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. In 2021, our share of the project was 913,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy, resulting in greenhouse gas offsets equivalent to driving 1.6 million miles, and the carbon sequestered by 766 acres of forests.
- 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 all lighting with energy efficient LED lighting.
- Our South Spokane Valley (pictured), 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.
- By offering the option to sign documents electronically, we greatly reduce our environmental footprint by reducing paper usage, paper mailings, and transportation costs.
- 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 build with green building practices in mind.)
- We increasingly use xeriscape landscaping to reduce water usage, 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.
- Many of our back-office employees work from home most days. For those who must commute, we offer a number of incentives to reduce the miles driven, including discounted bus passes: 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.
- Our technology tools help reduce STCU’s carbon footprint by reducing branch visits. They include online banking, the STCU mobile app, and this website.
- Sign up for online statements to save paper and reduce your footprint.
- By choosing to sign documents electronically, we all save time and resources.