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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 to play."

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 permits.

"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 tonnes.

  • 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 procurement system.

  • 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 2009.

If you would like to register your individual support, visit Earth 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.


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11/05/2009 14:58:29