Apr 05 2010

Green: Tools and Ideas to Connect Credit Union Members to the Green Movement


Some say we are in overshoot, humanity’s ecological footprint is exceeding the earth’s biological capacity by 20%, according to estimates. It is calculated that if everyone consumed at the average rate of North Americans, we would need 4.5 planets to sustain us. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, prepared by over 1,360 experts worldwide to analyze the consequences of ecosystem change for human wellbeing concluded that 60% of the earth’s ecosystems are in decline. Collectively we have to ask ourselves how we can live within our means?

Consider these thought starters:

  • In what ways can credit union branches serve as focal points for consumers’ own green initiatives?
  • How can credit union employees become role models in encouraging consumer attitudes and behaviors that support sustainability?
  • How can credit unions play an active leadership role in sustainability for the local communities they serve?
  • Drive-up windows encourage unnecessary engine idling and wasted fuel consumption. Is there a way to transfer the convenience of drive-up banking while also eliminating its current carbon footprint?

Using these thought starters, Filene employed two innovation processes to generate multiple idea concepts for credit unions to consider. First, a Filene i3 (ideas, innovation, implementation) team delivers the concept of The Leap, a Web-based tool that calculates and educates members on methods of saving money by making smart, green choices, thereby connecting thrift and sustainability. Another team proposes a reward program for credit unions that motivates members to make socially responsible purchasing decisions with Green Feat Rewards. The second innovation process tapped high-IQ individuals through Mensa Process® to generate multiple ideas using an online ideation method.

Report Number 210