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<< The first-ever voluntary carbon offset investment fund takes aim at Corporate Canada >>

TORONTO, Nov. 23 /CNW/ - TD Bank Financial Group, the first bank in Canada to commit to a carbon neutral goal, today announced it has made a $3 million investment in the Greening Canada Fund, the first-ever voluntary carbon emissions reduction fund designed to purchase and deliver local carbon offset credits for its investors.

"We're improving our energy efficiency and we're investing in renewable energy - but we can never entirely eliminate all of our carbon emissions. That's where 'offsets' come in," says Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer, TD Bank Financial Group. "The Greening Canada Fund is a homegrown solution to generating carbon offset credits that allows us all to see the benefits of 'greening' schools, hospitals and other local organizations - right in our own backyards."

As part of its ongoing commitment to the environment, TD is implementing a carbon neutral plan that has three main components:

<< - Reduce the Bank's operational footprint by becoming more energy efficient. TD has set an energy reduction target of five per cent relative to 2006 by 2010 - and factoring in the growth in operations, the target becomes 10 to 12 per cent. By retrofitting the lighting in buildings, upgrading data centres, optimizing heating/cooling systems and introducing a new fleet policy to use more environmentally- friendly vehicles, TD is well on its way to achieving this target. - Use renewable energy. TD's entire network of 2,600 Green Machine ABMs in Canada is powered by renewable energy and all of its electricity consumption for operations in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and PEI comes from renewable energy. In fact, this year more than 20 per cent of the Bank's entire energy consumption in Canada will come from renewable sources making TD one of the largest corporate purchasers of renewable energy in the country. - Generate local carbon offset credits to neutralize TD's own remaining emissions - by investing in activities to reduce emissions for others. For example, in addition to TD's investment in the Greening Canada Fund, the Bank recently announced a program to help Habitat for Humanity Canada build incredibly energy efficient homes for low-income families. >>

"By investing in carbon offset programs that improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in communities, we're able to show Canadians real examples of low carbon technology. At the same time, we're assisting non-profit organizations to develop a new revenue stream and reduce their operating costs," adds Clarke-Whistler.

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