Desjardins Group, key partner of the David Suzuki Foundation in building
awareness of the stakes of sustainable development

LÉVIS, QC, March 24 /CNW Telbec/ - Desjardins Group is proud to announce the signature of a partnership agreement with the David Suzuki Foundation in support of its activities, in Québec, to raise public awareness of sustainable development.

First, this agreement will bring financial support to the launch of the French version of Doing Business in a New Climate (La Gestion des affaires sous un nouveau climat), developed by the David Suzuki Foundation. This is a how-to guide to help businesses in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and is now available, free of charge, on Web sites of both the Foundation and Desjardins (www.desjardins.com). Other partnership projects will be developed as a complement to Desjardins actions in the field of sustainable development.

Desjardins, already a partner in The Climate Project Canada, through its subsidiary Desjardins General Insurance Group, has, for the past several years, deployed considerable effort to reduce environmental damage caused by its activities, and to obtain the commitment of its members, clients, employees and elected officers in this respect.

For Pauline D'Amboise, Secretary General and Vice-President, Cooperative Support, Desjardins Group, this key partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation simply confirms the Desjardins commitment to continue to advance in the field of sustainable development. "This agreement is part of our sustainable development policy, adopted in 2005, that has given birth to a number of different initiatives. For example, in 2009, Desjardins launched a new line of socially responsible investment funds, SocieTerra Portfolios. Moreover, since March 18, 2010, businesses can take advantage of a new Energy-Efficiency Loan to help them realize their energy efficiency objectives," she said.

Karel Mayrand, director of David Suzuki Foundation Québec, says that Desjardins and the Foundation share common values that make this partnership a natural thing. "The David Suzuki Foundation intends to enter into partnership agreements with organizations that show a true commitment towards sustainable development and that want to accelerate the implementation of a sustainable economy. By joining forces with Desjardins to launch the guide Business in a New Climate, we are giving a tool to businesses that would like to take concrete action against climate change."

About the David Suzuki Foundation

The David Suzuki Foundation works through science and education to develop innovative solutions to protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life, now and for generations to come. An independent, non governmental organization charity, the Foundation is supported with the help of more than 40,000 individual supporters across Canada and around the world. The recent creation of a Montréal office enables the Foundation to have a presence in the two official languages of Canada. To view the David Suzuki Foundation Web site, visit: www.davidsuzuki.qc.ca.

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada and the sixth largest in the world, with assets of $157 billion. Drawing on the strength of its caisse network in Québec and Ontario, and its subsidiaries across Canada, it offers a full range of financial products and services to its 5.8 million members and clients. Desjardins specializes in Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, in Property and Casualty insurance, in Personal Services, in Business and Institutional Services. As one of the largest employers in the country, Desjardins is supported by the skills of its 42,200 employees and the commitment of over 6,200 elected officers. For more information, visit www.desjardins.com.

SOURCE Desjardins Group

For further information: For further information: for journalists only: Caroline Phémius, Advisor, Media Relations, Desjardins Group, (514) 281-7000, 1-800-866-7000, ext. 7646, caroline.phemius@desjardins.com; Catherine Orer, Communications Specialist, David Suzuki Foundation, (514) 679-0821, catherine.orer@davidsuzuki.org


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