We’re Green and Kilo-Watt Wise
Over the past few years, Suncoast has become active in a number of different environmental efforts with the goal of becoming more environmentally responsible members of the community.
In 2013, Suncoast made a commitment to develop an environmentally friendly branch prototype to be implemented at new facilities. Our first eco-friendly service center, East Fort Myers, features LED lighting throughout the building, high-efficiency windows and insulation, geothermal air conditioning and heating and 40-kilowatt solar power panels to offset electricity.
The branch is expected to use half the electricity of the credit union’s other branches of comparable size. The exterior is outfitted with drought-resistant landscaping and drip irrigation where possible.
“We want to be responsible community and business citizens, and this is a step in that direction. We're excited about our environmentally friendly branch because we know that this contributes to cleaner air,” says Tom Dorety, president and CEO of Suncoast Credit Union, “Plus, we see it as the right thing to do given the world today.”
Since then, Suncoast has opened an additional five solar branches. To see how much of a difference the solar energy makes, check out an electric bill from our Wauchula Service Center. Typically a branch this size would cost us about $2,800 for our monthly electric bill. Check out the price difference!
We now operate solar electric systems at service centers in six of the 21 counties we serve – Lee, Pasco, Collier, Hillsborough, Hardee and Sumter Counties:
- East Fort Myers Service Center – 4491 Underwood Drive, Fort Myers
- Zephyrhills Service Center – 32745 Eiland Blvd, Zephyrhills
- Immokalee Service Center – 1243 15th Street, Immokalee
- Riverview Service Center – 10405 Gibsonton Drive, Riverview
- Bushnell Service Center – 217 West Belt Avenue, Bushnell
- South Naples Service Center – 8797 Tamiami Trail East, Naples
- Wauchula Service Center – 1451 US-17, Wauchula
The solar powered service centers are on average 80% more energy efficient than a standard service center, so they are good for business and good for our communities!
Doing Our Part
Suncoast is involved in a number of other green initiatives.
Adopt a Highway Program
Suncoast partners with the Florida Department of Transportation to adopt three sections of roadway across the state. Since 2010, employees have volunteered over 500 hours and maintained almost 100 miles of Florida’s highways. Roadways currently being maintained by Suncoast include:
- Hillsborough County - South Dale Mabry Highway between Gandy and San Carlos Street in South Tampa
- Hillsborough County - Hillsborough Avenue between Walton Way and Eureka Springs Road in East Tampa
- Hillsborough County - US 301 between Boyette Road and Bloomingdale Ridge Drive in Riverview
Free Shred Days for Members
Suncoast partners with Secure Onsite Shredding (SOS) to help members safely and securely discard documents containing sensitive or personal information. SOS recycles and repurposes 100% of all shredded material for new paper products. Shredding papers that contain confidential information such as past tax forms, old utility bills and financial and medical statements is a great way our members can protect themselves from identity theft. Free Member Shred Days are offered throughout the year at multiple Suncoast service centers. Check out our events calendar to learn more.
- Recycled approximately 2,271 pounds of fluorescent lamps in 2014
- Recycled approximately 4,000 pounds of fluorescent lamps in 2013
- Recycled more than 1,200 pounds of fluorescent light bulbs in 2012
- Purchased more than 6,328 square yards of recycled carpet, resulting in the retirement of 86 tons of verified greenhouse gas emissions reduction credits, which are associated with the entire lifecycle (from raw material extraction through end of life) for the carpet. This offsets 172,461 pounds of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and eight households worth of electricity use annually and is the equivalent to 8,859 gallons of gasoline and 15 passenger cars not driven for one year.
- Suncoast changed from incandescent light bulbs to LED’s in the Members Contact Center Parking garage — saving us 25% monthly in both energy and electricity. Looking forward, we plan to install an automatic sensor to turn the lights on and off. This past year, we also changed the incandescent lights in Fletcher’s lobby to reduce electricity use.
- In 2014 Suncoast began expanding the use of LED lighting to parking lots. The Brandon, Plant City, Valrico and South Tampa service centers were all retrofitted with high efficiency LED lamping systems that save 50-80% in energy cost.
Arbor Day Foundation
Suncoast Credit Union is thrilled to have helped the Arbor Day Foundation plant 60 million trees in our nation’s forests! As part of our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, we donate $1 for each member who chooses electronic paperless statements instead of paper statements.
We are proud to have been a part of this historic milestone and look forward to celebrating many more. Check out these stats:
- As of June 2016, Suncoast has already donated $36,826, resulting in 36,826 trees being planted in Florida so far this year.
- In 2015 Suncoast donated $36,826, resulting in 36,826 trees being planted in Florida.
- In 2014 Suncoast donated $34,355, resulting in 34,355 trees being planted in Florida.
- In 2013 Suncoast donated $31,480, resulting in 24,230 trees being planted in Florida.
- In addition, in 2012 we planted 28,000 long leaf pine saplings in the Blackwater River State Park and are on track to donate over $25,000 in 2013.
- Suncoast offers special discounted loan rates for purchasing a “green” vehicle.
Suncoast’s also in the process of replacing our fleet cars with hybrid vehicles. We currently have seven company cars used by credit union employees, three of which are fuel efficient hybrid sedans.