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Sustainability, Your Money and North Carolina

By Civic Federal Credit Union
7 min read
May 13, 2021
Sustainability, Your Money and North Carolina

How a Triple Bottom Line Approach Brings It All Together

What do sustainability and your money have in common? A lot. The people of North Carolina understand that environmental stewardship and economic growth go hand in hand.

Sustainable business practices create a cleaner, more inclusive future that supports local growth for everyone. North Carolinians are working on solving challenges such as flooding, emissions, and the impact of more intense storms on our towns and businesses.

And this momentum has national recognition. North Carolina is a leader in solar energy installations and job creation. At the state level, electric vehicle charging infrastructure is expanding throughout the state, among other clean initiatives. Also, Governor Cooper has called for a statewide carbon-neutral goal by 2050. This will require the energy sector to reduce emissions by 70 percent by 2030.

These types of bold initiatives reinforce the connection between sustainable business practices and a strong North Carolina with thriving local communities.

Sustainable Business in North Carolina

For years, our state has led on sustainable practices for agriculture, commercial and residential building, and energy—all major contributors to North Carolina’s economy.

Here at Civic, we have made bold choices, too. In 2020, Civic Federal Credit Union achieved carbon-neutral status.

And we are not alone.

North Carolina has entire industries dedicated to creating a cleaner world. In fact, the Triangle region is known as the ‘Silicon Valley of the South’ for smart grid innovation from more than 1,000 cleantech companies. These sustainable ideas are transforming our power grid to include renewables, battery storage, and alternative fuels like renewable natural gas and green hydrogen.

And recently, former Associate Director Michael Regan of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality was chosen to serve our country as Head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

But there is more to do, for more people, in more places.

Triple Bottom Line: Social, Environmental, Financial

We understand it starts with local perspectives and meeting community needs. Through our partnerships and community outreach, we bring a social, environmental, and financial lens to sustainability: a triple-bottom-line method. It is called values-based banking, and this work is focused on driving sustainable, equitable, and social value across the state.

As a result of this strong belief, Civic became an associate member of the Global Alliance for Banking Values (GABV), an independent network of banks using finance to deliver sustainable economic, social, and environmental development.

This year, we will focus our efforts on three priority challenges for the state of North Carolina.

Focusing Forward

While there are many challenges to address, our Civic team will continue to collaborate and engage with local communities and local government on sustainable solutions for the following issues. They include:

  • Access to Equitable Lending: This is a fundamental aspect of credit unions and one that is deeply personal to us. We are establishing community partnerships to expand access to equitable financial services across the state and have developed financial wellness resources.
  • Affordable Healthy Options: People who live in food deserts are challenged to access healthy food options. We are working to change that through our work with the Black Farmers’ Market and other relationships.
  • Electrification Infrastructure: We are working to help accelerate and support the transition to electric vehicles and fleets. Our teams are working to contribute resources and solutions for individuals and businesses.

The relationship between sustainability, your money and North Carolina is important. To maintain our economic momentum, we need to continue our state’s balanced approach to sustainable business and environmental protection to create economic growth.

We believe taking bold steps on sustainability and values-based banking now will create resilient, safe, and clean communities for our North Carolina future.

Disclaimer: You + Money blog posts are provided for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of a financial, legal or accounting advisor.

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