Equiterre and Desjardins Group join forces to Change the world, one step at a time



    MONTREAL, Oct. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Equiterre is pleased to announce the
participation of Desjardins Group in its "Change the world, one step at a
time" campaign for a fairer, more ecological world. By choosing to become
actively involved in the Companies and Organizations arm of Equiterre's
campaign, Desjardins becomes the first organization to develop 12 corporate
actions that will have concrete effects on the three areas of sustainable
development throughout Québec and Ontario.

    Commitment to Sustainable Development

    Beginning at the Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec, and
continuing in the caisse/branch network and its other components, Desjardins
is implementing concrete measures to, among other things, minimize business
trips and fuel consumption; encourage responsible purchasing and local
agriculture; promote fair trade coffee consumption; improve its buildings and
equipment to make them more environmentally responsible; redistribute surplus
food; and encourage social commitment from its employees.
    "Our support for the Change the world, one step at a time awareness
campaign fits perfectly into our sustainable development policy. This
initiative, like all the others begun over the past few years, such as the
Paper Challenge, the Eco-friendly Statement Challenge, or even the
organization of eco-responsible events, is proof of our willingness to rethink
our management practices to contribute to social and environmental
improvement," said Pauline D'Amboise, General Secretary of Desjardins Group.
    "With its 5.8 million members, Desjardins is a source of inspiration and
pride for Québec. When the heads of a large financial institution commit
themselves to more responsible consumption, we are witnessing a major
collective change. Some steps will require considerable effort; hats off to
Desjardins for their determination," said Sidney Ribaux, Co-founder and
General Coordinator of Equiterre.

    Challenge Extended

    Inspired by the Change the world, one step at a time campaign, which has
been held since 2004, Equiterre is now encouraging corporate citizens to make
public commitments that will reduce negative environmental impacts and promote
fair trade. "Desjardins' commitment proves that it is possible," reiterated
Sidney Ribaux.
    Since 2004, thousands of citizens have answered Equiterre's call and
committed themselves to changing some of their ways and choosing to take up to
12 different steps to contribute to a fairer, more united world by reducing
their energy consumption, finding alternative means of transportation, buying
local and fair trade products, and becoming involved in their community.

    For more information on Equiterre's campaign, visit www.equiterre.org.
    To follow the progress of Desjardins' commitments, visit
    www.desjardins.com/sustainabledevelopment.

    About Equiterre

    In keeping with its name, Equiterre, "an equitable earth", is dedicated
to building a citizens' movement by promoting individual and collective
choices that are both environmentally and socially responsible. Through its
four programs - ecological agriculture, fair trade, sustainable transportation
and energy efficiency - the organization has developed projects that encourage
individuals to take concrete actions that bring about positive change. All of
Equiterre's projects are backed by solid expertise, built on the latest
developments in the related fields.

    About Desjardins Group

    Desjardins Group is the largest integrated cooperative financial group in
Canada, with overall assets of more than $143 billion, as at June 30, 2007. It
comprises a network of caisses, credit unions and business centres in Québec
and Ontario, and some twenty subsidiary companies in life and general
insurance, securities brokerage, venture capital and asset management, many of
which are active across the country. Drawing on the expertise of its 40,000
employees and the commitment of nearly 6,800 elected officers, Desjardins
offers its 5.8 million individual and corporate members and clients a full
range of financial products and services. Its physical distribution network is
complemented by leading-edge virtual access methods. To find out more, consult
www.desjardins.com.




For further information:

For further information: (for journalists only): Amélie Ferland,
Equiterre, (514) 522-2000 ext. 234, (514) 792-5222, aferland@equiterre.qc.ca;
André Chapleau, Desjardins Group, (514) 281-7229, 1-866-866-7000 ext. 7229,
andre.chapleau@desjardins.com


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