Poll: North Americans rank forests as natural areas most in need of protection
Supports paper usage reduction of 20% by 2015
TORONTO, April 13, 2012 /CNW/ - With more than 90 per cent of North Americans identifying forests as natural areas in need of protection, TD Bank Group (TD), an environmental leader in the North American banking sector, today announced a major forest conservation initiative - TD Forests.
TD Forests will bring together the bank's longstanding community programs relating to forest conservation and education under one canopy. The initiative will also include a major conservation program to protect critical forest habitat across North America. This will be linked to TD's commitment to reduce its paper usage by at least 20% by 2015 - customers have told the bank that paper reduction is important to them. Through TD Forests, the bank will also protect forested areas equivalent to the paper it uses.
"The approach we're taking with TD Forests is very much part of our goal of embedding an environmental perspective into our business," says Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer, TD Bank Group. "TD Forests is built on the twin pillars of reduce and grow - reduce paper use and grow the area of protected forest habitat."
In 2010 TD became the first North American-based bank to become carbon neutral and has leveraged that commitment to transform its facilities. This has included opening net zero energy retail outlets and introducing innovative green product options. In a similar manner, TD Forests will address customer demand for more paperless product offerings, will reduce business expenses and will benefit the environment.
TD has formed an innovative partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and its conservation partners to increase the area of protected forest habitat across TD's North American business footprint in Canada and the eastern United States at a rate equivalent to the amount of paper it uses - that's roughly two football fields of forest each and every day.
"Forests are an iconic symbol of our North American story and essential to the health of our planet. The lungs of the earth, they play a vital role in cleaning the air and moderating temperatures, and they're critical habitats for plants and wildlife," says John Lounds, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. "Even a forest the size of a football field has a tremendous impact on the air we breathe and on moderating our climate. It can provide a day's oxygen for more than 1,000 people and also absorb the carbon dioxide. That's why forest conservation is so important. "
In a recent survey, more than 70 per cent of people identified air quality as the greatest benefit provided by forests and nearly 90 per cent indicated concern over the quality of the air we breathe and over the loss of natural areas and wildlife habitat.
TD's environmental roots are deep. The bank has been involved in environmental conservation, education and volunteering for more than 20 years.
- Since 1990, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) has supported more than 20,000 local environmental projects. Almost 80 per cent of the $3.6 million that TD FEF provided to organizations in 2011 went to fund educational, conservation, and biodiversity initiatives
- TD Tree Days was introduced in 2010. During the first two years of the program TD volunteers planted more than 46,000 trees across Canada. In 2011, the program was expanded to the U.S. This year more than 40,000 trees will be planted in North America through the program
- Since 2010, TD has provided nearly $1 million in matching grants to municipalities, Aboriginal communities and business improvement associations through TD Green Streets, a national program that supports innovative practices in urban forestry
During the first five years of the program, TD Forests will focus on three areas:
- Business commitment - to radically reduce paper usage in products, services and business operations
- Community commitments - to greening urban environments, forest protection, biodiversity and education
- Volunteerism - dedicated to employee initiatives such as TD Tree Days, the bank's flagship volunteer initiative
"Our business commitment is to create value, provide great service to our customers and engage our employees. Our commitment to the environment is an integral part of that," says Mike Pedersen, Group Head, Wealth Management, Insurance and Corporate Shared Services, TD Bank Group, and the bank's senior executive champion for the environment. "Through initiatives like this one, we will enhance customer choice, while building on our employee and community commitments and benefiting the environment."
About the TD Forests Survey
The survey was conducted by Environics Research Group on behalf of TD Bank Group from February 10 to 28, 2012. The online survey is based on a randomly selected sample of 1,504 Canadians and 1,502 Americans living within TD's operational footprint.
About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 21.5 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Auto Finance Canada; Wealth and Insurance, including TD Waterhouse, an investment in TD Ameritrade, and TD Insurance; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, and TD Auto Finance U.S.; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with approximately 8 million online customers. TD had CDN$774 billion in assets on January 31, 2012.The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.
About TD Friends of the Environment Foundation:
Since 1990, TD FEF has provided more than $57 million in funding to more than 20,000 grassroots environment and wildlife projects across Canada. In 2011, TD FEF provided more than $3.6 million in support of 1,058 projects. Thousands of donors give to TD FEF on a monthly basis and TD Bank Group contributes in excess of $1 million annually. TD also covers the management costs of running TD FEF, which guarantees 100 per cent of every dollar donated goes directly to funding environment and wildlife projects in the community where the donation was made. For more information on how to donate and get involved in your community, visit www.tdfef.com.
About the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2.6 million acres (one million hectares), coast to coast. To learn more visit: www.natureconservancy.ca.
For further information:
TD Bank Group
(416) 983 1254