Real Leaders

Vancity Community Investment Bank

Ranking: 80

Industry: Banking

Mission: Leading in business ethics, innovative thinking, and community development. They focus exclusively on partnerships with organizations that drive social, economic, and environmental change, and invest back to the members and into the communities they serve. 100% of their investments contribute to affordable or sustainable communities in Canada. 

What 3 words best describe your company culture?

Collaborative, Innovative, Inclusive

What quote best exemplifies your company?

“Climate change and housing affordability are two of the most critical challenges facing our communities, and we believe the financial industry can and should play a key role in enabling and shaping ambitious solutions.” — Jay-Ann Gilfoy, President & CEO, Vancity Community Investment Bank

How is your product or service having a positive social and/or environmental impact?

At VCIB, we’re on a mission to finance a sustainable tomorrow and we do so by exclusively working with organiations that drive social, environmental, and economic change. You can see the difference we make by looking at our lender portfolios. Our real estate lending team has partnered with affordable housing developers like Options for Homes, providing financing that supports their model of offering down payment assistance to low and middle-income families.

Our clean energy finance team helps get more low carbon projects off the ground by focusing on small and mid-size projects underserved by traditional lenders. VCIB’s focus on financing affordable housing helps to foster inclusive, resilient communities and economic prosperity in urban areas. As detailed in VCIB’s 2020 mid-year impact report, there were 9 real estate projects that directly benefitted the community financed in the first half of 2020. These projects preserved 623 units of affordable housing and spanned a wide range of affordability projects, including:

  • 124 shelter beds
  • 97 units of housing for low-income seniors
  • 61 units of student housing
  • 77 units of co-operative housing
  • 31 units of affordable rental housing
  • 233 affordable condo units and townhouses for sale

To date, VCIB has financed more than 30 social purpose real estate projects that drive social change in communities, allowing for over 1,300 units of new or preserved affordable housing and 400,000+ square feet of non-profit, cultural, and community spaces.

In addition to providing financing for social purpose real estate, VCIB is a leader in financing renewable energy projects, geoexchange heating and cooling systems, energy efficiency retrofits, and green buildings, electric vehicle infrastructure, microgrids, and transmission and distribution upgrade, and energy recovery. To date, VCIB’s team has financed over 1,650 projects, including 350 LED, 550 solar, and 750 geo-exchange projects across Canada, helping to avoid more than 18,000 tonnes of CO2.

What is your company’s vision for the future?

Born from Vancity Credit Union’s community-first finance model, VCIB is building on 70 years of banking experience to support organizations and enterprises that share a commitment to positively impact the communities where they live and work. VCIB’s vision is to finance a sustainable tomorrow. The organization’s mission is to use the tools of finance to drive immediate and lasting social and environmental change in their communities. As VCIB grows and expands its offerings it will continue to abide by its eight core values, which are:

  1. Integrity – Do what’s right. Sleep well at night.
  2. Humility – We are conscious of being part of something more.
  3. Respect for Place – Invest in here and here will get there.
  4. Leadership – The courage to dream. The dedication to make it real.
  5. Transparency – We are an open book – a good, open book.
  6. Respect for People – Every person, and their dreams, matter.
  7. Partnership – Together we will.
  8. Stewardship – Cherish, protect, and pass it forward.

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