Royal Bank of Canada

RATING

SECTOR

Financial Services

WEBSITE

CONTACT

Royal Bank Plaza
200 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5J 2W7

Tel: +1.416.842.7575

STOCK EXCHANGE

LISTING

(Last 3 years) 

Forbes lists:

Other lists:

    • Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2021
    • Canada’s Top 100 Employers for Young People 2021
    • Glassdoor 2021 Best Places to Work
    • Canada’s Top 100 Employers 2021
    • Greater Toronto’s Top Employers 2021
    • Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures 2020
    • Best Workplaces in Financial Services & Insurance 2020
    • Best Workplaces for Giving Back 2020
    • Fast Company’s Second Annual List Of The 100 Best Workplaces for Innovators  2020 (RBC Ventures)
    • Best Workplaces in Ontario 2020
    • Canada’s Greenest Employers 2020
    • Best Workplaces for Mental Wellness 2020
    • Best Workplaces in Canada Top 50 list 2020
    • Canada’s Best Workplaces for Women 2020
    • Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2020
    • Canada’s Top Employers for Young People 2020
    • Canada’s Top 100 Employers 2020
    • Greater Toronto’s Top Employers 2020
    • Best Workplaces in Canada 2019
    • Canada’s Best Workplaces™ for Giving Back 2019
    • #1 LinkedIn company where Canadians want to work in 2019
    • #3 in the global “Top 25 Most Diverse & Inclusive Companies” in the 2019 Refinitiv Diversity & Inclusion Index
    • Three RBC Leaders Named to Canada’s Top 50 Women in FinTech

EMPLOYEES

85,000

CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

Andrew Craig

AWARDS

CONTENT SOURCE

FURTHER READING

Report created by Youmna Abdallah

Royal Bank of Canada

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Targets  •  Key Points  •  Overview

Company Activity

The Royal Bank of Canada is a multinational financial company and the largest bank in Canada, based on market capitalization. The company was founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They operate in the following segments:

  • Personal & Commercial Banking
  • Wealth Management
  • Capital Markets
  • Insurance
  • Investor & Treasury Services

Their corporate headquarters are located in Toronto and their head office is in Montreal. The bank operates in Canada and 35 other countries, serves over 16 million clients and has over 86,000 employees worldwide. 

Company Sustainability Activity

Royal Bank of Canada is committed to sustainability and provides annual ESG reporting that focuses on the following key priorities:

Governance & Integrity 

RBC is committed to the ongoing pursuit of strong and effective governance practices. Their Board works closely with management to improve how they operate by making sure their governance approach incorporates evolving industry trends, regulatory expectations and global best practices. RBC ensures to constantly enhance value and deliver on their stated purpose: to help clients thrive and communities prosper. 

Value for Employees 

RBC strives in its ability to adapt, evolve and innovate. With globalization and five generations in their workplace, they employ a talent pool of diverse backgrounds, experiences, skills and mindsets. RBC aims to empower employees to gain new skills and capabilities and discover unexpected career paths across the company. They are harnessing their diverse knowledge and perspectives to innovate and deliver exceptional client and employee experiences. 

Value for Clients 

With the use of data-driven insights and their employees’ ideas, RBC is developing more meaningful relationships with clients and attracting new ones. Their goal is to add 2.5 million new clients by the fiscal year 2023. Their differentiated technology and data foundation are supporting significant business growth, operational efficiencies and leading-edge capabilities. 

Value for Society 

Creating a positive social impact is integral to RBC’s culture and business. Using their Impact Measurement Framework, they measure and manage the impact they want to make in their focus areas, and communicate this to their communities. RBC uses the full breadth of its resources and capabilities to address societal challenges. They believe that helping their communities prosper today will positively impact their clients and their businesses over time.

Value for Planet

RBC believes climate change is one of the most pressing issues of this era. They published their Climate Change Position & Disclosure Statement, which outlines the steps they are taking to manage climate risks and opportunities as well as their ongoing commitment to climate-related disclosures. The Statement forms the basis for their RBC Climate Blueprint, the enterprise climate change strategy to accelerate clean economic growth and support clients in the transition to a low-carbon economy. 

Each year, the Royal Bank of Canada conducts a review of the above stated ESG priorities, comparing them to the disclosure requirements of key ESG rating agencies, and to the areas of interest expressed by stakeholders throughout the year. The company aims to increase its transparency and disclosure on how they manage its ESG priorities by increasing engagement and collaboration with internal teams and business leaders.

Highlights

In 2019, RBC has made some notable achievements with regards to their CSR commitment including:

Governance & Integrity

  • Conducted climate scenario analyses on parts of RBC’s credit portfolio, in line with RBC’s commitment to the RBC Climate Blueprint to advance their capabilities in climate risk management.
  • Continued their commitment to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations by publishing their third annual TCFD disclosure.
  • Collaborated with Canadian peers on the development of consistent and comparable approaches to conducting climate risk assessments and disclosures.

