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An update from RBC Corporate Sustainability Group July 2013

New and Notable

RBC Employees in 22 Countries Rally Around 322 Community Makeover Activities on RBC Blue Water Day

Armed with garbage bags, aprons and gardening gloves, more than 18,000 RBC employees participated in Community Makeovers to help protect water on RBC Blue Water Day, an annual celebration held in June to help protect water in our growing towns and cities. Employees were asked to participate in one of three Makeover activities: a clean up, planting, or cultivating awareness activity. The interim results include:

  • RBC Employees in 22 Countries Rally Around 322 Community Makeover Activities on RBC Blue Water DayArea cleaned up: >58 hectares (equivalent to almost 80 soccer fields!)
  • Estimated garbage collected: >11,000 kg
  • Number of plants planted: 11,745
  • Area planted: 1.4 hectares
  • 84% increase in employee awareness of water issues
  • More than 5,643 employee volunteer hours invested
Learn more about water initiatives the RBC Blue Water Project has funded through our interactive grant locator tool.

Fairways weren't the only thing that was Green at the RBC Canadian Open

Carbon neutrality, water stations, priority bike parking and Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary certification were just a few of the environmental highlights at the tournament held last week at Glen Abbey Golf Club. Details include:

Fairways weren't the only thing that was Green at the RBC Canadian Open
  • The event was bullfrogpowered with 100 per cent clean, renewable electricity and green natural gas.
  • GHG emissions associated with the use of diesel generators and event vehicles were neutralized through the purchase and retirement of high quality carbon offsets.
  • Goal was to divert more than 70 per cent of waste from landfill (still collecting performance stats on this one)
  • Over 21,000 litres of free filtered water was provided to patrons at five water stations, significantly reducing waste from single-use containers.
  • Patrons took advantage of our free bicycle parking coral just outside the main entrance, with over 1,100 bicycles parked during the week.
  • Since 2004, Glen Abbey has been certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

An Investment in Energy Efficiency that Helps Pay for Itself

An Investment in Energy Efficiency that Helps Pay for ItselfWhat if there was an energy retrofit program that could help businesses reduce operating costs while minimizing the impact on cash flow? With energy and fuel costs rising unpredictably, an energy retrofit (upgrading a building's infrastructure with energy efficient technology) can give businesses a competitive advantage and provide long–term savings. With the RBC Energy Efficiency lending program, our specialists can help business clients assess energy-saving opportunities, and lend them the funds to help realize those savings. Loans are structured to minimize the impact on existing cash flow by including the expected energy cost savings in the loan amortization schedule. In short, businesses get all the benefits of a greater energy-efficiency with minimal impact on cash flow.

More than $2.3 Million in Water Funding Announced

123 organizations spanning seven countries will share more than $2.3 million in funding for water protection and preservation programs. RBC's 2013 Blue Water Project Leadership grant recipients work on a wide range of projects that improve urban water quality, enhance storm water management and protect and restore urban waterways. These grants are in addition to recent announcements of a $1 million grant to the University of Guelph to improve water and biodiversity in First Nations communities and a $1.75 million grant to the University of Waterloo for a new graduate study program in Integrated Water Management. Since 2007, RBC has pledged over $38 million to more than 650 charitable organizations worldwide that protect water.

More than $2.3 Million in Water Funding Announced

Congratulations to the Lower Mainland Green Team

Congratulations to the Lower Mainland Green Team

Over the last two years, the Lower Mainland Green Team (LMGT) from Surrey, BC has been building a stewardship group focused on planting native vegetation, removing invasive plants, and picking up litter on shorelines and parks. Made-up entirely of volunteers, the LMGT connects community members with nature and mobilizes them to take action to improve the quality of local ecosystems. RBC and Earth Day Canada (EDC) were delighted to present the LMGT with the 2013 Hometown Heroes Group Award and a $10,000 grant at the EDC Annual Gala held in June. Created by EDC, the Hometown Heroes program recognizes and celebrates environmental leaders who look for local solutions to improve the state of the environment. This is the fourth consecutive year that RBC has sponsored the Hometown Heroes Award Program.

Upcoming Events

SOCAP13 Social Finance Conference
September 1-6, San Francisco
Join the world's pioneering impact investors, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, civic leaders, and innovators at SOCAP13.
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Meeting of the Minds
September 9-11, Toronto
The conference is two-plus days of intensive exchange for leaders creating more sustainable cities using smarter design tools, sounder environmental practices, and cleaner energy systems. Sandra Odendahl, RBC Director of Corporate Sustainability, will be speaking at the event.
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Banff Venture Forum
September 26 & 27, Banff
The Banff Venture Forum showcases the hottest hi-tech companies from across North America, offers insight into key issues within the industry, provides a premium networking opportunity and gives companies a chance to learn from world-class professionals in the investment community. RBC is sponsoring the event.
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