Healthy environment = healthy economy

 

Common sense dictates that you can’t have a healthy economy without a healthy environment.

But sometimes common sense ain’t all that common.

Now, more than ever, there is a reliance on individuals and businesses to change behaviours for the greater good. To drive a new, sustainable economy.

As the first bank in Australia to offer ‘Green Loans’ – loans with generous incentives for customers who are making sustainable purchases – Bendigo Bank has led the way.

Known mainly for its unique Community Bank® model (the brainchild of former Bendigo Bank Managing Director and local resident, Rob Hunt) Bendigo Bank has delivered social and economic advantages to towns and suburbs across Australia.

More on that later.

What is perhaps less known, but no less impressive, is the Bank’s environmental record.

In 2014, Bendigo Bank became a major sponsor of Earth Hour, the single largest mass participation event of its kind in the world.

Earth Hour aims to focus attention on climate change by encouraging people, businesses, and even entire cities to switch off their lights.

In 2014 alone over 7,000 cities and towns in 172 countries joined the fight against climate change by participating in Earth Hour. Many Surf Coast residents were also left in the dark, by their own volition of course.

But lights have to come back on. So when they did, Bendigo Bank made sure the impact was lessened.

Backing the ‘Ban the Bulb’ and ‘Switch to Save’ programs enabled community members to receive free Standby Power Controllers and LED down lights.

The Bank also gave $15 for every participating home to help fund neighbouring schools undertaking sustainable projects.

Locally, The Apollo Bay, Anglesea and Winchelsea Community Bank® branches helped 88 households save $56,250 on energy bills, save nearly two tonnes of carbon emissions, and donated $2350 back to local schools.

This is just one example of hundreds of environmental initiatives Community Bank® branches around the country are driving and funding.

In 2008, in its central Victorian heartland, Bendigo Bank opened the doors to its new head office. It was regional Australia’s first 5 star green energy rated building, committing to energy efficiencies, natural light, and water saving technologies such as black water recycling.

Its modern, eye-catching design stands amongst the town’s iconic, gold rush-era buildings. And at $100 million, it was no small investment.

More recently, a new sister headquarters in Adelaide’s business district also secured a 5 star rating with its architectural design incorporating natural materials, sourced locally where possible.

When it comes to a fundamental shift from how things are done, to how things should be done, there can be few better examples than the Community Bank® model.

Local shareholders investing in a local branch run by locals, employing locals, and generating profits for the local community.

What this demonstrates is the willingness of people within a community to take control of their future.

And it has been demonstrated in over 300 communities across Australia.

It’s a growing movement of three quarters of a million people who are driving this new, sustainable economy.

So, now there’s hope.

If you want to be part of it, drop into your nearest Bendigo Bank Community Bank® branch.

Some might say it’s just common sense.

 

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