Or at least a part of it.
STCU members are thinking about the next generation, which is why they often ask: "What's the credit union doing to be more green?"
We can't speak for other credit unions, but at STCU, we're mindful of the wise use of resources it takes to operate a consumer-friendly business. Here are some of the steps we've been taking in recent years to reduce energy consumption, increase use of renewable resources, and create a sustainable community for our employees, members, and friends of STCU:
- In late 2018, we signed an 8-year contract with Avista to buy electricity from a solar farm in Lind, WA. The purchase roughly offsets the energy usage at our headquarters in Liberty Lake, where about 300 people work.
- Significant remodeling projects – and continual smaller projects – have significantly increased energy efficiency at our Headquarters building including window and HVAC replacements.
- Like many workplaces, we have swapped out nearly all lighting with energy efficient LED lighting.
- Our South Spokane Valley, Moran Prairie, Crossroads, and Airway Heights branches have solar panels.
- Our Headquarters and two of our branches (South Spokane Valley and Airway Heights) have electric car chargers. When our South Valley Branch opened in 2011, its chargers were the first located anywhere in Spokane Valley that were available to the general public.
- For many years, we have used construction techniques intended to meet the standards for LEED certification. (We have not always sought the certification, but nonetheless seek to meet the standards.)
- We increasingly use desert landscaping, including at our Tri-Cities locations.
- We recycle at all our locations.
- Nearly all buildings have bike racks, and our Headquarters building has a gym with locker rooms, making it easier for those who commute on foot or by bike.
- Our HQ, and some branches, have showers to encourage bike commuting.
- We offer a number of incentives to reduce the commute miles driven by employees, including discounted bus passes; telecommuting and compressed work weeks when practical; and a guaranteed ride home for those who use a commute alternative and need to return home for unforeseen reasons.
- We offer monthly prize drawings for employees who find alternatives to driving alone.
The biggest thing we do to reduce the credit union’s carbon footprint is encouraging our 217,000 members to use technology for as many transactions and interactions as possible. Those alternatives include online banking, the STCU mobile app, e-statements, and this website, which now are visited more often than all our branch locations combined.