history of financial institutions is one of focus on the bottom
line which results in overexploitation of the earth's resources.
In New Mexico, however, we found a new kind of financial institution,
one dedicated to green banking.
Credit Union (PCU) utilizes a unique strategy of combining
sound financial business practice with earth care
ethics to supply its members with a growing set of financial
was established to allow its members to share their excess with
other members of like mind who would use it for sustainable
projects and, at the same time, take care of the Earth.
The People of PCU : (L-R) Susan
Coulter, Chair; Bill Mollison, Founder; and
Donald Sarich, President
1997, members of the permaculture community from Santa Fe, New
attending a think-tank meeting in California and got the idea
to form a financial institution geared towards promoting eco-friendly
the next three years the organizing members met frequently and
developed a business plan suitable to secure the necessary $100,000
per account insurance to get started.
eight years later, the Permaculture
Credit Union (PCU) is not only real, it has assets of
over $2.7M and loans outstanding of $1.9M.
just words, but in deeds, the Permaculture Credit Union (PCU)
offers a .75% (3/4%) Sustainability Discount Program
for customers that use their loans for green improvements.
are excited about our new Sustainability Discount Program, says
Don Sarich, PCU President and CEO. "We think it is a
unique offering and it has generated a lot of member interest
and in fact has become one of our most popular lending programs."
Results : a cistern project funded by the PCU's
PCU started Sustainability Discount Program loans in 2002 and
has issued several loans for water-catchment systems.
Some of the loans have been solely for rainwater systems; whereas,
others have been home equity loans of which a portion was used
to finance rainwater catchment system.
Permaculture Credit Union's efforts were recently recognized
Social Investment Forum Foundation (SIFF) and Co-op America
in their top 10 list of socially responsible institutions.
50% of the PCU members are non-New Mexicans residents. Loans
are granted to members that share the same eco-friendly vision
as the Permaculture Credit Union.
fully understands rainwater catchment systems as well as other
eco-friendly building methods and so members spend less time
educating and more time determining the best loan to help them
achieve their dream.
PCU is a state chartered and federally insured by the National
Credit Union Administration, a U.S. Government Agency. For more
information on how to become a member of PCU or apply for a
loan visit www.pcuonline.org
or call 866.954.3479.