“As our world becomes more urbanized, it’s essential to protect forests and the valuable habitat they represent,” explained Karen Clarke-Whistler, TD’s Chief Environment Officer.
TD Forests has two pillars – forest conservation and paper reduction – and reaches right across the bank, involving employees, customers, communities and our business operations. The conservation component brings together existing programs such as TD Tree Days and TD Green Streets under one leafy canopy. TD Tree Days gives employees a hands-on chance to brandish their green thumbs. This year, we saw more than 6,800 volunteers plant nearly 40,000 trees at more than 148 locations in Canada and the U.S.
TD Green Streets provides grants for forest development to municipalities, Aboriginal communities and Business Improvement Associations that demonstrate innovative approaches to urban forestry.
TD has also launched a major new partnership with The Nature Conservancy of Canada and The Nature Conservancy in the U.S., through which we help to protect four key forest habitats across Canada and two in the U.S. in 2012.
The paper reduction component of the program includes a commitment to reduce paper consumption by at least 20 per cent by 2012. Reducing paper usage is something our customers asked us to do, and we listened.
“TD Forests is a great example of our 360 degree approach to the environment,” said Karen. “We work hard to embed the environment in everything we do – to make it relevant across every aspect of our business. We believe that’s the key to our success as an environmental leader.”
This summer, a budding environmental concept came to fruition in the form of TD’s Living Roof, which grew from the innovative thinking of TD’s Enterprise Real Estate and Environment teams and was developed in partnership with Cadillac Fairview.
“As TD continues to grow, we’re always looking for opportunities to make better use of our resources while creating sustainable environments,” said Roger Johnson, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Real Estate
The new roof covers the branch located at the southwest corner of King and Bay Streets in the heart of Toronto’s financial district. It features almost 700 planters filled with Creek Sedge Grass, a species adaptable and hardy enough to thrive in the Toronto climate. The roof is designed to provide environmental benefits by filtering pollutants, reducing temperatures, increasing insulation, reducing storm run-off and improving air quality.
The Living Roof is the first of its kind introduced by a Canadian bank. The project was initiated by the Toronto-Dominion Centre (TDC) Green Council, the advisory group for occupant engagement and sustainability at the complex, and the design of the roof received input and support from Heritage Toronto.
Johnson is proud of what the project represents: “The Living Roof is the latest example of our ability to design and build spaces that have positive benefits for employees, the environment, our business and the communities we serve.”
TD’s Green Teams are informal committees of employees who gather to focus on making their workplace more environmentally responsible. And sometimes, stepping outside the office is where the true magic happens.
In June 2012, Doris Bergeron, Coordinator, TD Insurance, and Alain Villandre, Consultant, TD Insurance, began a weekly gardening activity with the Dominique-Savio Youth Centre in Montreal. Each week, Doris, Alain and fellow Green Team members met with a group of boys, aged eight to 12, helping them tend to their community garden.
“Our main challenge was to maintain interest among the young participants, ensuring the boys didn’t lose focus before harvest time,” said Doris. “But we were convinced that if we were excited to help them, answered their questions and congratulated them on their efforts, we would succeed at keeping them interested.”
The results proved them right. Each week the children eagerly awaited the TD Green Team’s arrival. They proudly wore the TD shield on their T-shirts, ball caps and, some days, their raincoats.
In addition to gardening, the Green Team led discussions with the group about the environment, nature, and our planet. Most importantly, the boys appreciated that the team showed interest in them.
At the end of the summer, each budding gardener was awarded a ‘garden graduation’ diploma as well as tokens of appreciation from TD. The youth centre has already agreed to bring back the successful program next year.
“This activity not only had a strong environmental aspect, but a social one as well.” said Doris. “It was beneficial to the boys who took part and to the individuals who contributed to its success. Our greatest reward was to see the smiling faces each time we were there.”