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  An update from RBC Corporate Environmental Affairs

March 2012   

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RBC Explores Top Sustainability Issues Facing Canadian Farmers

RBC Explores Top Sustainability Issues Facing Canadian Farmers

Canola field

RBC has partnered with the Farm & Food Care Foundation to issue Growing from Strength: Farmers Enhance Productivity with Sustainable Innovation, the third report in RBC’s series on Business and the Environment. The report explores environmental issues in Canadian agriculture and showcases best practices and opportunities associated with greening farm operations. It also outlines how making sustainability a business priority can help farmers reduce operating costs, increase productivity and make Canadian agri-business more competitive. This report, and others like it, can be downloaded for free at our Greening Your Business Commercial Advice Centre.

RBC Releases 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report

RBC has released its Corporate Responsibility Report and Public Accountability Statement. This 131-page publication is exclusively available in electronic format with a short summary of the report, the Corporate Responsibility Review, available as a downloadable PDF document. Some of our environmental highlights from 2011 include:

  • Leased nearly 300,000 square metres of green-certified office space
  • Increased the proportion of sustainably sourced paper to 85 per cent
  • Trained over 700 employees on environmental and social risk and how to identify opportunities in green business financing
  • Managed almost $1 billion in socially responsible investments
  • Co-published two reports identifying the risks and business opportunities of environmental sustainability in the manufacturing and logistics sectors
RBC Releases 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report

Canadians Believe Their Local Water Infrastructure is Good Enough for Now

Canadians Believe Their Local Water Infrastructure is Good Enough for Now

According to the fifth annual RBC Canadian Water Attitudes Study, more than 80 per cent of Canadians feel there is no need for major and immediate investment in their community’s drinking water/wastewater facilities, which they believe to be in good condition, and in need of only minor investment for upkeep. In reality, water distribution and sewage pipes can be up to 80 years old. According to Statistics Canada, 63 per cent of waste water treatment facilities and 40 per cent of water supply systems in Canada have exceeded useful life. Reports have shown there is an $88-billion investment required to repair and build new water infrastructure in communities across Canada.

Digging into Electronic Waste

Ever wonder where that old work computer goes? RBC took a closer look and tracked the disposal of more than 37,000 electronic items from our Canadian operations, including CPUs, monitors, laptops, printers, servers and other specialized equipment. Our electronic waste service provider, GEEP, has a “no foreign

Digging into Electronic Waste

export” policy and reports a better than 99 per cent landfill diversion rate for RBC electronic waste. We lease the majority of our IT equipment, and often when the lease expires the equipment is still useful and can be redeployed within RBC or refurbished and sold in other markets. What can’t be reused is dismantled and recycled with emphasis on the responsible disposal of any hazardous materials. In 2012, we will provide reporting on the disposal of electronic waste in our international operations.

RBC Congratulates Winners of Imagine H20 Prize

RBC is proud to congratulate the four winners of the 2012 Imagine H2O competition. The focus of this year’s competition was wastewater and the competition attracted ideas for wastewater management, reuse, treatment, resource recovery, and energy production. The winners are:

Bilexys is developing an alternative manufacturing platform to biologically convert the organics within wastewater into high-value chemical products.
Tusaar, Inc. is commercializing a unique media-based technology to remove heavy-metals from wastewater.
Nexus eWater harnesses the power of a home’s wastewater stream by converting greywater into near-potable water, while recovering heat that can be used in the home.
New Sky Energy employs a chemical process that combines carbon dioxide from flue gas and industrial wastewater to make carbonates, which are widely used in a number of sectors.

RBC Congratulates Winners of Imagine H20 Prize

An estimated 90 percent of wastewater goes untreated worldwide.

RBC Wins Globe Award for Sustainability in Finance

RBC was honoured at the 2012 Globe Conference in Vancouver, receiving the Globe Award for Sustainability in Finance. The Globe Awards are presented annually to Canadian companies that excel in sustainable business practices and progressive development in technology and services.

RBC’s award submission summarized four areas of strength in sustainable finance, which included:

RBC Wins Globe Award for Sustainability in Finance

Sandra Odendahl, Director Corporate Environmental Affairs (centre) and Chris Ouellette, Senior Manager Sustainable Business accept the award from Velma McColl, Earnscliffe Strategy Group

In January, RBC was also recognized as one of the most sustainable large corporations in the world, according to the Global 100: Most Sustainable Corporations in the World ranking.

Follow us @RBCGreen and Check Out our New Website

Get the latest on environmental business trends, advice and research by following us on Twitter - @RBCGreen. We’ve also launched a new RBC and the Environment website with detailed information on RBC’s own footprint reduction initiatives, what we’re doing in the area of responsible finance, green products and services, as well as providing a slew of trusted resources on water and other environmental topics.

Follow us @RBCGreen and Check Out our New Website

Upcoming Events

Ethics at Ryerson Speakers Series – Waterfronts and the Ecology of Place
April 2, 12:00-1:20 pm, Toronto

The fifth installment of the Speakers Series focused on water ethics will feature Dr. Ingrid Stefanovic, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and Dr. Nina-Marie Lister, Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University, who will discuss environmental stewardship in the revitalization of waterfront space.
More event info >

6th Annual Powering Up Aboriginal Energy Conference
April 23-24, Toronto

Large renewable energy projects on Aboriginal lands, such as hydro and wind, are proving to be excellent economic development engines for Aboriginal communities. This conference takes an in-depth look at ways to maximize the participation and profit of Aboriginal communities. Join hosts Sandra Odendahl, Director of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Phil Fontaine, Aboriginal Advisor RBC, for the RBC-sponsored cocktail reception on April 23rd.
More event info >

Earth Hour Canada

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