RBC supports Earth Hour on March 28, 2009
March 18, 2009
RBC today announced it will join thousands of organizations
around the world to support Earth Hour on Saturday, March
28, 2009 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time. Earth Hour is
a global lights-out initiative coordinated by the World Wildlife
Fund (WWF) to encourage people and organizations to be part
of the solution against climate change.
"We are in full support of Earth Hour," said Sandra
Odendahl, director of corporate environmental affairs, RBC.
"RBC is committed to reducing our environmental footprint,
and this is a great way to remind us that we all have a role
RBC employees around the world will be observing Earth Hour.
We also asked our major office building landlords to participate
where possible and have contacted janitorial service providers
to ensure non-essential lighting is turned off in our branches.
However, there will be instances out of our control such as
photocell-powered signs and security lighting in branches
that cannot be turned off. In short, where possible RBC will
turn off lights for Earth Hour where we can and where safety
"We encourage our clients, our employees, and our communities
to consider how their actions effect the environment and challenge
everyone to come up with ways of reducing the size of the
environmental footprint they leave behind," added Odendahl.
During the past few years, RBC has taken several steps to
reduce the intensity of our own operational footprint, including:
- Opened 76 green powered branches in Alberta and Ontario,
powered by over 5,000 MWh of certified "green"
emission-free power, reducing our carbon footprint by 2,095
- Updated the electrical, mechanical and architectural standards
for our Canadian branch network to eliminate excess capacity
and improve energy efficiency.
- Performed lighting retrofits in our Canadian branches
with an estimated energy savings of 463,000 kWh per year,
and associated 80 tonnes GHG emission reduction.
- Initiated a server virtualization program at our data
centres in Ontario, which resulted in the removal of 480
physical servers (270 converted to virtual and 210 decommissioned).
- Launched Energy Smart, an employee program to promote
energy conservation in our branch and office building premises.
- Converted all office paper purchased in Canada and the
United States to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified
sources by eliminating conventional paper from the RBC web-based
- Purchased green power for some of our larger events, including
our annual meeting for shareholders, and employee town halls.
- Integrated green building practices into the RBC Centre,
located in downtown Toronto, scheduled for completion in
If you would like to register your individual support, visit
Hour's registration page.
RBC has received many awards and recognition for its commitment
to environmental sustainability. In 2009, RBC was named one
of the world's top 100 sustainable companies. RBC is also
listed on the 2008-2009 Dow Jones Sustainability Index, recognizing
the world's financial, social and environmental corporate
leaders, as well as the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good
Index. RBC was among 67 companies and one of only 18 financial
institutions worldwide named to the Carbon Disclosure Leadership
Index 2008, a prestigious honour roll of world leaders at
understanding and managing the financial risks and opportunities
resulting from climate change. In 2007, RBC released the RBC
Environmental Blueprint, the company's approach to lending
responsibly, reducing the intensity of its environmental footprint,
and developing environmental products and services.