SEATTLE (7/31/08)--Seattle Metropolitan CU (SMCU) announced the launch of its Green Loans program, which offers discounts on auto loans for fuel-efficient vehicles, home loans for certified green homes and equity loans for energy efficiency upgrades. The $480.2 million-asset, Seattle-based SMCU’s program is the most recent chapter of its ongoing “Seven [Rochedale] Principles” [the foundation upon which all modern cooperatives are based] initiative. “Green Loans, like our new Feel Good checking account, are part of the Seven Principles that guide our business and are the foundation of all co-ops,” said Bob Harvey, SMCU president/CEO. “The seventh cooperative principle states that you must give back to the community in which you do business. “Showing concern for our environment and partnering with other nonprofits in our area are just two ways that we and our members are doing our part,” he added. The three new SMCU loan products include:
* Green Auto Loans--which provide rate discounts for hybrid-electric, gas or diesel-powered automobiles that average 25 city miles per gallon or greater; * Green Home Equity Loan--which discounts rates on loans for qualifying home improvements; and * Green Home financing--which discounts closing costs for certified built green homes.
The credit union, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, commemorated the rollout of its new eco-friendly loan products through a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant trees where they are needed most. As part of the commemoration, SMCU also introduced: a green-themed website design, a 35-foot tall colorful Green Loans banner made from recyclable materials displayed at its headquarters, and a free shopping bag giveaway for all members who adopt paper-free electronic statements--“eStatements.” “Seattle is not alone in its commitment to take concrete actions to reduce waste and protect the environment,” Harvey said. “We are proud to serve a community that embraces these eco-friendly initiatives, as we are encouraged to see green practices as part of a growing trend that is spreading around the world.”