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What RBC Did to Celebrate Earth Day 2013

RBC joined millions of people and organizations around the world to support Earth Day on April 22.  “Our employees tell us that they care about the environment and that they are proud to work for a company that is committed to environmental sustainability,” said Sandra Odendahl, Director of Corporate Sustainability. “Earth Day is a great way to raise awareness and offer employees a meaningful way to contribute to our corporate culture of environmental sustainability.”

To celebrate Earth Day 2013, RBC launched a number of activities across the organization to raise awareness and provide staff with opportunities to get involved and make a difference.  Below are a few examples:

RBC Green Innovation Challenge

More than 3,400 employees participated in the enterprise-wide RBC Green Innovation Challenge.  The aim of the three-week Challenge was to generate new ideas on how RBC can become a more environmentally responsible organization.  RBC employees submitted ideas through an innovative web tool called SoapBox, developed by an early-stage Canadian company called Hit Send Inc. (opens external website in new window), and then the online community voted on ideas with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.  The Challenge also leveraged a comment feature to stir up some debate among employees and help spark new ideas. To ensure the Challenge had meaning, management committed to completing a feasibility review on the 10 top ideas to determine if the ideas could be implemented. Top ideas were also awarded with $250 RBC Blue Water Project Visa Gift Cards. In total over 1650 ideas were submitted by employees and nearly 25,000 votes registered. 


During the Challenge, employees could submit ideas under four categories: reducing GHGs and energy, reducing paper, helping our clients go green and other green ideas.


RBC Earth Day Fair

Nearly 600 employees attended the 2nd RBC Earth Day Fair in downtown Toronto on April 19.  The Fair showcased many of RBC’s environmental programs and success stories and featured display booths from seven RBC departments and 15 external business partners. The event was a great opportunity for employees to come and meet RBC’s environmental ambassadors and green suppliers, ask questions and find out how they could contribute to environmental sustainability at RBC. We also gave away a brand new bike to one lucky attendee! 

Earth Day video

This year, we asked internal and external partners, "what are you doing to help RBC go green?" and captured a lot of great responses in this video.

RBC would like to thank our partners: Bullfrog Power, Canpar, Cascades Recovery, CBRE, Civic Action, Dialog, GEEP, Haworth, IBM, Interface, Newell Rubbermaid, OMNI/Avmor, Oxford Properties, Staples and Teknion for making the event so successful!


Electronic Waste Collection Events

For the 2nd consecutive year, RBC partnered with a number of organizations to raise awareness about the environmental impacts of electronic waste, commonly referred to as e-waste.  The United Nations considers e-waste as one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. Annual e-waste volumes have increased by a staggering 40 per cent worldwide due to increasing demand for consumer electronics products. The partnerships centered on co-hosting numerous e-waste recycling events where employees, clients and the general public could responsibly dispose of personal e-waste.  Highlights include: 

  • RBC partnered with the Green Living Show and Samsung Canada (opens external website in new window) to offer Greater Toronto Area residents an opportunity to responsibly dispose of unwanted e-waste at four participating RBC branches.  For each piece of e-waste recycled participants received a free ticket to the Green Living Show.
  • RBC partnered with BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank and TD, and co-hosted an e-waste recycling event (opens external website in new window) in the Toronto financial district.
  • RBC offered employees at seven major office towers in Canada, home to more than 10,000 employees, an opportunity to bring their personal electronic waste from home for a chance to win prizes.

The combined campaigns collected over 14,800 kilograms (that's almost 15 tonnes) of electronic items that were dismantled and recycled with emphasis on the responsible disposal of any hazardous materials.  At all of the events, the e-waste was processed by Global Electric Electronic Processing (opens external website in new window) (GEEP).


Representatives from five Canadian banks and GEEP at one of the e-waste collection locations in downtown Toronto.


To read about last year’s Earth Day celebrations at RBC visit: RBC Earth Day 2012