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About RBC > Corporate Profile > Awards and Recognition > RBC tops Newsweek's green list

RBC tops Newsweek's "green" list

April 26, 2007 — RBC scored first place in the April 8 Newsweek International (opens external website in new window) online ranking of the 100 companies worldwide that are considered most capable of adapting to the risks and opportunities presented by climate change, relative to their peers.

While this ranking is recent, our commitment to environmental sustainability dates back to at least 1992, when we launched our first environmental policy on managing credit risks related to environmental issues. We've learned a lot since then, and so the scope of our activities on the environmental front has only continued to grow.

We are redeveloping our environmental policy and preparing to replace it with an overview of the existing and emerging environmental issues facing RBC and our clients, and our commitments related to our three environmental priorities.

If you're interested in seeing how RBC is going green, some highlights are provided below. We know that there are many ways we can do better, and we will.

This honour adds to an impressive suite of recognition garnered by RBC for programs and performance related to sustainability and corporate responsibility. RBC is listed on the 2007 Dow Jones Sustainability Index, recognizing the world's financial, social and environmental corporate leaders, as well as the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. We were named one of world's Top 100 sustainable companies in 2007.

The Newsweek list was based on research and analysis by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors and Corporate Knights. Companies on the list were selected from the Innovest universe of 1,800 publicly-traded companies.

 

How RBC is going green: Highlights at a glance

When it comes to environmental sustainability, we all have a role to play. Here are some highlights on how RBC is striving to do better-a quick glance at how we're striving to become more environmentally sustainable. If you'd like more information, please visit rbc.com/environment.

We have three environmental priorities:

 

Lend and Invest Responsibly

  • We practice a high level of due diligence to identify, assess and help mitigate the environmental risks associated with lending to our clients and have a suite of environmental credit risk policies that cover a range of environmental risks and business activities. Transactions are reviewed for environmental issues and escalated to our environmental specialists where warranted for further analysis and approval.
  • We were the first Canadian financial institution to sign the Equator Principles in 2003, a set of voluntary guidelines addressing environmental and social risks associated with project finance. We resigned the revised the Equator Principles in 2006.
 

Reduce Operational Footprint

  • In 2006, we decreased our year-over-year greenhouse gas emissions by 7 per cent and hope to do better in 2007.
  • We are targeting paper reduction in all our operations, moving towards full use of recycled and FSC certified or equivalent paper. We introduced paperless and electronic banking options to our clients for a number of banking services. In Canada, 1.2 million clients have chosen e-statements for Personal Deposit Accounts, RBC Royal Bank Visa, Royal Credit Line and the RBC Homeline Plan, with more e-statements and paperless banking options to come.
  • We 'offset' the greenhouse gases created during the production of our 2006 Annual Report, proxy circulars and Corporate Responsibility Reports.
  • We are striving to reduce the consumption of energy in our own operations, and to increase our use of 'green' energy. In 2007, we launched an 'EnergySmart' campaign for employees, to help reduce our consumption of electricity. We also expanded our support for clean, renewable power by purchasing 100 per cent green electricity for 11 RBC Royal Bank branches in Alberta and 3 in Ontario. This augments RBC's existing use of green power for branches in Ontario and British Columbia. More.
  • We are striving to integrate green building practices in new facilities. For example, the RBC Centre, located in downtown Toronto and scheduled for completion in 2009, is being constructed to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. It includes floor-to-ceiling windows, a system for reclaiming rainwater and both direct and indirect lighting.
 

Green Business

  • Later in 2007, we will be launching the RBC Jantzi Funds, a suite of three mutual funds for clients who want to balance financial returns with social responsibility. Currently, RBC's clients in Canada can screen their investments to ensure they are investing in a socially responsible manner, using information provided to RBC by Jantzi Research Associates. RBC's clients also have access to the 71 SRI Funds available in the Canadian market.
  • In 2007, we were part of a coalition of 284 asset management companies representing $41-trillion in assets under management that signed the Carbon Disclosure Project's 5th annual request for information. Signatories ask companies to disclose the climate-related risks and opportunities they consider material. As a potential stock-pick, we also completed the request for information.
  • We released a report through RBC Capital Markets for investors who are interested in taking advantage of the opportunities in the global solar industry. More.
  • We are striving to capitalize on environmental opportunities through the GEF Clean Technology Fund, and our Alternative Energy Venture Fund.
  • We have a growing expertise in providing responsible investing and financing advice to clients of all sizes. For example, we have an SRI (socially responsible investment) Wealth Management team based out of RBC Dain Rauscher in San Francisco, managing nearly USD $1 Billion. This specialized team of financial advisors, provides SRI expertise to clients across the United States, including entrepreneurs, foundations, unions, and pension funds.
  • We also have an Energy & Utilities team through RBC Capital Markets in London (U.K,) that provides experienced and successful services to the renewable energy sector. The 20-member team offers investment banking, financing and advisory services for businesses and renewable power projects in Europe, and provides support to our international activities within the renewables sector for projects such as wind farm, small hydro and biomass projects.

 
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