October 8, 2007

Nature Conservancy to benefit from RBC incentives for environmentally friendly banking

A "Make a statement with your statement" campaign launched by RBC Royal Bank for its clients in Canada aims to raise up to $1 million for the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC) wilderness protection and stewardship programs.

Under the program, RBC will donate five dollars to the NCC every time an account holder switches to more environmentally-friendly on-line eStatements for designated personal banking, line of credit or credit card accounts. The bank reports that clients who have already chosen eStatements over paper statements helped save approximately 20 tonnes of paper last year alone, translating to about 220 megawatt-hours of energy and a five-tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

At the same time, RBC is also introducing its "Grow an Energy-Efficient Home" campaign, specifically designed to help clients undertake environmentally sound home renovations. This program will make new RBC Homeline plan clients eligible for a $300 rebate towards a home energy audit and will give them a chance to win $25,000. These programs are part of a series of environment-oriented financial options and incentives designed to enable RBC's clients to bank and help the environment at the same time.

Other initiatives include a $50 donation to the NCC for every hybrid vehicle financed through RBC Royal Bank and a $25 discount for Ontario and Alberta residents who wish to purchase renewable power through Bullfrog Power.

The NCC said the contributions coming from RBC and its clients through these new initiatives will help the organization protect more than 100 natural properties across Canada this year, totalling an estimated 100,000 acres of ecologically significant land. It will also help NCC expand its current land stewardship program, Conservation Volunteers, into a national program, helping to preserve nature's great places for future generations.

"To my knowledge, this is the most significant single contribution to land conservation by a financial institution in Canada," said NCC president and CEO John Lounds.

The enhanced funding support will enable the NCC to build on its work by helping to save important natural properties such as BC's Ogilvie Ranch in the Cariboo region, Nova Scotia's Deep Cove and Ontario's Rice Lake Plains area on the Oak Ridges Moraine. All of these are designated as priority areas on a science-based list compiled by the NCC.

The expansion of the Conservation Volunteers stewardship program across the country will offer many more Canadians hands-on opportunities to join NCC experts in caring for ecologically significant properties. Volunteers help with the long-term maintenance of NCC sites by participating in a wide range of land stewardship activities.

The non-profit NCC works to protect Canada's natural habitats by building partnerships and develop creative conservation measures with individuals, corporations, community groups, conservation groups and government bodies. Since 1962, NCC and its supporters have helped to protect close to two million acres (765,000 hectares) of ecologically significant land across Canada. More information is available on the NCC Web site, www.natureconservancy.ca.

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