File photo from 2011 showing Summerland Credit Union CEO Margot Sweeny (left) and sustainability co-ordinator Jo-Anne Rice pictured with the Sustainability Advantage Bronze award. The credit union has now received a silver award and been named a leader in environmental sustainability.
File photo from 2011 showing Summerland Credit Union CEO Margot Sweeny (left) and sustainability co-ordinator Jo-Anne Rice pictured with the Sustainability Advantage Bronze award. The credit union has now received a silver award and been named a leader in environmental sustainability. Jacklyn Wagner

Summerland Credit Union named shows way for green business

SUMMERLAND Credit Union has been named as a leader in the global push for organisations to improve their carbon footprint.

The local credit union was recognised yesterday alongside Lismore City Council as a sustainability achiever under the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage's program Sustainability Advantage.

Summerland attained a Silver Recognition, achieved by less than 50 businesses in NSW since the program was launched in 2008, while Lismore City Council received a Bronze Recognition.

Summerland is only the second financial services institution to receive the award after the Commonwealth Bank.

Businesses awarded the Silver Recognition must have demonstrated continuous improvement in sustainability over several years.

Some of its achievements include replacing its fleet with hybrid vehicles, reducing per employee paper consumption by 30%, and installing energy efficient lighting.

The local credit union's next big step is to install a 25kW solar panel system on the roof of its Lismore headquarters.

Lismore City Council has also made significant improvements in sustainability, retrofitting five council buildings with state-of-the-art lighting and upgrading to variable speed drives for its pumps at the Lismore Memorial Baths and the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre.

The Sustainability Advantage program provides businesses with more than 20 employees with access to experts in the field of sustainability to reduce their environmental impact and improve their bottom-line

Local Sustainability Advantage coordinator Donna Graham said members had the potential to achieve "massive" savings of up to 50% in some cases, with a pay back within 5 years.

"It's good for your image and it's great for your bottom-line," Ms Graham said.


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