live and work and beyond. Since 1994, we have invested over $194 million of our profits back to members and into the communities we serve. Vancity is a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values – a network of the world's leading sustainable banks sharing the commitment to achieving triple bottom line impact through responsible banking practices. Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $14.5 billion in assets, more than 417,000 members and 59 branches throughout Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria and Squamish. More information about Vancity is available at www.vancity.com.

™enviro, enviro Fund, Vancity and Vancity enviroFund are trademarks of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union. *Visa Int./Vancity, Licensed User.

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