HomeMedia & ResourcesMedia ReleasesInternational Day of Cooperatives: customer owned banking institutions embody sustainability

International Day of Cooperatives: customer owned banking institutions embody sustainability


On International Day of Cooperatives, customer owned banking institutions stand tall in a global community of customer owned businesses taking action on climate change.

Held annually on the fourth of July, the day of recognition has embraced the theme of ‘Cooperatives for Climate Action’ in 2020.

Michael Lawrence, CEO of the Customer Owned Banking Association, said the day is an opportunity to highlight the significant role of customer owned banking institutions in furthering environmental sustainability within Australia.

“Customer owned banking institutions put people before profit. This intrinsic quality of cooperation drives leadership and action on one of the most pertinent global issues.

“COBA members are contributing to environmental sustainability in a myriad of ways, from reducing their own carbon footprint, and funding and volunteering in local initiatives, through to offering market-leading green loans and adopting lending practices which promote renewable energy.

“In the wake of COVID-19, Australians are increasingly concerned in aligning with businesses of ethical substance. Cooperatives are aligned with the times.”

Examples of sustainability

Bank Australia was the first banking institution in Australia to have its deposit and home lending products certified 'responsible' by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA). Through their Impact Fund, four per cent of after-tax profits go towards projects that help the environment.

Teachers Mutual Bank has been carbon-neutral since 2013, and was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies (WME) for 2019 by Ethisphere Institutes. It is also the only banking institution in Australia to have all wholesale, retail mortgage and deposit products sold independently certified by the RIAA.

Community First Credit Union has taken a leading role in delivering low interest green loans (growing 12 per cent in the previous financial year), providing customers with affordable funding choices for environmentally friendly home and lifestyle purchases.

WAW Credit Union has a new “Banking on Trees’ scheme which sees the institution plant a tree to help revegetate local native bushland whenever a new account or loan is created.

Horizon Bank has implemented renewable energy sources in their head office and subsequent branches, earning Horizon a GreenPower tick of approval from the National GreenPower Accreditation Program.


Media Contacts

Ashley Penny
Corporate Affairs Manager
P: +61 2 8035 8444
M: +61 431 932 950
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