Creation care loans are a new feature now available to the 17,600 members of the Waterloo County community that Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (MSCU) serves. Loans with favorable terms are available to members who want to install solar panels, geothermal heating systems or energy efficiency upgrades. The credit union offers the loans in partnership with Mennonite Central Committee’s Initiative for Solar Energy (MISE).
Meanwhile, Mennonite Savings and Credit Union is also working with Vigor Clean Tech, a Waterloo based company and MSCU member, to install a 7.1 kW (kilowatt) solar rooftop system in their Waterloo branch. The amount of energy being produced will be on display in the branch and online for members and visitors to view. The branch will also start an energy monitoring program to see what consumption reductions are possible. Darren Kropf, Creation Care Coordinator at Mennonite Central Committee Ontario, says, “MSCU’s adoption of solar energy will visually remind its members to make decisions to care for creation everyday. Congratulations for demonstrating strong leadership in environmental stewardship!”
MSCU developed Creation Care Loans in partnership with MCC’s Mennonite Initiative for Solar Energy(MISE) and co-hosted a series of solar information nights promoting MISE and Creation Care Loans across southwestern Ontario in the spring of 2010. MSCU also followed MCC’s lead by joining Sustainable Waterloo’s Regional Carbon Initiative as an ‘Observing Organization’, part of MSCU’s plan to work towards setting and meeting an organization-wide carbon emission reduction target. Over the last several months, the initiative has helped MSCU track its carbon emissions across the province, providing valuable data and insight for planning reduction and offset projects in the future.
Mike Morrice, Executive Director of Sustainable Waterloo, sees the Waterloo solar project as “a good step that’s part of a broader plan. As an organization committed to helping other organizations advance their environmental sustainability, we look forward to seeing MSCU set goals and take further action towards carbon-reduction.”
If you’re interested in exploring your own solar installation to advance peace locally, check out the MISE Guide to Going Solar at www.ontario.mcc.org/mise. For more information on Sustainable Waterloo visit www.sustainablewaterloo.org.