Social responsibility is the principle of considering overall community welfare beyond traditional financial goals. Credit unions in the United States have embraced many of the principles of social responsibility by aligning with the values of members and associated organizations, volunteering time in the governance of our institutions, and partnering with charitable organizations. However, an aspect of social responsibility in credit union operations that has not been sufficiently addressed is our effect on the environment – essentially our efforts to go “green.”
One way to spur socially responsible behaviour is to combine it with a rewards program. Research conducted by First Data, a credit card processor, indicates 76% of consumers belong to credit card loyalty programs. In 2006, the financial services industry alone spent $10.3 billion on rewards programs.
The Green Feat Rewards program is designed to reward members with points for purchases made at certified socially responsible vendors. It encourages members to become conscious consumers by intentionally choosing to shop at retailers who are socially responsible. Members will be able to use these points to support ecological groups, buy green merchandise, or reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing carbon offsets.
There are some challenges yet to be address with the development of Green Feat Rewards (such as member education, certification of vendors, and establishing merchant code categories) as this concept is still very new to the marketplace. As the green movement grows, these challenges may be eliminated. Therefore, the current focus of the Green Feat Rewards program is on green rewards with the hope of more to come. To get started, download the complete concept document and contact any of the project team members for more information.
Contact us to learn more about this idea from Filene i3.