Celebrate! “Best For The World™” achievement affirms ACU is a force for good

What makes a B Corp a better business?
Do you know what’s going on behind the scenes at most businesses – the decisions they make and the impact they have? Likely not, and that’s the concept behind this year’s B Corp campaign, aptly called, “Behind the B.”

B Corp is opening the doors to invite people to see how companies are using every aspect of their company as a force for good. This is part of the core values of B Corp – transparency and accountability. We’re excited to be a part of this initiative!

As a Manitoba-based B Corp, we’re proud to have achieved this certification. It’s a recognition of our organization’s commitment to values-based banking and our triple bottom line of people, planet and prosperity. And it demonstrates the collective efforts of our employees, members and community partners to make our world a better place for everyone.

We encourage you to explore ‘Behind the B’ and learn more about B Corps making a significant difference in our community, elsewhere in Canada and around the world. And most importantly, explore how other organizations operate and demand more around the impact they have on people’s lives, how they improve the wellbeing of employees, the impact they have on the environment and how they give back to their community.

In the B Corp Directory, you can look up local companies and those in many industries as you look for opportunities to do business with companies certified as ethical businesses. Every dollar we spend is a vote for the kind of world we want to live in.

As a B Corp, we will continue to strive to do more for our people and community, and invite other businesses to join us in using business as a force for good. Together, we make a great difference, and by exploring “Behind the B,” we can encourage the expansion of this global movement.

The B Corp movement

Together with our B Corp community, we’re building the B Corp movement to change our economic systems, develop transformative initiatives, and build on our collective vision of an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy.

B Corps are working together to shift the behaviour, structure, and culture of capitalism. Our collective mission is to transform the global economy and to ensure that business brings benefit to all.

What is a Certified B Corporation?

Certified B Corporation® are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

We envision a global economy that is purpose-driven, that creates benefits for all stakeholders, and not just shareholders. We are using business as a force for good.

As Certified B Corporation and leader of this emerging economy, we believe:

  • That we must be the change we seek in the world.
  • That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
  • That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.

We act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.

“Best For The World"

The B Corp movement is growing in scale and impact, with a purpose to radically transform the global economy for the benefit of all people, communities and the planet as a whole. Each year, B Lab celebrates the top-performing B Corps demonstrating global leadership in using business as a force for good.

In 2021, ACU was recognized as one of the companies leading the charge in two categories.

To be recognized as Best For The World™, companies must earn a score in the top 5% among more than 4000 certified companies on the B Impact Assessment.

ACU is the only financial institution in Manitoba to be a Certified B Corporation®. We join a global movement of an ever-growing list of businesses worldwide that lead a global movement of using business as a force for good.

Here’s how ACU performed, and the initiatives that got our credit union there:

Best For The World: Governance

B Corp: Best for the World: Governance

As a purpose-driven company, ACU’s mission and vision shapes how the entire organization operates ­— from the board of directors through to every employee. ACU’s values are injected into the DNA of our partnerships, products, programs, long-term plans and day-to-day operations.

To be considered Best For the World in Governance, B Corp requires a top score in the overall integration of purpose into the mission, ethics, strategic objectives, accountability and transparency of the business. “Their best practices are focused on how they engage employees, board members, and the community to achieve their mission, as well as employee access to financial information, members’ opportunities to provide feedback to, and the diversity of their governing bodies.”

“By building their vision and values into their company bylaws, these B Corps embody what it means to use business as a force for good.”

ACU joins 11 other 250+ employee-size companies from around the world (including the United States, Netherlands, Chile, Denmark and Italy) who have achieved the governance recognition.

Best For The World: Customers

B Corp: Best for the World: Customers

ACU’s members are our customers, and they also collectively own our company. This means our credit union’s core purpose is focused on providing the advice and service member-owners of this financial co-operative need on a regular basis.

To be recognized in the Best For the World: Customers category, commitment to customers must take centre-stage as the purpose of the business, and go beyond a simple baseline of customer service and support.

According to B Corp, companies in this category are “setting the standard for serving their customers, offering products or services that support the greater good, often focusing on underserved populations. They add value to customers’ lives by providing critical services like education, healthcare, and finance management, and engaging in ethical marketing, data privacy and security, and feedback channels.”

For companies with 250+ employees in this category, ACU is one of nine organizations that operate in Canada, India, Kenya, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Force for good

With over 125,000 members, being part of the credit union means you are part of building a sustainable future for all members and the communities where we live and operate.

“Using business as a force for good is how we contribute toward the well-being and resilience of our members, employees, communities, and environment” explained Kevin Sitka, President & CEO of Assiniboine Credit Union. “These values meaningfully differentiate ACU in the market.”

For the entire credit union, the achievement of earning Best For The World status is an indication that all the efforts made over the years to ensure we live our values in every way, every day, have been working.

“This recognition is an incredible honour for ACU, and something we are extremely proud to receive,” adds Crystal Laborero, Chair of ACU’s Board of Directors. “The governance achievement reflects ACU’s success in fully integrating our credit union’s values into every aspect of our business. The customer achievement demonstrates our commitment to our members’ financial health and resilience.”

Initiatives that matter

According to B Lab, “ACU actively removes barriers to banking for its member-owners as part of its commitment to financial empowerment and resilience,” highlighting the credit union for success in these specific initiatives, programs and efforts:

  • Branches in underserved communities and in a local high school
  • Work with community partners to provide access to financial services for unbanked individuals
  • A home-ownership program for Indigenous families
  • Microloans for foreign-trained professionals to get their credentials recognized
  • A faith-compliant mortgage in partnership with the Manitoba Islamic Association
  • Financial literacy workshops
  • Meaningful engagement in the journey of Truth and Reconciliation
  • A Community Financial Centre that incorporates a specialized team providing advice and service to local non-profits, social enterprises, co-operatives, and small businesses in support of their mission.

B Lab adds that ACU is committed to “placing customers and the communities they live in at the heart of its business purpose is foundational to ACU’s business model. ACU recommends all organizations ask themselves how they can center customers and make products and services more available and equitable to broader customer and community groups.”

Learn more about ACU’s full B Corp assessment in the Impact Report, including each area that factors into overall scoring — governance, workers, community, environment and customers.

As just one of the Manitoba businesses with a B Corp Certification, the province is well-positioned to grow our business presence in the B Corp movement, and work together to improve social, economic, and environmental sustainability for Manitobans.

Not an ACU member yet?

Join over 140,000 Manitobans in the B Corp movement. Visit joinacu.ca to learn more.

About Asterisk Blog

asterisk is Assiniboine Credit Union’s blog*. Here you’ll find advice, insights, resources and inspiration that will help you improve your financial well-being. You’ll also see ideas about how to contribute positively to the social, economic and environmental health of your community.

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