POWER SAVERS: Summerland Credit Union CEO Margot Sweeny (left) and sustainability co-ordinator Jo-Anne Rice with the Sustainability Advantage bronze award.
POWER SAVERS: Summerland Credit Union CEO Margot Sweeny (left) and sustainability co-ordinator Jo-Anne Rice with the Sustainability Advantage bronze award. Jacklyn Wagner

Summerland's green credit

IT'S HARDLY the image of the ruthless hard-headed bank manager, but Summerland Credit Union's chief executive Margot Sweeny doesn't shy away from her institution's green credentials.

Not only was Summerland one of the first to offer eco loans, but last Friday it was awarded a bronze award in the State Government's environmental sustainability awards.

“There is a bit of investment initially, but what you find is your costs go down because people are thinking about turning off the lights, unplugging the computers at night and not always printing off hard copies of something,” she said yesterday.

Announcing the awards, NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker said the 63 businesses that picked up a gold, silver or bronze in the Environmental Advantage Program awards, including the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter that also picked up a bronze – saved $23.8 million, including 42,509 MWh of electricity, 98,729 MJ of gas, 2.2 billion litres of water and 45,000 tonnes of waste.

“These businesses and organisations are leaders in each of their sectors, successfully bringing sustainability into their operations, engaging in staff and customers in improving environmental performance,” she said.

And engage they did. When it came to switching off the lights at home for the recent Earth Hour, every single Summerland staff member and its entire board flicked the switched.



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