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HOW WE OPERATE RESPONSIBLE BANKING WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE


Feature Story


Preparing for a New Climate Reality: COP21 and Beyond


Responding to a global groundswell of diverse voices from scientists, farmers, business leaders, communities and even the Vatican, leaders from almost 200 countries at the 2015 Climate Conference (known as COP21) agreed to act together to reduce the impacts of climate change, with the aim of keeping global warming well below 2°C.


COP21 was a clear tipping point. The world is transitioning toward a low-carbon economy. Government policy and regulations can create the foundation for action, but every community, business and individual has a role to play. The business community has the ability – and some would say the responsibility – to influence the speed of this transition. Each company has a choice to make: Do we lead or do we follow?


Photo credit: Arnaud Bouissou


At TD, we identified climate change as a megatrend almost 10 years ago, and we made the choice to lead. As a financial institution, many aspects of our business are touched by the impacts of a changing climate: our residential customers whose properties may be affected; our small business, industrial and resource clients; our investors; our own business operations; and the communities in which we live and work.


Over the years we have taken concrete steps to understand the implications for our business and to act. Certainly there are risks to be considered, both in the short and long term. But we have also uncovered a wealth of opportunities – business opportunities associated with the low carbon economy, for example; cost-savings that come with reducing our carbon footprint; and an opportunity for greater collaboration with clients and environmental and other groups to develop


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practical climate change solutions and contribute to informed public dialogue.


Climate change is not the only megatrend that is affecting our business. The digital revolution, the sharing economy and the “internet of things” are all causing disruption, leading to rapid change. But all of these forces share one thing in common: a realization that we need to do more with less. Less waste. Less resource and materials use. Less harm to the environment. This is the sustainable economic model for the future, and TD has an important role to play in supporting this transition.


We know what we are trying to achieve – a smart, green, digital economy. Achieving this will bring both environmental and economic benefits, for one thing is clear: strong business performance and a prosperous economy go hand in hand with a healthy environment.


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