TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - As Canada's most international bank, Scotiabank today recognized World AIDS Day as part of its commitment to raise awareness about a disease affecting men, women and children across Canada and around the world.
"Scotiabank has been a longstanding and active participant in efforts to support people affected by HIV/AIDS and raise awareness about this terrible disease," said Kaz Flinn, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for Scotiabank. "I am proud of the contribution that Scotiabankers in Canada have made this year to AIDS service organizations across the country through the Scotiabank Bright Future philanthropic program."
In 2012, some of Scotiabank's HIV/AIDS contributions in Canada included:
- Scotiabankers raised $36,000 through participation in the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life. Overall, the 2012 Walk collected approximately $1.5 million in funds and since 1996 has raised about $38 million in support of community-based AIDS organizations across Canada. The 2012 Walk attracted more than 8,000 walkers, participants and spectators at 47 Walk events organized across the country.
- Within its workforce, the Scotiabank Pride Employee Resource Group helps foster an inclusive environment where employees and customers of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender (LGBT) community and their allies feel safe, valued & respected. In September, the Group organized a panel discussion with Scotiabank leaders to talk about the value of allies and showcase the "You Can Play" Foundation, aimed at ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes without regard to sexual orientation in professional and amateur sport.
- Scotiabank, for the fifth year in a row, was the presenting sponsor of the Friends for Life Bike Rally, a Toronto-to-Montreal cycling event which raises money for the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation, Canada's largest direct provider of services and support to men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. The 2012 event involved 400 cyclists and crew and raised $1.3 million. Since its inception in 1999 the Rally has raised $10.4 million.
"We are very pleased to have Scotiabank as the presenting sponsor of the Friends for Life Bike Rally," said Murray Jose, Executive Director of Toronto People With AIDS (PWA) Foundation. "The Bank has demonstrated real commitment for the cause by providing the long-term stability necessary to execute this logistically-complex event year after year. Their support has also added credibility and therefore attracted additional sponsors and over 13,000 individual donors each year. This translates into vital support for PWA and enables us to better meet the needs of men, women and children living with HIV-AIDS."
Internationally, Scotiabank is a proud supporter of the Regional HIV/AIDS Testing Day program. This year the program had more participants than ever before as Scotiabank hosted clinics across 17 countries that provided access to confidential testing and counseling for more than 13,000 people.
Scotiabank's support of local and regional initiatives to raise awareness of the disease is a key component of the Bank's Global HIV/AIDS Strategy aimed at addressing this life-threatening disease.
"Scotiabank has been supporting HIV/AIDS initiatives since 2001 and that led to the development of our Global HIV/AIDS Strategy in 2011," said Ms. Flinn. "Our strategy on HIV/AIDS and supporting pillars builds on the good work that has already been done across our network through the Scotiabank Bright Future program. It also underscores Scotiabank's commitment to the United Nations Global Compact and more specifically, the UN's Millennium Development goal on combating HIV/AIDS."
Scotiabank's Global HIV-AIDS Strategy is formed around three pillars:
- Fighting Stigma and Discrimination: Scotiabank will continue to strengthen and implement workplace best practices in its offices and branches. With more than 81,000 employees in more than 55 countries worldwide, Scotiabank is in a unique position to combat stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS.
- Promoting Awareness and Education: Scotiabank will continue its work in promoting awareness and education on HIV/AIDS and seek out new initiatives with a particular focus on children and youth.
- Contributing Donations and Volunteering: Scotiabank will continue to promote and leverage the work of local grassroots organizations, employee volunteer initiatives and in-kind contributions in countries around the world through its Global Bright Future Program.
To find out more about Scotiabank's Global HIV/AIDS Strategy and other Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives visit www.scotiabank.com/csr.
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $45 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.
For further information:
Deborah Clark, Scotiabank Media Communications, [email protected], 416.933.0646