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RBC kicks off Blue Water Year on World Water Day


Donations of $235,000 on their way to 52 organizations

TORONTO — RBC will mark World Water Day (March 22) by sending cheques totaling $235,000 to 52 community-based organizations across North America. These donations, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, are part of the RBC Blue Water Project, a 10-year, $50 million philanthropic commitment to supporting organizations that protect watersheds and ensure access to clean drinking water.

World Water Day 2009 also marks the kick-off for an entire year of RBC Blue Water Project initiatives. Earlier this week, RBC released the 2009 Canadian Water Attitudes Study with Unilever Canada, which found that Canadians think water is the country’s most valuable resource.

Here are some other highlights coming in the year ahead:

* March 20: RBC will host a “clean water quiz” until the end of April.

* April 15 to September 7: RBC will sponsor the Montreal Science Centre’s Aqua exhibit created by the ONE DROP Foundation, an initiative of Guy Laliberté— founder of Cirque du Soleil. Music, sound, lighting, 360-degree projections and installations will create a voyage into the world of water. Tickets go on sale March 23.

* April 22: RBC will release a set of environmental guidelines for its employees and operations worldwide, including information on how to reduce the company’s water footprint.

* July: RBC will announce its 2009 Leadership Grant recipients, expected to total more than $1.5 million. RBC received 159 applications earlier in March for these grants, which will range from $25,000 to $500,000. Short-listing is currently in progress.

* October: RBC will support a national lecture series with the Canadian Museum of Nature called “Voices: A Canadian Perspective on Water”, including a traveling exhibition called

* Canada’s Waterways: yours to enjoy, explore and protect" that will visit 15 cities over 5 years.

* October: RBC will release an economics report assessing the financial value of water in Canada, in order to support better water management decision-making at municipal, provincial and federal levels.

The Community Action Grants being donated today are added to a growing list of RBC Blue Water Project grant recipients announced since 2007. To date, RBC has now donated or committed more than $16 million in grants to 119 organizations worldwide. Local or community organizations in Canada, the United States or the Caribbean may apply for Community Action Grants all year long.

RBC is recognized among the world’s financial, social and environmental leaders and 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. RBC is among 67 companies and one of only 18 financial institutions worldwide named to the 2008 Global Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index. In 2007, RBC released the RBC Environmental Blueprint, the company’s approach to lending responsibly, reducing the intensity of its operations and developing environmental products and services. RBC contributed $99 million to community causes worldwide in 2008, through donations of more than $51.5 million, and an additional $47.5 million in sponsorship of community events.

For more information on the RBC Blue Water Project, as well as grant guidelines and application forms, visit


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