RBC Launches $50 Million Blue Water Project and Unveils Global Environmental Blueprint



    Largest Charitable Commitment in Company's History

    TORONTO, Oct. 24 /CNW/ - RBC today announced the creation of the RBC Blue
Water Project(TM), an innovative 10-year, $50 million grant program to support
projects dedicated to water conservation, watershed protection, access to
clean drinking water, and other water-related issues in Canada and around the
world. This is the largest charitable commitment ever in the company's
history.
    "Lack of access to clean fresh water is considered to be one of the major
threats to human health and economic development around the world. The demands
on this limited resource continue to grow, even in Canada, where we have one
of the world's largest supplies of freshwater," said Gordon Nixon, president
and CEO, RBC. "This is an urgent global humanitarian crisis, and is becoming
an economic crisis, in both developed and developing nations, if industries
that need fresh water for their operations can't find it."

    
    The RBC Blue Water Project will have three grant streams:

    -  Visionary Grants: multi-year grants to global organizations that show
       vision, foresight and innovation to support programs around the world,
       and within Canada;
    -  Leadership Grants: annual grants given to organizations that are
       leaders in providing regional programs within North America,
       determined through a 'request for proposal' process; and
    -  Community Action Grants: ongoing grants given to community-based
       organizations in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean to
       support local water conservation projects.
    

    To kick off the RBC Blue Water Project, RBC will announce its first grant
recipient on October 29. Then, a panel of experts will be assembled to develop
the overall granting strategy and guidelines. The RBC Blue Water Project will
be fully operational in April, 2008.
    RBC today also unveiled its Environmental Blueprint(TM) that formalizes
the company's longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability.
    The Blueprint includes RBC's commitments to reduce its environmental
footprint and outlines how the company will approach new and emerging
environmental issues in its business activities.
    "RBC introduced its first environmental policy 15 years ago, and since
then, we have worked to reduce our footprint and integrate environmental
sustainability into activities such as lending and procurement," said Mr.
Nixon. "This Environmental Blueprint builds on our past efforts formalizing
RBC's global policy and priorities, and provides a roadmap to guide our future
actions."
    The RBC Environmental Blueprint includes the company's revised
environmental policy, originally drafted in 1991, and takes into consideration
new and emerging issues related to climate change, biodiversity, forests, the
rights of indigenous peoples and water. RBC consulted a number of
environmental organizations in the development of the Blueprint, including
WWF-Canada and The Ethical Funds Company.
    "We appreciate the input provided by these and other stakeholders, and
acknowledge that our Blueprint is a living document that we will need to
continue to review and adapt over time," said Mr. Nixon.
    RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental
leaders. In 2007, RBC was named Canada's Best Corporate Citizen, 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. In 2007, Newsweek magazine ranked RBC first among large
corporations worldwide for its ability to manage environmental risks and
opportunities. RBC contributed more than $83 million to community causes
worldwide in 2006, through donations of more than $42 million, and an
additional $41 million in sponsorship of community events and organizations.
The company produces an annual Corporate Responsibility Report outlining its
sustainability performance.
    For more information on RBC Environmental Blueprint and The World and
Water, please click on the links, or visit www.rbc.com/environment.





For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Beja Rodeck, (416) 974-5506


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