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At People’s Choice, we recognise our responsibility to care for the environment and to play our part in addressing climate change. As a member-owned banking organisation, we’ve always focused on supporting our members and communities rather than generating dividends for shareholders like the major banks. 

We look forward to sharing more updates about these initiatives and new programs as we work with our members for a sustainable future. 

We’re carbon neutral… and working to further reduce emissions

People’s Choice is officially certified as carbon neutral by the Australian Government’s Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard. We measure our greenhouse gas emissions and offset them by purchasing Carbon Offset Credits in three Australian carbon farming projects that are fostering sustainable, regenerative land management practices across the country.

Steve Laidlaw, People’s Choice Chief Executive Officer, said that although being carbon neutral is important, the organisation is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. 

“While we offset the 6,047 tonnes of carbon that we produced through our operations in 2021 through excellent local programs, our goal is to continually reduce our carbon footprint,” Mr Laidlaw said. 

“We will continue to measure and report annually on our progress towards reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Laidlaw said. 

Our head office is one of Australia’s greenest buildings

Our head office at 50 Flinders Street, Adelaide, is one of Australia’s greenest buildings, with a 6 Star NABERS Energy rating and 6 Star NABERS Indoor Environment rating. 

It is one of only two buildings across Australia to have maintained these sustainability ratings without the use of purchased Green Power. The Indoor Environment rating of 97% positions 50 Flinders Street as the highest-rated NABERS Indoor Environment building in Australia. 

Of course, we will continue to work with everyone associated with the building to maintain this rating.

We’re reducing fuel use and switching to hybrid vehicles

Over the coming months we will be replacing our entire fleet of 45 cars with new hybrid vehicles.

“Cars play a major role in global carbon emissions,” Mr Laidlaw said. “By switching to hybrid vehicles, we expect to reduce our carbon footprint from this source by 40% and our petrol usage by 45%.”

“And as the infrastructure around electric cars continues to develop, we’ll be keeping a close eye on further opportunities in the future.”

We’re reducing our paper use 

With the support of you, our members, we’re continually working to mail out less paper each year.  We now have over 195,000 of our members on eStatements. We’re also working towards sending out more members communications via email and members can now sign their loan contracts digitally via DocuSign. 

The People’s Choice Community Lottery is now 100% online which helped reduce our paper use by more than 70,000 sheets of paper last year. 

We’re working towards B-Corp Certification 

Another important initiative we are working towards is becoming B-Corp Certified. B-Corps (or Certified B Corporations) are organisations that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance. 

“Importantly, B-Corp Certification is about the environment – and more,” said Maria-Ann Camilleri, People’s Choice Chief Member Officer.

“It measures a company’s entire social and environmental impact. It sets high standards and holds you to them. This will provide an important framework for measuring and reporting on our commitment to sustainability.”

We’re partnering with our peers for a sustainable future

We’re proudly participating in the Sustainable Mutual Business program being led by industry association, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals. This program brings together Australia’s leading mutuals across a range of sectors to learn from each other and international experts on environment, sustainability and governance strategies, frameworks and reporting. 

By collaborating with like-minded mutuals, we’ll develop useful frameworks and tools tailored to our sector, to help us deliver on our commitment to a sustainable tomorrow and report on our progress towards that goal. 

Five ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Reducing your carbon footprint is a great way to take action against climate change and have a personal positive impact on the environment.

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    People’s Choice is the second largest credit union in Australia, with over 360,000 members and more than 65 branches, advice centres and ATMs. Being member-owned means our customers are actually our owners, who have a direct say in how we do things. Everything we do is designed to benefit our members, and any profits we make are reinvested back into providing better products and services.

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