Value for Employees

  • 50% of employees hired were women and 35% self-identified as a minority.
  • 54% of the promotions were for women and 40% for employees self-identified as minorities.
  • The retention rate for women reached 90% compared to 89% for men and 89% for minority and non-minority employees.
  • Enabled graduates and early talent to gain meaningful work experience through diverse placements that develop their skills and help launch their careers, such as the  RBC Career Launch Program, RBC Indigenous Peoples Development program, RBC Analyst program and RBC Amplify.
  • Fostered a culture of lifelong learning to ensure their people gain meaningful experiences while building skills for the future. Examples include RBC Learn, RBCx, Spark!, OMNI and RBC Ventures.

Value for Clients

  • Partnered with the Government of Canada, Ryerson University, law enforcement and Rogers Communications, and invested $5 million to create the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst, a new national centre for education, innovation and collaboration in cyber security, to strengthen the breadth of the cyber talent pool, with an emphasis on gender diversity.
  • Integrated climate-related risks and opportunities into the investment process and to provide ESG data solutions for RBC’s investment teams.
  • Established their Green Bond Program and issued their inaugural €500-million green bond to fund a portfolio of largely renewable energy and green building assets.
  • Led 31 green, social and sustainability bond transactions for clients, totaling $4.8 billion.

Value for Society

  • Continued the Climate Change Supplier Engagement Program encouraging suppliers to report their GHG emissions and make reductions over time. Their reporting enabled RBC to better understand the climate-related impacts of its supply chain and look for opportunities to partner with suppliers to reduce these impacts. In 2019, RBC engaged with its top 73 suppliers. Of the suppliers who responded, 92% had already integrated climate-related issues into their long-term business objectives, and 75% had emissions reduction targets.
  • Expanded their supplier diversity program to outside Canada, promoting inclusive supply chain opportunities to Indigenous, women, visible minority/minority, LGBT+, disabled and veteran-owned businesses in the U.S. and the U.K.
  • Created RBC Future Launch, a 10-year, $500 million commitment to help empower Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow. They deploy a more-than-money approach to their investments by building the capacity of their partners, strengthening their capabilities and helping them achieve their respective missions.

Value for Planet

  • Hosted the Transition Day of Learning, in partnership with NEI Investments, Suncor, Teck Resources and the Energy Futures Lab, bringing together over 90 investors and industry leaders to advance the dialogue on creating a clean-growth future for Canada.
  • Supported the work of the Canadian Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance as a champion and key contributor.
  • Partnered with the Public Policy Forum, together with the Ivey Foundation, Suncor and Hydro Quebec, on a multi-stakeholder initiative called the Energy Future Forum, which engages a wide range of Canadians in a dialogue about what constitutes an economically dynamic, environmentally ambitious and politically acceptable energy strategy for Canada.
  • Increased their focus on renewable energy procurement by restructuring their Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) contract with Bullfrog Power to invest in Canada’s highest carbon intensity electrical grids and finance and purchase the RECs from the Fisher River Cree Nation‘s community solar project, the largest solar farm in Manitoba. This resulted in a 13% reduction in total GHG emissions in 2019.
  • Relocated the Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters and consolidated their London-based teams in a new Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) Excellent rated building. The building in London, U.K. is expected to be the most energy-efficient RBC office, worldwide.

Targets

*Targets based on ESG Annual Report 2019

Governance & Integrity

  • Percentage of independent directors: substantial majority
  • Percentage of women directors: >30%
  • Percentage of women executives: 48%
  • Percentage of visible minority executives: 19%

Value for Employees

  • Employee Engagement Index: >82
  • Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Index score: Continuous increase
  • Percentage of women in middle management and above: Continuous increase
  • Percentage of visible minorities in middle management and above: Continuous increase
  • Percentage of positions filled by internal candidates: N/A
  • Total voluntary turnover rate: Continuous increase
  • Total turnover rate: Continuous increase
  • Absentee rate: Maximum decrease

Value for Clients 

  • Client Experience score: Continuous increase
  • Relationship share: >12%
  • Percentage of financial service transactions performed in self-serve channels: Continuous increase 
  • 90-day digital active user rate: Continuous increase
  • Total value of socially responsible investments (SRI) and Impact assets under management by RBC companies: Continuous increase
  • Total value of sustainable finance: $100 billion by 2025

Value for Society

  • Economic value generated and distributed: Economic value generated and distributed: N/A
  • Total cash donations and community investments: N/A
  • Total amount invested in youth-related organizations: N/A
  • Number of young people reached through RBC Future Launch: N/A
  • Percentage of diverse participants – RBC Future Launch: N/A
  • Percentage of youth participants that feel better prepared for the future – RBC Future Launch: N/A
  • Total amount donated to financial literacy programs: Continuous increase

Value for Planet

  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity from energy use (tonnes of CO2e/m2): N/A
  • Total Scope 1 and 2 emissions (tonnes of CO2e): Reduce by 15% by 2023
  • Percentage of electricity from renewable and non-emitting sources for all properties: Increase by 90% by 2023.

