Desjardins Group top ten among 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada

TORONTO, June 22 /CNW Telbec/ - For the third year in a row, Desjardins Group, the largest cooperative financial group in the country has been named one of Corporate Knights' 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada, placing 8th overall. This is the first time the Group has broken into the top ten, a remarkable improvement over its 24th spot in 2009.

Desjardins was compared to other Canadian companies for its environmental, social and governance practices. Among the key factors for this year's higher ranking were:

    
    - An increased number of female board members (21.74% up from 17%)
    - CEO compensation is closer in ratio to the lowest-paid employee,
      indicating an enterprise-wide reinvesting of profits and resources
    - An 88th percentile standing for its carbon productivity (Total sales
      divided by tonnes of CO2 emitted).
    

"We are very honoured to be named once again to Corporate Knights' 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada. We are equally proud of our phenomenal result this year," said Chair of the Board, President and CEO, Monique F. Leroux. "For 110 years, Desjardins has been committed to the economic and social well-being of its members, employees and communities. We strive to do what's right, not necessarily what's fashionable, which is what matters most to our members and clients. As such, we have been dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint and strengthening our role in communities across Canada."

Social and economic responsibility has been part of the Desjardins Group's mission since its inception. In 2005, the Group recognized that environmental sustainability was an indelible part of this focus. As such, Desjardins launched the Paper Challenge to encourage employees to be mindful of their paper use. The result has been a 27% reduction in paper consumption within the entire organization. Over the past five years Desjardins has developed products, initiatives and partnerships as part of its ongoing commitment of social responsibility and sustainable development. Most notable are:

    
    - The socially responsible investment funds, SocieTerra Portfolios
    - Collaboration with Équiterre "an equitable earth" as part of its Change
      the world, one step at a time awareness campaign and the implementation
      of "Desjardins' 12 Corporate Actions" that will have concrete effects
      on the three areas of sustainable development
    - The development of an energy efficiency loan designed to help Québec
      businesses who wish to implement energy reducing measures
    - Recent partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation to help develop,
      among other things, the "Doing Business in a New Climate" program in
      Québec.
    

For more information about Desjardins' social responsibility and sustainable development programs, visit www.desjardins.com.

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada and the sixth largest in the world, with assets of more than $165 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.

SOURCE Desjardins Group

For further information: For further information: (for journalists only): Sarah Twomey, Advisor, Media Relations, Desjardins Group, (416) 926-2700, ext. 2015, 1-877-906-5551, ext. 2015


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