Green Banking

Capital for a more sustainable Canada

One of the articles in It's About Time! (IC#37)
Originally published in Winter 1994 on page 9
Copyright (c)1994, 1996 by Context Institute

Canada Trust’s slogan is "thinking like the customer." They’ve acted on this slogan by implementing two new programs that focus on the environment, a concern of many of their customers.

For the first program, EnviroLoan, Canada Trust is working with the Ontario Green Initiatives Program in seven communities across Ontario. The program allows customers to get loans of up to $7,500 at the prime rate for changes in their home or workplace that reduce energy consumption. There is even a special payment matching scheme that allows customers to make their loan payments using savings on their monthly utility bills.

Canada Trust has also set up a charitable, not-for-profit organization called Friends of the Environment Foundation (FEF) whose purpose is to promote environmental initiatives in Canadian communities. FEF matches customer donations to "green accounts" up to a maximum of $2 million per year. Customers are given the option of donating a lump sum or having monthly donations deducted from their account. The bank also donates an additional $5 every time an account is "greened." The money is then used to fund local projects that are screened by local advisory boards. Eligible projects include planting trees or flora, cleaning up streams and parks, natural pesticide research, and sponsoring environmental education programs.

Canada Trust has established 115 FEF chapters across Canada. The foundation has raised more than $2.8 million, which all goes toward the projects. Canada Trust assumes the costs of managing and administrating the program.

Excerpted from the Canadian National Round Table Review, 1 Nicholas Street, Suite 1500, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 7B7

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