Central 1 is dedicated to evolving our processes and supporting our members and clients in ways that build environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and effective corporate governance (ESG) into all aspects of our business. As signatories to the Canadian Investor Statement on Diversity and Inclusion, we adopt a standard practice of asking questions with the hope this influence continues to grow the responsible investment movement- which we already see in our own portfolio where we have exceeded our 5% target to achieve 12.3% of our investment portfolio consisting of green, social, or sustainable securities. We have three areas of ESG focus that integrate directly into Central 1’s corporate strategy and our sustainability commitments.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
Building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is essential to our culture, and we also recognize our role in reducing societal barriers for all beyond our organization.
Central 1’s Procurement team applies a DEI lens to our supply chain practices and decisions by supporting vendors who take into consideration their social and environmental impact. In this way, our standard business practices are designed with the long-term ESG risks embedded to bring some clarity to choices we can make that do not indirectly exacerbate the climate or inequity crisis.
Our Product Compliance & Design Team (PCD) has undertaken the Forms Refresh Project to better support subscribers with inclusive and accessible form templates, adopting more gender-inclusive inclusive language in our forms and resources. PCD is also improving accessibility features to our forms, like plain language, larger font sizes and reduced clutter to drive greater readability and understanding for all credit union members and to enable greater agency over their financial wellbeing.
We are incorporating climate-related factors into our decision making with the goal of minimizing environmental harm and transitioning towards a low carbon economy.
Central 1 is committed to leveraging our expertise and network to move the dial on climate-related issues. Our Research team produced over 20 Consumer & Market insights articles in 2021, reflecting a research-based approach for climate consciousness and how clients can support their customers’ desires to adapt behaviors and fight climate change.
Central 1’s Information Technology team are currently undergoing a multi-year process to transition our technology to the cloud to significantly reduce our environmental footprint.
The impacts of climate change hit close to home recently as the B.C. Interior was hit with extreme flooding. Central 1 partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to create a credit union donation portal to collect relief aid, ultimately raising more than $286,000.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action #92 asks for the Canadian corporate sector to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Central 1 takes this call to action to heart and have taken fundamental steps to create meaningful change.
We invested $65 million in the First Nations Finance Authority’s commercial paper program for Indigenous-led community development, an example of how Central 1’s business can support Indigenous communities’ right to pursue economic, social, and cultural development.
Central 1 is also committed to long term education to understand truth and reconciliation and our role as allies. We are committed to land acknowledgements as an educational tool and continue to explore our opportunities for personal and learning about Indigenous communities and the First Nations land on which we all reside.
Supporting our communities for the long-term
Central 1 is committed to learning how to best support DEI, climate action and Indigenous reconciliation in our everyday practices, business and decision making. Care for community is one of the foundational principles of the credit union system and at the heart of everything we do.