April 20th, 2010

SMCU Practices Green Business

Members of Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union are concerned about protecting their communities’ natural resources. This same commitment to responsible environmental stewardship is reflected in the way SMCU does business.

For example,

  • SMCU no longer provides bottled water for board meetings and conferences, to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated.
  • Employees now have food waste containers for organic materials that would normally end up in landfills. The waste from these bins is composted and used in area parks and gardens to keep soil healthy.
  • Lighting in SMCU common areas, like hallways and meeting rooms, is on motion-sensitive timers to prevent lights from being on all day long when spaces aren’t being used. As a result, electricity spending has been reduced more than 10% from July to November 2009.
  • Branch-wide meetings and training classes are now conducted via web, greatly reducing commuting and printed materials.
  • SMCU formed a dedicated Green Committee that evaluates the credit union’s business practices to ensure things are being done in the most environmentally responsible way.

In addition, members have new options for interacting with SMCU in ways that require less paper, such as:

  • Online Banking and eStatements are replacing monthly paper statements. Members no longer have to receive statements in the mail to keep track of their monthly transactions. They are available at smcu.com, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
  • SMCU brochures and communications are printed on FSC Certified paper.
  • The quarterly member newsletter, 7Principles, is now available in electronic form, both via email and online. Members get their SMCU news more quickly and without having to deal with more paper in their mailbox.
  • SMCU is moving toward electronic loan documentation. Loan documents are one of the largest sources of paper within the credit union. Being able to both create and store loan documents electronically saves paper and the physical storage space necessary for physical loan files.

Some of these changes are small, some not so small. Together with changes to come they will make a big difference in how SMCU utilizes natural resources to make our community a better place.

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