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An update from RBC Corporate Environmental Affairs Group March 2016

New and Notable

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Seven Thoughts from the Globe Business and Sustainability Conference

The Globe Business and Sustainability Conference, held in early March in Vancouver, is THE sustainability conference in Canada involving nearly 2,000 delegates from 50 countries. At Globe, we wanted to learn, share and be inspired by other purpose driven organizations. Here are some thoughts from our experience at Globe.
What Happened in Paris? Outcomes from COP21   Carbon is hot, but water is scary: Out of 52 different sessions at Globe, 20 were about climate change or energy. Even companies that are not large GHG emitters will need to understand the role they can play in the low carbon economy. Climate change is going to be felt locally through too much or too little water. The problem is getting worse. Leadership and solutions to water are needed more than ever.
What Happened in Paris? Outcomes from COP21   Companies that don't bring environmental and social value are losing relevancy: Companies are more than their financial sheets and social and environmental capital is being recognized as a true differentiator.
What Happened in Paris? Outcomes from COP21   Pipelines aren't really about pipelines: Stopping pipelines has become the symbol for stopping fossil fuel development. The issue is so polarized that neither side is achieving their objectives. Collaboration and innovation is needed more than ever.
What Happened in Paris? Outcomes from COP21   Nature needs a place on the balance sheet: Productive soils for agriculture, stable weather patterns and clean air and water are invaluable. We can't keep the value of these assets invisible any longer.
What Happened in Paris? Outcomes from COP21   Electrification of everything: As the grid gets greener more advocate the need to shift everything to electric power. Here's some perspective of the challenge: 100 million vehicles sold globally in 2015, only 300,000 were electric vehicles.
What Happened in Paris? Outcomes from COP21   Clean technologies are abundant – scale is the issue: Bill Gates talks of an energy miracle, similar to the discovery of vaccines or the internet. Many are betting the technology already exists; we just need to pick one or two and go deep.
What Happened in Paris? Outcomes from COP21   Wiring of the environment: Backpacks on bees to study colony decline to drones that monitor pipeline corridors for spills. The information is cheap, real time and often shared on-line for free. Polluters beware.
For more thoughts and expanded detail on the thoughts above visit: 10 Thoughts from Globe. RBC was an active participant and sponsor of Globe.

Smart Prosperity Launches at the GLOBE Conference in Vancouver

On March 1st in Vancouver, Canadians from all parts of society: business, resources, cleantech, youth, Indigenous people, researchers, environmental groups, labour organizations stood together and announced the launch of Smart Prosperity, a cross sectoral initiative with a vision for a stronger cleaner economy that builds a better future for all Canadians. Smart Prosperity outlines five big actions we need to take to boost Canada's competitiveness, accelerate clean innovation and improve environmental performance on pace with the world's leading nations over the next 10 years. RBC is proud to join the Smart Prosperity initiative.

Smart Prosperity launches at the GLOBE Conference in Vancouver"Smart prosperity is about better growth. It's about finding the most efficient ways to produce and share what the world needs. Our economy must revolve around brainpower, technology, trade and the world's greatest trove of natural resources. None can thrive without others, and Canada will suffer without each"

John Stackhouse, Senior Vice-President Office of the CEO, RBC


The Official Launch of our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report

We have officially launched our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report. This report showcases RBC's sustainability performance in our last fiscal year. Here you will find information about our environmental footprint performance, support for community causes around the world, responsible financing and investments, and much more. If you like data, there is plenty of it. In 2015, RBC:

  Conducted 1,262 detailed environmental credit risk assessments with a value of $8.2 billion
  Managed $4.3 billion of socially responsible investments
  Donated $70.6 million to charities globally
  Invested $628 million (US$) in affordable housing through the RBC Capital Markets Tax Credit Equity Group in the United States
  Achieved target to double the amount of LEED certified office space we occupy

For more highlights and to see our progress against targets, check out the full report.
  The Official Launch of our 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report

Calling all Architecture, Engineering and Design Students! Last Call for the Fourth Annual EVOLVE Sustainable Design Competition

Improving the communities in which we live and work has always been important to RBC. Originally launched back in 2012, the EVOLVE Sustainable Design Competition challenges students in architecture, engineering and design programs across Canada to design sustainable buildings of the future. This annual competition offers a new challenge to participating students each year. What's the challenge this year? To design a net-zero energy and water-wise mixed-use mid-rise building. But here's the interesting part: wood has to be the primary construction material in the design. The choice of wood reflects the recent amendments to the Ontario Building Code that now permits 5 and 6-storey wood construction. First prize is $5,000. Know someone who should take part? Click here for more competition information. Register before April 15th!

Calling all Architecture, Engineering and Design Students!

Youth Engaging Youth in Conversations about a Sustainable Future

Youth Engaging Youth in Conversations about a Sustainable FutureWe believe it's important to provide youth with the support to think critically and take action on sustainability. As part of Learning for a Sustainable Future, The Our Canada Project is designed to engage youth in conversations about the future and their vision for a sustainable Canada. Created by youth, the program asks participants to take action on their vision and share their learnings with others. Over the past year, 26 schools across Canada have received project funding, engaging 12,000 students and 650 teachers on a series of topics including outdoor classroom building, gardens and native species planting, waste management, and ecological monitoring. In 2016, the program focus is on youth between the ages of 15-30, and the development of employability skills through youth leadership forums across Canada. RBC has been a proud supporter of The Our Canada Project since 2012.


Upcoming Events

Earth Day
April 22, Worldwide
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.

Tech Leadership Conference
May 12, Waterloo
Technology is forcing society to answer big questions. Come to connect with the Waterloo Region tech community, explore shifts in the marketplace and see where the world is headed. RBC is an Enabler sponsor of this event.
More event info >>

US SIF Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment
May 23-25, Washington DC
The US SIF Annual Conference offers a unique opportunity to network with leaders of sustainable, responsible and impact investing, to hear from leading investors, CEOs and policymakers, and to learn about new approaches, trends and policy developments in the field. RBC is a Prime level sponsor.
More event info >>

Action Entrepreneurship Canadian Summit
May 30-31, Toronto
More than 300 young entrepreneurs and leaders from across Canada will bring their ideas, energy and ambitions to the 2016 Action Entrepreneurship Canadian Summit. RBC is a Region Building sponsor.
More event info >>

2016 RIA Conference
June 6-7, Toronto
Canada's national conference on socially and environmentally responsible investing. RBC is a Platinum Sponsor of the 2016 RIA Conference.
More event info >>

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