For this month’s Kitchener-Waterloo Sustainable company showcase, we have chosen to place a spotlight on Kindred Credit Union. At first glance this company may seem like simply another financial institution, however Kindred has worked hard to lead the way in Sustainable practices in the KW region. Not to mention that the company was featured in Maclean’s “ Canada’s Green 30” for the 30 most sustainable companies in the Canada.

Overall, they have an informal “green network” among the staff. Kindred’s main driver for sustainability efforts is its Stewardship in Action program, which works to also advance peace, social justice and mutual aid initiatives. The program takes responsibility for planning and communicating activities. Informal staff initiatives are also affirmed for their efforts. Recently, these have involved composting, paper reduction, and purchasing ideas.

Here is a list of a number of initiatives that they have taken along the years:

2013:

Payroll Forms Online Integration: Payroll statements were printed for all staff (175 est.) every two weeks and now they are all online.

New Efficient Branch: Kitchener branch moved to a new building which is more efficient. Improvements include: lighting, heating/cooling and water usage.

E-statement Campaign: Switching to e-statements, when members switched it included a donation for MCC Trees for Haiti ($5-10 for every member that switched – 141 in total).

2015:

Continued E-statement Campaign: Donating $5 to the MCC for every member switching from paper to electronic statements.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure: Transitioned 90 desktops to thin-client virtual machines, resulting in energy savings of 15,000 KWH at a cost of $100,000.

2016:

Social Responsibility Recognition: Kindred received the Canadian Credit Union Association’s Social Responsibility Award or becoming the first financial institution in Canada to offer all of their Guaranteed Investment Certificates as socially responsible ones.

B Corp Certification: Kindred has become a certified B Corp member as of December 2016.

Thank you, Kindred Credit Union, for the work that they have been doing in our city and continuing to foster a sustainable mentality in their workplace. If you are looking to get involved with this company or would like to know more about their sustainable practices reach out to them by email: info@kindredcu.com or phone: 519.746.1010.

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