Environmental Sustainability

We believe money isn’t the only thing worth saving

As Canada’s largest bank and one of the largest banks in the world based on market capitalization, we recognize that we have an impact on the communities where we live and work. We are committed to proactive and prudent management of the environmental aspects of our business. As the number and complexity of global environmental issues grow, we continue to focus our efforts on relevant issues that can create risks or opportunities, including:

  • Climate change – climate change presents environmental, social and financial challenges and opportunities to the global economy, human health and our own business and operations.
  • Water – water shortages and lack of access to clean, fresh water are considered to be two of the largest threats to human health and economic development around the world.
  • Sustainable communities – a sustainable community integrates and complements the natural environment through the appropriate management of land use, urban design, energy and water use, air quality, transportation, waste reduction, economic development and natural habitats.
  • RBC has a long history of environmental leadership dating back to 1991 when we launched our first corporate environmental policy. Our strategic approach to environmental sustainability is described in our corporate environmental strategy, the RBC Environmental Blueprint®. This is our roadmap and includes our corporate environmental policy, priorities and 42 commitments and targets. In the Blueprint, we set out the following priorities to help address the environmental issues outlined above.

Our priorities:

  • Environmental footprint reduction
  • Risk management
  • Sustainable financial products and services
  • Promotion of environmental sustainability

Our Luxembourg headquarters, Esch Belval has been operational since 2006 and is part of a project aimed at the regeneration and development of a former industrial site in Luxembourg.

  • Since 2008, Esch Belval has been awarded the Ecolabel. The Ecolabel is an acknowledged award for environmentally correct waste management in companies in Luxembourg which is granted by the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry for Sustainable Development.
  • Ongoing initiatives to reduce energy and paper consumption and promote recycling include:
    • 17 water fountains have been installed to promote the consumption of local water and reduce the purchase of plastic bottles, length of tap water use has been reduced by 53% (from 15 seconds to 7 seconds).
    • Office lighting systems use light sensors and/or occupancy detectors, electronic sun-tracking system automatically open and close blinds based on weather conditions.
    • Double-sided printing by default has been set up on all printer. The paper we purchase comes from sustainable forests and the weight of paper purchased has been reduced from 80g to 75g.
    • All paper, plastic, cans and glass can be recycled, any organic waste goes to bio-waste and all residual waste is thermal recycled. Battery recycling is also available.
  • RBC I&TS’ landlord at Esch Belval has initiated a BREEAM certification of the building. BREEAM is the world's leading sustainability assessment method for master-planning projects, infrastructure and buildings and the assessment process evaluates the procurement, design, construction and operation of a development against targets that are based on performance benchmarks.

Since 2009 RBC I&TS’ Toronto headquarters has been RBC Centre. RBC Centre has the distinction of being certified in 2012 as one of the largest LEED Gold for new Construction, and LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors project in Canada. LEED is a voluntary standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.

To obtain Gold certification, the building’s design and RBC’s interior space incorporated a number of features including deep lake cooling, power conservation through indirect lighting and lighting sensors, light shelves that reflect natural light deep inside the building, use of Energy Star appliances, diversion of over 75% of interior construction waste from landfill, over 20% of the materials used to construct the interior space were made of recycled content, and a storage facility for bicycles.

At RBC, we are reducing our environmental impact as a whole by choosing to lease or build office space certified to green building standards, including the predominant North American green building standard, LEED. This year we achieved our Environmental Blueprint target of occupying over 350,000 m2 of LEED Gold certified office space, three years ahead of schedule. In 2015, our offices worldwide occupied 427,937 m2 of LEED certified office space, and 72.6% of our major properties (facilities with an area greater than 2,320 m2) globally are LEED certified.

Learn More

2017 Corporate Citizenship Report (see page 15)  PDF
About Governance and Integrity at RBC  PDF
2017 Corporate Citizenship Report (see page 68)  PDF
About Environmental Sustainability  PDF
RBC Blue Water  URL