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UNFCU Co-hosts 6th United in Sustainability Summit

Catalyzing credit unions on social purpose and climate action

Press Release
20 December 2023

Taking aim at climate change and its socio-economic impact, credit unions from around the world recently convened at the 6th Annual United in Sustainability (UIS) Summit. The United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) and the Organization of American States (OAS) Federal Credit Union hosted the hybrid event at the OAS Building in Washington, DC. The Summit drew more than 300 participants from across the credit union industry.

Sharing ideas and strategy on environmental, social, and governance underlines the power of collaboration to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that seek to build a better world,” said Dr. Pushpam Kumar, Chief Environmental Economist and Senior Economic Advisor, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and keynote of the UIS Summit. “In localizing the SDGs in their communities, credit unions recognize the time to act is now.” 

Center: Dr. Pushpam Kumar, Chief Environmental Economist and Senior Economic Advisor, UN Environment Programme; and from left to right from UNFCU: Prasad Surapaneni, SVP and Chief Information Officer; Patrick Siler, Senior Associate General Counsel; Pamela Agnone, EVP; Liz Philippe, Senior Manager, CSR and Media Relations; Yma Gordon, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility & Impact and the Executive Director of the UNFCU Foundation, John Lewis, President/CEO
Center: Dr. Pushpam Kumar, Chief Environmental Economist and Senior Economic Advisor, UN Environment Programme; and from left to right from UNFCU: Prasad Surapaneni, SVP and Chief Information Officer; Patrick Siler, Senior Associate General Counsel; Pamela Agnone, EVP; Liz Philippe, Senior Manager, CSR and Media Relations; Yma Gordon, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility & Impact and the Executive Director of the UNFCU Foundation, John Lewis, President/CEO (Photo credit: WTA Photos Toby Angel)

Since 2018, UNFCU has engaged the industry on best practices in sustainability through the UIS Network it founded. Topics have ranged from carbon emissions reduction, green product development, and supplier diversity, to women’s financial empowerment, and strategic bottom line growth. Today, more than 100 credit unions are active participants of the Network.

“Against the backdrop of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28), credit unions were simultaneously implementing ways to build resiliency through sustainability,” said Pamela Agnone, Executive Vice President, UNFCU, and Co-Executive Sponsor of its Global Sustainability Program. “Our bringing credit unions together even beyond the Americas has had a positive impact starting or advancing their sustainability journeys. Hosting our event in Washington, DC through OAS FCU’s provision, enabled the UIS Network to connect with more innovators, including foundations driving positive social impact.”

At the Summit, more than 40 experts offered perspectives and fresh data, including from Brazil, Canada, and Ireland. In conversations with Coopera Consulting and Inclusiv, attendees gained insight on financial solutions for migrant communities and the clean energy transition. The National Credit Union Administration also provided commentary on the future of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Susan Gardner, Director, Ecosystems Division, UNEP, reported direct from COP28 in Dubai to cap the day’s program.“

The UIS Summit offered rich content on climate-related risks, opportunities, and pressing social issues,” said Malinda Salter, Vice President of Sustainability at North Carolina State Employees Credit Union (SECU) in Raleigh, North Carolina. “It was inspirational to hear representatives across the credit union ecosystem share a genuine commitment to sustainability.”

"The United in Sustainability Summit was an invaluable opportunity for credit unions to share best practices and learn from each other," said John Bratsakis, MD||DC Credit Union Association President/CEO. "By working together, credit unions play a vital role in building more empowered and financially inclusive communities." 

“By providing access to resources, peer learnings, and thought-leaders, we have continued to grow our movement,” said Yma Gordon, Vice President of CSR and Impact at UNFCU and Executive Director of the UNFCU Foundation. “These efforts are a reflection of our members’ tireless work. It is our responsibility to lean into sustainability and be on the right side of history.” 

For more information, visit uisnetwork.org


About United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) 

UNFCU is the member-owned credit union of the United Nations community. UNFCU was founded in 1947 and serves more than 200,000 members across the globe. In 2015, it established the UNFCU Foundation, an accredited New York-based nonprofit corporation. You can learn more in the UNFCU 2022 Impact Report (PDF)

For media questions, contact: Elisabeth Philippe, UNFCU, +1 347‑686‑6776, mobile: +1 347-510-4036, or ephilippe@unfcu.com 

 

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