RBC announces $10 million commitment to ONE DROP Foundation
Gordon Nixon, president and CEO of RBC, today announced a $10 million, 10-year donation to support the ONE DROP Foundation. With this donation, the largest ever given to a single organization in the history of the company, RBC becomes a founding corporate partner of ONE DROP.
Established by Guy Laliberté, the founder of Cirque du Soleil, ONE DROP is dedicated to fighting poverty in the world by giving everyone access to water. RBC’s funding will help kick-start a ONE DROP program in Honduras, with future funds to be directed towards projects in Canada and around the world.
“We want to mobilize people everywhere in the world to find sustainable solutions to the problem of access to water and to adopt better practices for the use of this precious resource,” said Laliberté. “I am personally thrilled to have RBC involved as our founding corporate partner, to help us spread the important message at home and abroad. No one can remain indifferent when we know that at least every eight seconds, a child dies from a disease caused by drinking contaminated water.”
“We’re proud that ONE DROP is the first grant recipient from our RBC Blue Water Project,” said Nixon. “It is a privilege to be at the starting gate with such an exciting, innovative organization. We fully intend to mobilize our resources-our people, our brand, and our branches around the world - to support this cause as well.”
The RBC commitment to ONE DROP is the inaugural grant, officially kicking off the new RBC Blue Water Project. Announced last week, the RBC Blue Water Project is a $50 million, ten-year commitment to support charitable organizations dedicated to finding global solutions to the water crisis. RBC will provide grants to charitable organizations working in the areas of water access, conservation, protection and education in Canada and around the world.
In order to ensure that the company’s grants are meaningful and significant, RBC will convene an international advisory panel in January 2008 comprising water experts, academics, and community and aboriginal leaders to provide due diligence in finalizing RBC’s funding priorities and guidelines. The guidelines and priorities recommended by the panel, and the process for applications will be made public in April 2008. Applications are not being solicited until April 2008.
“This represents a new focus area for RBC, and it reflects our concern for both the humanitarian and economic implications of global water shortages,” said Stephen Voisin, executive director, RBC Foundation. “Access to water is one of the planet’s most pressing issues. Over a billion people do not have access to water in sufficient quantity or adequate quality. Almost half of the world’s population drinks untreated water.”
RBC contributed more than $83 million to community causes worldwide in 2006, through donations of more than $42 million, and an additional $41 million in sponsorship of community events and organizations.
RBC is recognized among the world’s financial, social and environmental leaders. In 2007, RBC was ranked first among large corporations worldwide for its ability to manage environmental risks and opportunities by Newsweek magazine, and was named to the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index. RBC is included on the Dow Jones World and North American Sustainability Indices, the Jantzi Social Index, the FTSE4Good Index, and the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations ranking. In 2007, RBC was named Canada’s Best Corporate Citizen.
The company produces an annual Corporate Responsibility Report outlining its sustainability performance.
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