First West ranks among top 3% of Morningstar Sustainalytics’ global rated companies in managing ESG risks
LANGLEY, B.C., Aug. 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As of June 2023, First West Credit Union has received a Morningtar Sustainalytics’ Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Risk Rating of 11.3, ranking the credit union in the top 3% out of over 15,600 companies rated worldwide. This score firmly places First West in the “Low Risk” category of experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors.
The 2023 rating of 11.3 improves the credit union’s previous rating by 32% (lowering their score from 16.7) compared to 2022. The improvement in the rating reflects the First West’s significant commitment to ensuring its stability and integrating sustainable business practices to achieving growth. The progress made across key areas of impact, including data privacy and security, corporate governance, human capital, equity, inclusion and diversity, and business ethics—as well as the credit union’s commitment to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Banking (UN PRB).
“Improving our Sustainalytics rating is a testament to our team’s dedication to lowering First West’s environmental, social and governance impact,” said Paul Brodeur, Chief Strategy and Market Growth Officer of First West Credit Union. “We’re stepping forward with an ever-increasing focus on our core purpose to create positive change for our members, communities, employees and our planet–especially in this time of global challenge and opportunity. It’s very meaningful for us to see that our extra effort to continuously operate in a way that’s consistent with our longstanding cooperative values stands out among financial institutions.”
The upgraded rating underlines the success of First West’s initiatives and actions to lower its environmental impact, foster social justice, and ensure good governance. With many concerns and questions about financial stability in people’s minds today—both economically and in households—First West’s transparent commitment to lowering material risks signals that the credit union continues to prioritize long-term stability and growth for its members and capital investors.
Morningstar Sustainalytics is a global leader in ESG research and ratings, providing high-quality independent environmental, social and governance research, ratings and data to institutional investors and companies. Their multi-dimensional way of measuring ESG risk combines the concepts of management and exposure to arrive at an assessment of total unmanaged ESG risk that is comparable across all industries. Morningstar Sustainalytics’ ESG Risk Ratings provide a quantitative measure of unmanaged ESG risk and distinguishes between five levels of risk: negligible, low, medium, high and severe.
For more information, visit First West’s full report here.
About First West Credit Union
First West Credit Union offers members the financial strength, comprehensive product selection and extended branch network of a large financial institution while maintaining local brand identities and a unique grassroots approach to service. Led by Launi Skinner, First West is one of Canada’s largest credit unions with nearly $17.4 billion in total assets and assets under administration, more than 250,000 members and over 1,250 employees. It operates 45 branches throughout the province under the Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings and Enderby & District Financial brands. Visit firstwestcu.ca for more information on First West Credit Union.
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