Progress

*Progress evaluated according to previous RBC ESG Annual Report 2018

Governance & Integrity 

  • Independent directors: 92% (No improvement)
  • Women directors: 43% (increase)
  • Women executives: 46% (increase)
  • Visible minority executives: 19% (decrease)

Value for Employees

  • Employee Engagement Index: 86 (No improvement)
  • Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Index score: 87 (No improvement)
  • Women in middle management and above: 45% (No improvement)
  • Visible minorities in middle management and above: 39% (increase)
  • Positions filled by internal candidates: 67% (increase)
  • Total voluntary turnover rate: 9.3% (decrease)
  • Total turnover rate: 12.4% (decrease)
  • Absentee rate: 1.05% (decrease)

Value for Clients 

  • Client Experience score: 60.6 (Increase)
  • Relationship share: 18% (decrease)
  • Financial service transactions performed in self-serve channels: 88% (increase)
  • 90-day digital active user rate: 52% (increase)
  • Total value of socially responsible investments (SRI) and Impact assets under management by RBC companies: 57.7 billion (increase)
  • Total value of sustainable finance: $25.9 billion (no previous data available)

Value for Society

  • Economic value generated and distributed: $31.1 billion (increase)
  • Total cash donations and community investments: $130 million (increase)
  • Total amount invested in youth-related organizations: $60.1 million (increase)
  • Number of young people reached through RBC Future Launch: 1.9 million (increase)
  • Diverse participants – RBC Future Launch: 82% (No improvement)
  • Youth participants that feel better prepared for the future – RBC Future Launch: 77% (No improvement)
  • Total amount donated to financial literacy programs: $4.8 million (increase)

Value for Planet

  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity from energy use (tonnes of CO2e/m2): 0.046 (decrease)
  • Total Scope 1 and 2 emissions (tonnes of CO2e): 99,136 (decrease)
  • Electricity from renewable and non-emitting sources for all properties: 77% (increase)

Certificates

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance

SDG 4: Quality Education

SDG 5: Gender Equality 

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy 

  • RBC increased their focus on renewable energy procurement by restructuring their Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) contract with Bullfrog Power to invest in Canada’s highest carbon intensity electrical grids and finance and purchase the RECs from the Fisher River Cree Nation‘s community solar project, the largest solar farm in Manitoba. They have also conducted climate scenario analyses on parts of RBC’s credit portfolio, in line with RBC’s commitment to the RBC Climate Blueprint to advance their capabilities in climate risk management.

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth 

  • RBC Future Launch is a 10-year, $500 million commitment to help empower Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow. They deploy a more-than-money approach to their investments by building the capacity of their partners, strengthening their capabilities and helping them achieve their respective missions.

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure 

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities 

  • RBC recently expanded their supplier diversity program to outside Canada, promoting inclusive supply chain opportunities to Indigenous, women, visible minority/minority, LGBT+, disabled and veteran owned businesses in the U.S. and the U.K.

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities 

  • RBC relocated their Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters and consolidated their London-based teams in a new Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) Excellent rated building. The building in London, U.K. is expected to be the most energy efficient RBC office, worldwide.

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

  • RBC established their Green Bond Program and issued their inaugural €500-million green bond to fund a portfolio of largely renewable energy and green building assets. 

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals 

Evaluation

RBC is paving the way to sustainable finance through the implementation of clear targets and goals and the publishing of regular ESG reports stating clear KPIs and progress updates. 

RBC implemented successful gender equality policies in their workforce, and continues to support women-led businesses which earned them the 2019 Supplier Diversity Leader of the year award by Women Business Enterprise Canada. Their RBC Climate Blueprint also demonstrates their commitment to advance their capabilities in climate risk management.

RBC complies with  9 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and has received numerous awards and certificates that validate its commitment to sustainability.

Despite its noteworthy sustainability efforts, RBC has contributed $160.129 B to the fossil fuel industry since the adoption of the Paris Agreement. While its investment is the 5th largest of the world’s commercial and investment banks, the Royal Bank of Canada has decreased its investments by almost 50% from 2019 to 2020. 

The Royal Bank of Canada has been rated a C. 

Analyst Outlook: Negative

RBC faced controversy after allegations that their traders used confidential customer information to gain a potential advantage in foreign exchange transactions that took place between 2011 and 2013. With little evidence of addressing this, the outlook is therefore negative.

In addition, RBC is the 5th largest financier in the fossil fuel industry.

 

Key Points

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