HONG KONG — Focusing on environmentally sustainable operations and lending policies can both save CUs money and provide them an avenue to younger members, according to a CEO of an Australian credit union which is a leader in the field.

Phylip Doughty, CEO of MECU Ltd, told attendees of this year's World Credit Union Conference that his credit union has benefited from offering members low interest loans to make water and power improvements to their homes. The CU also plants trees to offset the environmental impact of cars it finances and contributes to a land bank to offset the land used in homes it helps build.

MECU has also sharply reduced the solid waste it produces, Doughty said, and even composts scraps from the CU's cafeteria and uses the compost on its own landscaping and gardening so the CU no longer purchases fertilizers.

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