TORONTO, June 10, 2010 RBC today announced the first wave of its 2010 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grant recipients. Twenty-two organizations, selected from 161 applicants from around the world, will share more than $2 million in grants for programs that help protect watersheds and improve access to clean drinking water. RBC will announce additional grants in the next few weeks.
"Water is one of the world's most precious natural resources, and we are truly impressed by how passionately these organizations care about protecting and preserving water," said Gordon M. Nixon, president and CEO, RBC. "Their work is critical to the protection of our continent's valuable water resources, and we are proud to support them in their efforts."
RBC's funding will support a range of projects from wetland and shoreline restoration to water quality monitoring and sharing of sustainable water management practices in agricultural regions.
"This year, we noticed a significant change in the focus of projects for which organizations were requesting funds," said Rob de Loë, professor and University Research Chair in Water Policy and Governance, University of Waterloo, and chair of the RBC Blue Water Project Advisory Panel. "In the first two years, a majority of the programs we funded were dedicated to public education and awareness. This year, we saw an increased number of strong applications for on-the-ground projects that will restore and reclaim riparian zones such as the shorelines of rivers, streams and lakes. I'm confident that our 22 finalists will make a demonstrable difference in the health of their local watersheds."
Tomorrow, RBC celebrates its first ever 'RBC Blue Water Day': a series of events and activities in communities and 1,200 branches across Canada to celebrate the work of some of the 200 RBC Blue Water Project grant recipients. Approximately 77,000 employees in 54 countries will also mark the day by wearing blue to raise awareness about the value and vulnerability of our water resources.
RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2009-2010 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the DJSI North American Index. RBC has been named one of Canada's Greenest Employers, one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers, one of Canada's 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations and one of the Best Workplaces in Canada. In 2009, RBC contributed more than $105 million to community causes worldwide, through donations of more than $52.6 million, and an additional $52.5 million in sponsorship of community events and national organizations.
The RBC Blue Water Project is a 10-year, $50 million philanthropic commitment to supporting organizations that protect watersheds and ensure access to clean drinking water in Canada and abroad. Since 2007, RBC has committed more than $24 million in single and multi-year grants to 285 organizations, including the 22 announced today and $1.4 million recently announced to the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Canadian Geographic Society.
Applications for the 2011 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grants are due in March 2011. Applications for Community Action Grants are accepted year-round. For more information on the RBC Blue Water Project, as well as grant guidelines and application forms, visit www.rbc.com/bluewater.
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For a full list of recipients go to: www.rbc.com/newsroom/pdf/2010BWP-Grant-recipients.pdf
Note: Financial references in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.