It's quite likely that energy consumption and environmental issues will grow in importance over the remainder of this decade and well into the next one. Financial institutions can play a positive role in promoting environmental causes both by their actions, such as Vancity's pledge to be carbon neutral by 2010, and by offering products that reduce paper consumption, such as eStatements and electronic payments (note 1).
Seattle's Verity Credit Union <veritycu.com> demonstrates another approach: offering an environmentally friendly premium for home equity applicants. The free compact fluorescent light bulbs are relatively low-cost but have a lasting value to the customer. Finally, the credit union wraps it all up neatly with a tie-in to the upcoming Earth Day (see homepage screenshot below and note 2).
1. Because saving paper also saves the bank money, be just a bit careful that you don't come off as overly self-serving when promoting estatement options. Passing on some of the savings to the end-user and/or donating a portion of the savings to a good cause, could ease any criticism you might get.
2. The Earth Day promotion was one of five promotions offered in the main ad box, accessed via a Seattle IP address at 4 PM April 20, 2007.