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An update from RBC Corporate Sustainability Group March 2015

New and Notable

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Brothers Take Home Top Prize at Evolve

It's a long way from making forts out of couch pillows in the living room for two Ryerson architecture students, Mark and Tim Melnichuk. The brothers, only a year apart, took home $5,000 and first prize in the third annual Evolve Sustainable Design Competition. The competition was launched by RBC and B+H Architects in 2012 to challenge post-secondary students in architecture, engineering and related programs across Canada to work together in teams to design sustainable buildings of the future. This year's challenge was to design a sustainable community library that would minimize energy and water use through site planning, building design, systems technology, and operations. The competition generated fantastic entries from schools across the country. Another team from Ryerson and a team from Dalhousie received first and second runner up prizes and received $3,500 and $1,500, respectively. Each winning team will also receive a matching RBC donation to their university.

Brothers Take Home Top Prize at Evolve

Spotlight on the RBC Social Finance Initiative

The RBC Social Finance initiative, launched in 2012, is a multi-million dollar commitment to help ignite social and environmental change through investment activity. By participating in the social finance marketplace as an investor, an intermediary, and a supporter of social entrepreneurs, we are playing a role in catalyzing the growth of social finance in Canada.

Investing For Impact

The $10 Million RBC Generator Fund aims to generate market returns by investing in Canadian, for-profit businesses tackling social and environmental challenges in the areas of energy, water, employment and education. Education was added as a new sector focus in March 2015, and includes companies focused on innovative and technology-based approaches to education and skill-based training.


New Investment Announced!


In March 2015, the RBC Generator invested $125,000 in Binder, a Montreal-based social enterprise that is helping early-career university graduates tackle a challenging job market by matching them with small and medium-sized companies seeking talent. Learn more >>

Nurturing Great Social Entrepreneurs


Social entrepreneurs measure the success of their businesses based on social and environmental impact, as well as financial performance. According to research undertaken by RBC in 2014, social entrepreneurship is growing across all regions and sectors in Canada. We want to help enable this growth, and to develop a generation of successful, profitable businesses that make a positive difference in our communities. That's why RBC Social Finance supports business accelerators and incubators across Canada that focus on mission-driven entrepreneurs.


New Partnerships Announced!


RBC is pleased to announce our new partnership with Waterloo-based Communitech's ASCEnt program, which helps social entrepreneurs polish their go-to-market plans, build viable product offerings and make key connections with industry influencers. Learn More >>


RBC has also partnered with NORCAT on their ASCEnt North program that assists entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses intent on making a positive and lasting social and environmental impact in Sudbury and Northern Ontario.
Learn More >>

Canadians Confident in Their Tap Water, But Do They Care?

Drinking water supply is second only to hospitals in terms of what Canadians want their taxes to fund, ahead of roads, schools and public transit. This is just one of the findings from the 8th annual RBC Canadian Water Attitudes Study, which also shows that Canadians give high ratings to their municipal drinking water quality, with 73 per cent of Canadians being confident in their local tap water. However, as confidence has risen, the attention that Canadians pay to clean drinking water has slipped:

70 per cent of Canadians know the cost of their electricity while only 39 per cent know how much money they spend on water.
63 per cent either don't have, or don't know if they have, a water meter in their home.
A quarter of Canadians don't care where their water comes from, as long as it tastes good.
  Canadians Confident in Their Tap Water, But Do They Care?

The results show that although public concern for water funding is high, Canadians do not appreciate the value of their drinking water.


Seven Consecutive Years of Good "Rubbish" Management

Seven Consecutive Years of Good RBC was recently presented with a prestigious Platinum Clean City Award for outstanding achievement in waste reduction, reuse and recycling initiatives at Riverbank House in London, UK. This award is the highest level of recognition in the "Large Site" category, consisting of organizations with more than 200 employees. This is RBC's seventh consecutive year of Clean City Award wins, with a total of ten Gold and four Platinum awards received to date. The Clean City Awards program, which has been running since 1994, aims to raise the profile of responsible waste management. Riverbank House has also achieved an 'Excellent' rating under the BREEAM green building rating system. Some of the building's features include a rooftop solar energy system, a green roof, heat recovery systems and energy sub-metering.


Upcoming Events

Earth Day
Worldwide, April 22
Earth Day is an annual day of celebration dedicated to appreciating and raising awareness about the natural environment. RBC will be launching a number of activities across the organization to raise awareness and provide staff with opportunities to get involved and make a difference. You may be interested to see what RBC did to celebrate Earth Day 2014.

US SIF Conference on Sustainable Investing
Chicago, May 4-6
The US SIF Annual Conference offers a unique opportunity for leaders in sustainable, responsible, and impact investing to learn about new approaches, trends and policy developments in the field. RBC's John Taft and Sandra Odendahl are speaking at this event, and RBC is a corporate sponsor.

Action Entrepreneurship Summit
Toronto, May 13-14
The Action Entrepreneurship Canadian Summit objective is to chart a path to boost youth innovation and enterprise throughout the country. RBC is sponsoring a delegation of 20 social entrepreneurs from across Canada to attend the event.

Renewable Cities Global Learning Forum
Vancouver, May 13-15
The Renewable Cities Global Learning Forum will be a gathering of leaders and professionals working to implement renewables and energy efficiency in cities. Participants will hear from jurisdictions leading in renewable energy adoption and energy efficiency in their electricity, heating & cooling, and transportation sectors. RBC is sponsoring a group of young leaders to attend this event.

FUEL Forum on the Future of Urbanity, the Environment and our Lifestyle
Vancouver, May 27-28
FUEL is a forum to present, discuss and realize the ideas behind the social, environmental and technological shifts of our time. It is a place for leaders, entrepreneurs, creators and engaged citizens to meet and reimagine the future of the way we live, work and lead. RBC is a sponsor of this event.

Responsible Investment Conference
Banff, May 31-June 2
Join more than 300 delegates from Canada and around the world at this premier event in Canada for responsible investment professionals. The conference offers attendees the opportunity to network with leaders in responsible investing, to hear from ESG specialists and thought leaders and to learn about the latest issues, trends and developments in the field. RBC's Jason Milne and Sandra Odendahl are speaking at this event, and RBC is a corporate sponsor.

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