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About The RBC Blue Water Project™

The RBC Blue Water Project was a wide-ranging program dedicated to protecting the world's most precious natural resource: fresh water.


The centrepiece of the RBC Blue Water Project was a 10-year global charitable commitment of $50 million to support organizations that work to protect water in our growing towns and cities.


Sponsorships and Partnerships

The RBC Blue Water Project supported conferences, economic reports and events that helped to build awareness about the importance and the economic value of water.


Thought Leadership

Most Canadians take water for granted. We think we have lots of it and it will always be there. So in 2008, RBC started polling Canadians about their attitudes towards water. RBC wanted to see if the serious water issues around the world were having an impact on how Canadians use and think about water and tracking whether attitudes are changing. Learn more.


Employee Involvement

Our employees and retirees were involved too, rolling up their sleeves to help protect their local water through RBC Blue Water Makeovers. Learn more.



When we launched the RBC Blue Water Project in 2007, we decided to support two broad areas: watershed protection and access to clean drinking water. We felt that by casting such a wide net, we could get to know the fullest range of people and organizations working to protect water; fast track critical funding to a variety of national, regional and community-based projects around the world; and learn as much as we could about water. At the same time, we wanted to help raise awareness about water issues.

In 2011 - 12, we commissioned the Monitor Institute to evaluate the social and environmental impacts of the RBC Blue Water Project to date. Monitor surveyed a cross-section of about 20 per cent of our grant recipients and developed a small subset of metrics that were common across most of the initiatives we funded. Monitor found that:

  • 3 million North American households were positively affected by programs funded by RBC.
  • Nearly 2.5 million kilolitres of water were conserved through programs funded by RBC.
  • More than 810,000 people attended service/training opportunities with organizations funded by RBC.
  • 80,000 people logged over 400,000 hours volunteering with community-based watershed protection programs funded by RBC.

One of our goals with the RBC Blue Water Project was to help create capacity in the charitable water sector. RBC has a reputation for integrity and due diligence in our grant-making processes, and over the years, many charitable organizations have told us that RBC funding is often considered a de facto "seal of approval, "allowing them to attract additional funding from other donors more easily”. The Monitor study revealed that more than 80 organizations in North America were able to leverage their RBC Blue Water Project grants to acquire more than $4.7 million in additional funding, an average of $50,000 per organization.


Our Water Commitments

The RBC Environmental Blueprint outlines the following water commitments:

  • Reduce the use of landscape irrigation in regions deemed water-stressed;
  • Reduce the use of water by incorporating water-efficient technologies in our new properties or properties undergoing renovation; and
  • Use environmentally responsible cleaning products in janitorial and cleaning services to help protect water quality.
We report annually on our progress against these commitments. To view our progress on water, see our Corporate Citizenship Report .

Apply for Funding

Need support for a charitable initiative related to the environment? Apply for a RBC Environmental Donation.


Find out how RBC Blue Water Project is impacting water in Ripple Effect. Read the Report. (opens new window)