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An update from RBC Corporate Sustainability Group July 2014

New and Notable

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RBC Employees "Make Over" More than 750 Communities Around the World!

Now in its fifth year, RBC Blue Water Day continues to bring together employees in support of one very important cause - fresh water. On June 12th, RBC employees in 24 countries participated in community makeovers by cleaning up public spaces, planting native and water efficient species and raising awareness on water issues in their communities. RBC Blue Water Day is a celebratory event that turns employees into water ambassadors and our communities into greener, safer and more prosperous places to live.

RBC Employees “Make Over” More than 750 Communities Around the World!

This year's RBC Blue Water Project Leadership and Community Action grants totaled more than $2.7 million, supporting 134 organizations in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Bahamas, China, Chile and Australia. Since 2007, RBC has pledged over $41 million in grants to more than 700 charitable organizations worldwide, with an additional $8.8 million pledged to university programs. Learn more about the projects the RBC Blue Water Project has funded through our interactive grant locator.

Renewable Energy Powers RBC ATMs across Canada

Renewable Energy Powers RBC ATMs across CanadaThe next time you withdraw money from a RBC ATM, know that the entire Canadian ATM and retail branch digital display network is powered with 100% clean, renewable energy. In 2013, approximately 4,600 ATMs and 8,000 digital displays were powered by EcoLogo-certified green power from wind and hydro facilities that have been certified as low-impact by Environment Canada. This resulted in an equivalent carbon dioxide reduction of over 3,800 tonnes. That’s enough electricity to power more than 1,500 Canadian homes for a year!

We have been tracking and publicly reporting on our environmental impacts since 2003. Last year we achieved a number of environmental improvements over 2012, including a 17% reduction in GHG emissions and 10% reduction office paper used per employee. You can find other interesting facts and performance highlights in the 2013 RBC Environment Report.

Investing in Clean, Renewable Energy for Future Generations

Investing in Clean, Renewable Energy for Future GenerationsThe demand for renewable energy has never been stronger. According to the International Energy Agency, wind power deployment has more than doubled since 2008 globally. For growth to continue, barriers such as high costs must be broken down. Endurance Wind Power is a Canadian company that designs, manufactures and owns small and medium sized wind turbines. RBC has invested $1 million in this growing company as a part of RBC's social finance initiative, designed to drive social and environmental change through private investments. This investment will help Endurance's distributed energy business, which allows them to own and operate their own turbines on leased land. In addition, it will build renewable energy generation capacity, increase accessibility to clean energy by driving down costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.


Stop Watering Your Lawn and Try Xeriscaping

What is a Green Bond?Canadians are wasting time, money and water manicuring their lawn according to the 2014 RBC Canadian Water Attitudes Study. Approximately 50% of the water applied to lawns and gardens is wasted due to evaporation, runoff and overwatering. But what's the alternative?

Xeriscape landscape designs aim to retain moisture and nutrients from natural rainfall through the use of stone gardens, mulch and native plantings. These techniques limit the need for supplemental watering and the use of fertilizers that can contaminate water. Over the past year, RBC implemented xeriscape designs at two RBC branches in Ontario by replacing large grass lawns with stone, mulch and native plantings. This will virtually eliminate the need for watering and reduce maintenance costs. If you're interested in learning more about how to use water more efficiently at home and in the garden, click here.


Congratulations to the 2014 Hometown Heroes

Every year, Earth Day Canada recognizes environmental leaders who foster meaningful, long-term awareness and action through the Hometown Heroes Award Program. RBC is a proud sponsor of this awards program that recognizes leaders who are overcoming environmental obstacles in their own backyard. Congratulations to all of the winners!

Keeping it Clean in London, England Wayne Salewski (Individual Award)
Wayne Salewski has led many fish recovery initiatives, including the Murray Creek Restoration Project, which has engaged local landowners in water stewardship practices along Murray Creek.

Calstone (Small Business Award)
Calstone is a family-owned business that manufactures environmentally friendly furniture. They guarantee zero percent of their products end up in landfill.

The Junction Creek Stewardship Committee
(Group Award)

The Junction Creek Stewardship Committee is a volunteer group dedicated to increasing water and habitat quality within the creek and watershed.


RBC Earns Recognition for Corporate
Responsibility Efforts

A company's reputation is built in part by what other people say about it. We feel privileged to have been named one of Canada's "Top 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations" by Sustainalytics and one of Canada's “Best 50 Corporate Citizens” by Corporate Knights.

Best 50 - Top 50Some of the initiatives that helped us secure top marks,

The RBC Generator, a $10-million pool of capital for investment in businesses that tackle social and environmental challenges, while generating financial returns;
A $100-million "Believe in Kids" pledge dedicated to supporting children through arts, sports, mental health and education programs;
Our commitment to working with suppliers to eliminate conflict minerals from our supply chain; and,
Underwriting Canada's first investment-grade solar bond.

Click here to learn more about our environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility programs.



Upcoming Events

Meeting of the Minds
September 30 – October 2, Detroit
Meeting of the Minds brings together leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors to discuss alternative urban futures.
Learn more >>

SOCAP14 Social Finance
September 2-5, San Francisco
Join the world's pioneering impact investors, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, civic leaders, and innovators to discuss using capital for good.
Learn more >>

Banff Venture Forum
September 25-26, Banff
The Banff Venture Forum, sponsored by RBC, showcases hi-tech companies from across North America and gives them a chance to learn from world-class professionals in the investment community.
Learn more >>

Living Waters Rally
October 3, Ottawa
Freshwater lovers, advocates and colleagues from across Canada gather for education, celebration and inspiration!
Learn more >>

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