Environmentally Responsible General Meeting: Another Gesture Towards Changing the World...



    Desjardins once again demonstrates its commitment to sustainable
    development

    LEVIS, QC, March 27 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of its Change the World, One
Step at a Time campaign and in keeping with its commitment to sustainable
development, Desjardins will be holding environmentally friendly Annual
General Meetings this weekend. The cooperative institution is thus committed
to reducing as much waste as possible and to planting trees to compensate for
greenhouse gases generated by the 2,000 people traveling to attend this major
event.
    Desjardins was the first organization to support the Change the World,
One Step at a Time campaign, launched by Equiterre on behalf of citizens, and
adopt 12 corporate actions to generate sustainable spinoffs throughout Québec
and Ontario.
    This year's environmentally friendly event has four objectives for the
Change the World, One Step at a Time campaign, namely: reductions at source
and residual waste management, compensation for greenhouse gas generated by
participants traveling to attend the Meeting, surplus food redistribution and
activities to raise awareness among Desjardins officers and employees with
respect to sustainable development issues.

    Greenhouse Gas Offsets

    Those who attend the Desjardins Annual General Meetings come from all
regions of Québec and Ontario. Most of them must travel by car, which produces
carbon monoxide (CO(2)), a greenhouse gas. Desjardins has established systems
to calculate the volume of gas emissions as accurately as possible, and has
mandated Corporation Saint-Laurent with the task of planting trees to offset
these emissions.

    Residual Waste Management

    In addition, organizing such an event inevitably involves the use of a
variety of materials, many of which are recyclable. The Québec City Convention
Centre residual waste management system will allow participants to deposit all
glass, aluminium, plastic, paper and cardboard into designated bins, which
will be placed in various places throughout the Convention Centre. Moreover,
the use of durable dishware will contribute actively to reducing the use of
disposable dishware, which represents a major source of waste production at
these types of events.
    In addition, Desjardins has formed a partnership with Tablée des chefs,
which is responsible for arranging the redistribution of surplus food with
Moisson Québec. Surplus food is to be delivered to Maison de Lauberivière, a
drop-in centre, temporary shelter and social rehabilitation centre for
individuals experiencing difficulties within the Québec City area.
    "Changing the world one step at a time is not an act of piety but a solid
commitment that demonstrates our willingness to rethink our management
practices in order to contribute to social and environmental improvements,"
stated Mr. Alban D'Amours, Desjardins Group President and CEO.
    Desjardins Group has signed on with the United Nations' UNEP Statement by
Financial Institutions on the Environment and Sustainable Development.

    About Desjardins Group

    The largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada, with global
assets of over $144 billion as at December 31, 2007, Desjardins Group consists
of a network of caisses/branches, credit unions and financial centres for
Québec- and Ontario-based companies, as well as about 20 subsidiaries in life
and general insurance, securities, venture capital, and asset management, many
of which are active nationwide. With the skills of its 40,000 employees and
the commitment of more than 6,500 elected officers, Desjardins offers its
5.8 million members and clients-individuals and businesses alike-a full range
of financial products and services. Its physical distribution network is
rounded out by virtual access methods supported by leading-edge technology.
For more information, visit www.desjardins.com.




For further information:

For further information: (for journalists only): André Chapleau,
Information and Media Relations Director, (514) 281-7229, 1-866-866-7000, ext.
7229, andre.chapleau@desjardins.com


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