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NCUA Notes Green Successes for Earth Day

Matz Continues Corporate Citizenship Leadership Focus with greeNCUA Initiative

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 20, 2012) – Many Americans will participate in one-time environmental projects observing Earth Day Sunday, April 22, but the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) through the “greeNCUA” initiative works to decrease the agency’s environmental footprint year round.

“NCUA understands its environmental responsibility, and we take that responsibility seriously each and every day,” said NCUA Board Chairman Matz. “We reduce, reuse, and recycle at every opportunity. NCUA harnesses suggestions and ideas from individuals and groups throughout the agency, too. For example, NCUA’s Partnership Council with the National Treasury Employees Union recently created a ‘Go Green’ Agreement focused on reducing printing costs. The protocol now allows employees to get certain publications online, rather than in hard copy.”
Upon returning to the NCUA Board, Chairman Matz set the goal of making NCUA a model corporate citizen, including leading in the implementation of environmentally sound practices through the greeNCUA initiative. Some notable accomplishments during the last year include:
  • Reducing Paper Use—NCUA continues to aggressively promote the NCUA Express and NCUA CU Express systems that distribute NCUA communications via email. In the last year, NCUA has sent more than a million emails via these systems, saving countless sheets of paper and greatly reducing environmental costs for mail delivery. Additionally, one NCUA office adopted new software reducing its use of paper and toner by more than 75 percent.

  • Lowering Energy Use—NCUA has now switched to energy efficient lighting in the Central Office and recently installed more motion detectors so that lights automatically turn off in vacant rooms.

  • Recycling Waste—The Central Office hosted information technology and paper recycling days collecting more than 30 boxes of electronic equipment and 20 boxes of paper beyond normal recycling procedures. NCUA now recycles all obsolete cell phones, too. NCUA also purchases only recycled paper and double-sided printing is now the default setting on all of the agency’s network printers.

  • Protecting the Environment—When conducting refurbishment projects, NCUA now requires the use of paint low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The use of low-VOC paint protects the environment from hazardous substances. NCUA uses a bulb crusher when disposing burned out light bulbs. When full, the contents are shipped to a recycling facility.
“Going green is a total commitment NCUA has made,” concluded Chairman Matz. “The greeNCUA initiative encompasses thousands of small, individual decisions throughout the year in order to make it a big, ongoing success. We encourage all credit unions to make the same commitment by creating a culture that promotes and rewards individual decisions that add up to environmental successes.”
Started in the United States in 1970, Earth Day seeks to increase individual environmental awareness and promote conservation. On Earth Day, individuals also commit to protecting the environment. Earth Day is annually observed April 22 in countries around the world.

NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of more than 101 million account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions. At and Pocket Cents, NCUA also educates the public on consumer protection and financial literacy issues.


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