Desjardins Group Publishes Its 2007 Social Responsibility and Cooperative Report

    For the first time, Desjardins integrates the Global Reporting
    Initiative (GRI) guidelines  into its report, with necessary
    modifications relating to its cooperative difference

    QUEBEC CITY, March 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Desjardins Group today released its
2007 Social Responsibility and Cooperative Report during its Annual General
    Published under the theme of Difference, Performance and Responsibility,
the report contains a large quantity of information and statistics never
published before, explaining how Desjardins meets its social responsibilities
and expresses its role as a committed cooperative group. This is achieved
through integration of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicators and
other relevant information pertaining to a cooperative enterprise.
    With regard to the cooperative aspect, the report explains how Desjardins
is different from the other financial institutions, owing mainly to its focus
on member services and not on the exploitation of a given market for the
benefit of shareholders. Its democratic nature, commitment towards young
people, distinctive commercial practices, the representativity of its elected
officers, its educational role, its solidarity products, and the $664 million
paid out in dividends to caisse members and as sponsorships, donations and
scholarships, are among numerous examples of this difference.
    Desjardins also demonstrates outstanding performance, having achieved a
record year in 2007, with surplus earnings of $1.1 billion. As the leading
private employer in Québec, these excellent results enable the Group to offer
competitive wages and working conditions to attract and retain qualified
employees. Desjardins also ensures that regions benefit from significant
economic spinoffs, through the purchase of goods and services totalling
approximately $740 million. In this regard, the Group promotes business
relationships with socially responsible suppliers who will follow its own
efforts to integrate sustainable development principles into their practices.
    Finally, Desjardins is also a responsible financial institution. It
prioritizes concrete action in favour of sustainable development, as reflected
in its residual waste management system, its Paper Challenge, its
participation in the Change the World, One Step at a Time program, and its
energy efficiency program. The Group also sets itself apart with its full
range of responsible products and services, such as the Desjardins Environment
Fund, as well as its ease of access and ability to meet the expectations of
its various clienteles. Other activities include efforts to maintain the
well-being of its employees, provide a respectful working environment with
attractive career opportunities and promote diversity and equity in the
    The report is available on the Desjardins Web site at

    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

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,; March 29: Press room at the Québec City
Convention Centre, (418) 649-5218

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