The Value of Green

Feature Article | March 18, 2011 by Susan Sills

Royal_Bank_of_Canada

“People sometimes don’t understand why banks are interested in environmental sustainability,” says Andrew Craig, senior manager for environmental initiatives at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). “They associate sustainability with building fuel-efficient cars or conserving forests.” RBC’s direct environmental impact, he explains, is related to how we build and operate our retail branches, office towers, and data centers, how we manage and conserve paper, and what steps we take to reduce staff travel.

For example, the new 40-story RBC Centre in Toronto, where the bank is the primary tenant, is certified as LEED Gold by the Canadian Green Building Council Leadership. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of highperformance green buildings.

And not only that: RBC has embarked on sustainability initiatives Canada-wide. In 2010, it launched an Energy Management Plan across its Canadian retail branch network. The multimillion dollar, multiyear plan includes staff training, lighting retrofits, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system efficiency assessments – all aimed to reduce energy consumption. “Once the project is fully implemented, we estimate that we’ll be able to cut our energy footprint in our retail branch network by over 10%,” says Craig.

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