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  An update from the RBC Corporate Sustainability Group

January 2013   

New and Notable

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RBC Blue Water Project is Looking for Great Ideas to Address Water Issues in Communities

The RBC Blue Water Project recently announced a new focus for 2013-14 grants, and will now support initiatives that help protect and preserve water in towns, cities and urbanized areas. Water quality and access are two important issues that need to be addressed as the population grows in urbanized centres. As such, RBC will fund programs in towns and cities with populations of more than 10,000 people that focus on:

  • Improving urban water quality;
  • Improving management of urban storm and rain water, such as building awareness about low-impact design or the use of natural systems to control storm or rain water;
  • The efficient use of water in towns and cities; or
  • Protecting and restoring urban waterways.

For more details visit: Applications for Community Action Grants are available online and due on February 8, 2013.

RBC Blue Water Project is Looking for Great Ideas to Address Water Issues in Communities

Are You Exposed to Conflict Minerals?

Are You Exposed to Conflict Minerals?

Conflict minerals are minerals mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses, notably in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The profits from the sale of these minerals finance continued fighting in the region, as well as fighting for control of the lucrative mines. New SEC rules in the United States will require certain companies to disclose their use of conflict minerals in manufacturing. Consumer electronics manufacturers

have been identified as a sector of potential concern as well as the automotive, jewelry, industrial machinery and retail sectors. As part of our commitment to responsible procurement, RBC will work with our suppliers on a plan to ensure all products we procure are conflict mineral-free.

Does Socially Responsible Investing Hurt Investment Returns?

Does Socially Responsible Investing Hurt Investment Returns?

A common concern about socially responsible investing (SRI) is that there is a premium to be paid for being socially responsible that necessarily diminishes investment returns. A research article, produced by RBC Global Asset Management, challenges this premise and finds that socially responsible investing does not result in lower investment returns. An important finding because it provides support to investors that they can pursue a program of socially responsible investing with the

expectation that investment returns will be similar to traditional investment options. SRI has emerged as a viable approach for investors who want to achieve competitive returns while ensuring that their money is managed in accordance with certain social and environmental values. For more on RBC's SRI funds visit: Socially Responsible Investments.

Students Keen to Design Bank Branch of the Future

Submissions for the Evolve Sustainable Design Competition have been received and we'd like to thank students for the great response. The Evolve competition embraces a multidisciplinary approach by challenging architecture and engineering students from across Canada to work together to design a net-zero energy and water-wise bank branch of the future. The jury, comprised of some of North America's top architects and industry professionals, will be looking for forward-thinking and innovative design concepts that deliver environmental results. A $5,000 prize will be awarded to the winning team, as well as an honourable mention prize of $2,500 for the runner up. Stay tuned for the big announcement!

Evolve Sustainable Design Competition

A First for Solar Financing in Canada

A First for Solar Financing in Canada

2012 saw the first investment grade rated solar bond issued in the Canadian bond market. Rated BBB by DBRS, the $172 million project bond is backed by two operating solar farms located near Sarnia, Ontario, owned and operated by NextEra Energy. Combined, they have an energy production capacity of 40 MW and utilize solar panels manufactured by First Solar. Bond holders are repaid from the revenue generated by the renewable energy the project feeds into the electricity grid under a 20-year power purchase

agreement with Ontario Power Authority. RBC acted as Sole Bookrunner and Sole Lead and we're pleased to note that the transaction drew meaningful interest from a broad base of Canadian bond investors and was awarded the North American Project Bond Deal of the Year for 2012 by Project Finance Magazine/ Euromoney.

RBC Wins Race to Reduce Award for Leadership in Energy Reduction

Greening Greater Toronto has recognized RBC's leadership and commitment to energy reduction with a Race to Reduce Action & Innovation award. The award honours RBC and the Cadillac Fairview Corporation for landlord-tenant collaboration in achieving LEED Gold designations for both the construction and interior fit-out aspects of the RBC Centre in Toronto. Both RBC and Cadillac Fairview were also recognized for collaborating on initiatives that increased the dialogue on sustainability with building occupants. The Race to Reduce competition challenges Toronto region office building landlords and tenants to reduce the total energy use by at least 10 per cent over four years. RBC has been part of the Race since its inception two years ago.

Energy Consumption RBC accepts the award (from left to right) Meghan Case, Cadillac Fairview; Sandeep Kembhavi, Energy & Sustainability Analyst, RBC; Ruth Weiner, Manager, Energy & Environment, RBC; Nathan Mordaunt, Cadillac Fairview; Nadeem Shabbar, Vice-President, Corporate Real Estate, RBC; and Mitzi Hunter, CEO, CivicAction.

Upcoming Events

World Water Day
March 22
International World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. RBC will be releasing the results from the 2013 RBC Canadian Water Attitudes Study, the sixth annual poll of Canadians the week of March 18.
More event info >


Earth Hour
March 23
RBC will join thousands of citizens and organizations around the world to support Earth Hour on Saturday, March 23 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time. Earth Hour is a global lights-out initiative coordinated by the World Wildlife Fund to encourage people and organizations to be part of the solution against climate change. This year Earth Hour has launched "I Will If You Will" on YouTube to showcase how everyone has the power to change the world we live in.
More event info >

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