Our mission is to be sustainably-minded, supporting our people, customers, community to make conscious choices.
At Southern Cross Credit Union (SCCU), we live and breathe the Credit Union ethos to help support and be there for our customers and communities. A big part of this is caring for the places they call home by addressing the environmental, social and economic challenges that exist today.
We recognise the need to act and are committed to making a positive impact for a more sustainable future that benefits generations to come. We want to encourage others to do the same, influence change and share our learnings. As part of our larger business strategy, our Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) is holistic and embedded across the business – in our operations and Financial Service Centres – grounded by the belief that every step in the right direction adds up.
For us it’s about learning, collaborating with experts, setting the right pace and having a plan that balances little wins with big picture goals.Download SAP Info Booklet
Engaging All People
Through engagement, shared-learning, collaboration and open communication we strive to partner for environmental and social good, influencing change and embedding a culture of sustainability that extends beyond our team.
Managing Our Impact
Adapting our operations to reduce carbon emissions and constantly looking at ways to improve of process and procedures to ensure we are acting responsibly and playing our part to manage our impact on the environment.
Developing Sustainable Finance
By providing individuals, families, businesses and groups’ with financial products and services that reward sustainable choices and we aim to improve financial wellbeing.
Acting With Integrity
Acting as a responsible business goes beyond our role in finance. We seek to better understand, work with and engage our suppliers, partners and customers to ensure ethical practices are upheld.
Our Sustainability Journey So Far
Our vision to become a more sustainable business and help contribute to this movement hasn’t just happened overnight. In fact we’ve been intertwining changes within our day to day practices and approach to community for a while now. Here’s a few recent projects that we’re incredibly proud to bring under a more structured, transparent and consistent approach.
It’s cool to care
Catching up over a cuppa’ or picking one up on the way to work has never looked so good. After looking at how many disposable cups we were using, we decided to give everyone in the SCCU team a very cool reusable cup from Joco.
The accumulative impact of 96 Joco Cups eliminates 3.6 million single use cups over the average lifetime of use. Every Joco purchase serves as a lifetime solution eliminating plastic and single-use waste, with the added means to retrieve and repurpose toxic plastic debris. The Joco x Seabin fleet is actively filtering over 600,000 litres of ocean water a day, per bin.
Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection – Mark Twain
In 2019 we introduced a Reduce, Reuse and Recycle program that has helped us reduced our landfill waste by a mammoth 88% and our paper consumption by an incredible 77%.
We continue to identify other areas where we can become more sustainable in every facet of what we do, and leave as little as possible behind. A big part of this is done through digital transformation, education and working with experts who help us in our own understanding.
With every new beginning comes a chance for something special.
To inspire a better tomorrow, we’ve redesigned our gift boxes for new home owners to include eco-friendly products that we hope become everyday ‘go-to’s. We’ve also introduced Australian made seeded cards to say thank you and when planted, grow Snowy River daisies.
It’s just our way of saying #welcomehome while caring for the home we all share.
We don’t want to just do less harm, we want to do more good. Together.
As a community bank, we have many programs that focus solely on giving back to the community through volunteering, finance, partnership and programs like Community Grants.
Held annually, our Grants are an opportunity to help deserved winners make an impact and ignite new ideas across a number of areas, including sustainability led projects. As part of our assessment its important that applicants ‘do more good’ in the spirit of sustainability. We’re proud to contribute to some amazing stories.
Corporate Responsibility & Policy
Sustainability for us isn’t a ‘bandwagon topic’ or a campaign we run for a few years. We continue to test and embed practices across the business to provide a foundation that sets the tone from day one and reinforces that our focus on sustainability is part of our DNA.
As we continue to grow our knowledge and start new projects, we understand the need to formalise practices, policies and our corporate statements to better reflect the behaviours and actions that we expect of ourselves, and those we choose to work with.
Formalising our approach by:
- Establishing a sustainability strategy that’s underpinned by a detailed action plan, set across 3 years (to start!)
- Outlining our priorities under four pillars based on feedback from our people, customers and community led by a number of eco-warriors within the business
- Committing to measuring and communicating our impact, aligned to Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) for further accountability
- Updating our corporate statements including our Commitment to Sustainability: We’re committed to making a positive impact for a more sustainable future and demonstrate what it means to care about people and place, through actions that reflect our mutual ethos. We seek to continuously grow our knowledge, inspire others and share our progress in addressing the environmental, social and economic challenges that are most material to our people, customers and communities.
Providing policies that address:
- Vulnerable Customers
- Flexible Working
Offering opportunities for our people to be involved through:
- Volunteering & community involvement
- Participation in Sustainably-minded Events (eg Earth Day)
- Eco-warrior team
- Specific sustainability projects
We work with a number of organisations, community groups and partners to address societal and environmental issues that impact people throughout the Northern Rivers and beyond.
We’ve Joined Over 800 Others
SCCU is a Member of Sustainability Advantage, a program of the NSW Government’s Office of Energy and Climate Change. Sustainability Advantage helps organisations understand sustainability and strengthen their environmental performance. SCCU is committed to strengthen its environmental performance through collaboration with the Office.
By drawing on different expertise at the program’s disposal, connecting with other businesses who are taking similar steps and forming our own ‘eco-warrior’ line-up we’re building a strong team that shares openly and learns from each other.
Our plan is just a start, we know there’s still a long way to go, and Sustainability Advantage will help us on this journey. We’re proud to be a part of this program and one day hope to be long-term role models in taking an approach that’s guided by guru’s, always improving and led by everyday people who share common values.