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An update from RBC Corporate Sustainability Group September 2013

New and Notable

Designing the Sustainable Sports Institute of the Future

Evolve Sustainable Design CompetitionRBC and B+H are proud to announce the launch of the 2nd annual Evolve Sustainable Design Competition for university students in Canada. This year, Evolve challenges students to design a net-zero energy and water-wise sports institute. The winning team will receive a cash prize of $5,000, with runner-up prizes of $3,500 and $1,500. In addition, each winning team will receive a matching RBC donation to their university. Last year, Evolve challenged university students to design a sustainable bank branch that incorporated innovative yet practical concepts for achieving extreme energy efficiency, included renewable power systems and minimized the branch's water use. For details on last year’s winners and to register for this year’s competition visit: Evolve Sustainable Design Competition.

Want to Support Clean Technology? Take a Trip to MaRS

MaRS Cleantech FundThe MaRS Cleantech Fund is considered Canada’s most active early-stage cleantech venture fund. Launched in 2012, the Fund aims to provide early-stage funding to companies developing next-generation clean technology breakthroughs. This made the fund a natural choice for the first official investment of $500,000 by the RBC Generator. The RBC Generator, the impact investing arm of RBC’s Social Finance initiative, provides financing for enterprises that address clean water, energy efficiency or employment opportunities for youth or disadvantaged groups. Clean technology or cleantech represents a diverse range of products, services and processes, all intended to provide superior performance at lower costs, while greatly reducing or eliminating negative ecological impact, and improving the responsible use of natural resources.

Over 500 Organizations and Counting

More than $2.3 Million in Water Funding Announced

Having passed the half-way point of the RBC Blue Water Project, we thought it would be a good time to celebrate and report on the impact of our more than 500 RBC Blue Water Project grants, so we launched Ripple Effect. This five-year summary report recognizes the organizations that work tirelessly to care for our world’s most precious natural resource. A snapshot of some of the funding highlights:

  • 196 programs dedicated to water quality restoration
  • 136 programs that reduce water consumption
  • 97 organizations that help restore shorelines
  • 52 programs dedicated to improving stormwater management systems
  • 44 programs that support aboriginal water issues
  • 36 programs that help farmers
  • $36 million committed to organizations that protect and preserve water
  • $6 million in additional pledges to universities for water programs


Equator Principles III are here!

Equator Principles III are here!Launched in 2003, the Equator Principles (EPs) are a voluntary framework for financial institutions to identify, assess, manage and mitigate environmental and social risks in projects. Revised EPs (EP III) were issued earlier this year and include the following significant changes from the previous version:

  • Extension of the EPs to project-related corporate loans and bridge loans
  • New requirements related to managing impacts on climate
  • Greater emphasis on human rights considerations
  • A strengthening of reporting and transparency requirements
  • Alignment with the recently updated International Finance Corporation Performance Standards
Currently there are nearly 80 financial institutions in 35 countries that have officially adopted the EPs. RBC was the first Canadian bank to sign the EPs in 2003 and we have recommitted to the revised EP III. For more visit: RBC Responsible Finance

Still Rocking the Sustainability Ratings!

Dow Jones Sustainability World IndexFor the 14th consecutive year, RBC has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, an annual review that recognizes the world's financial, social and environmental corporate leaders. RBC was also named to the DJSI North America Index. These indices list leading companies that create long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks stemming from economic, environmental and social developments. They track the financial performance of leading sustainability-driven companies. The annual review influences the investment decisions of asset managers who use the DJSI family as objective benchmarks for sustainability portfolios.

Upcoming Events

2013 Social Enterprise World Forum
October 2-4, Calgary
SEWF will bring together 1,200 individuals from more than 30 countries that share a dedication to resolving the world’s most complex and confounding social challenges. RBC is sponsoring the participation of a group of young entrepreneurs at the event. Sandra Odendahl, RBC Director of Corporate Sustainability, will be speaking at the event.
More event info >

Sustainability in Golf…Beyond the Green
October 3-4, Hilton Head, SC
Hosted by Experience Green, the event seeks to educate, inspire and engage the golf community on its sustainability journey. RBC is a sponsor of the event and Andrew Craig, RBC Senior Manager Environmental Initiatives, will be speaking at the event.
More event info >

Global Cleantech 100 Summit and Gala
October 9-10, Washington, DC
The Global Cleantech 100 Gala brings leading entrepreneurs together with the corporations, government leaders, investors and service providers who are shaping the future of clean technology innovation. RBC is a sponsor of the gala.
More event info >

WWF Panda Ball
October 18, Toronto
For the third year, RBC is the Presenting Sponsor of the Panda Ball in Canada, a gala event that will bring together visionaries from the philanthropic and business communities who are leading the next generation of conservation for a living planet.
More event info >

Breakthrough Capitalism
November 7, Toronto
Hosted at MaRS, this event will explore the importance of system-level change in three work streams: Accountants will save the world, Making it personal, and Food. RBC is a sponsor of this event.
More event info >

Breakthrough Cities
November 8, Toronto
Hosted at BrickWorks, this event explores how tomorrow’s cities might evolve, operate and be influenced – and how they can be future-proofed in good time. RBC is a sponsor of this event.
More event info >

Pollution Probe Annual Gala
November 19, Toronto
This not-to-miss annual gala brings together approximately 400 to 500 leaders and enablers for an evening of networking and celebration under the theme of “Coming Together”. RBC is a sponsor of the gala.
More event info >

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