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10 years of lights off builds a brighter future

23 March 2017 |Community

Ten years ago, landmarks and communities across Australia switched off their lights for the first time, showing through a single act what likeminded people can do to support their community.

It wasn’t long before Bendigo and Adelaide Bank joined the environmental movement, shutting down lights since 2009 across their corporate buildings, which collectively accommodate more than 4000 employees.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Chief Customer Officer, Marnie Baker, said the milestone celebration is an example of the power of collective action.

“In switching off the lights in our corporate sites across Australia, we’re playing our part in reducing our environmental footprint, as well as symbolically showing that we can all play a part in making great things happen,” Ms Baker said.

“Our Bank is committed to initiatives that support our environment, and we encourage local people and their communities to do the same.

“It’s easy to think that the small actions we take don’t have a real impact.  But we know through our work with communities across Australia what seems small to some may be big for others.

“It’s commitment that turns simple ideas into global movements over time, and we congratulate Earth Hour for 10 years of lights out,” Ms Baker said.

“We believe that we will be Australia’s most customer connected bank if we focus on the success of people and their communities.

“By choosing to bank with us, our customers are saying yes to another very important movement, where the profits from their banking business are returned to support projects where everyone - even those who don’t bank with us - are reaping the benefits.”

10 initiatives for 10 years of progress

Take a look back at the top 10 initiatives that address sustainability at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

  1. Earth Hour sponsorship commenced in 2009. In 2016 the partnership celebrated the “Places We Love” with a competition that provided funding for grassroots environmental projects.
  2. Became the first financial institution in Australia to introduce Green Home Loans.
  3. Returned more than $16.5 million in profit to support initiatives that contribute to community sustainability.
  4. Became a consortium member of the $42 million Central Victoria Solar City project, to highlight the capability of regional and remote communities in reducing energy use and generating green energy innovatively.
  5. Introduced the Bendigo Socially Responsible Growth Fund in 2016 which has attained certification from the Responsible Investment Association Australasia. This was introduced for customers wanting to extend their commitment to a low-impact lifestyle to their chosen superannuation fund.
  6. Opened The Bendigo Centre, the first 5 Star Green Star building in regional Australia.
  7. The Bank’s Executive team signed Statement of Commitment to the Environment in 2010, pledging to actively identify opportunities to reduce the Bank’s environmental footprint; assist staff, customers, partners, shareholders and communities to identify opportunities to reduce their environmental footprints; consider the environment in all relevant business decisions; commit to measure and report progress in acting to achieve these goals; work together to make a difference.
  8. Launched Switch to Save program. This program saw LED lights installed in more than 2,680 Victorian homes and businesses, saving an estimated $1.3 million in energy costs per year and 47,000 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions.
  9. Achieved 5 Star Green Star on new corporate office in Adelaide.
  10. Introduced eStatements, with more than 30% of customers opting into this initiative.

All non-essential lighting will be turned off at:

  • The Bendigo Centre, Bendigo
  • Melbourne, Docklands office
  • Adelaide, Grenfell Street office
  • Sydney, Pitt Street office
  • Perth, St Georges Terrace office
  • Brisbane, Adelaide Street office

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