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FINANCING: Royal Bank policy to consider oil sands impact before lending

TORONTO - At the urging of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and Canada's First Nations, the Royal Bank of Canada has implemented a new policy of conducting an environmental and social risk review (ESRR) on selected companies before it...



TORONTO – At the urging of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and Canada’s First Nations, the Royal Bank of Canada has implemented a new policy of conducting an environmental and social risk review (ESRR) on selected companies before it extends financing. The review is now part of the bank’s routine client review.

The move is hailed by the RAN as a “significant about face on tar sands by one of the sector’s biggest financiers.” In “high impact sectors” RBC will examine how client activities impact indigenous communities and the status of consultations with those communities.

The new RBC policy will also impact other oil and gas producers. The first test of the ESRR is likely to be the Northern Gateway pipeline proposed by Enbridge that needs to raise $5.5 billion for the project.

For more information on RBC’s ESSR policy please visit http://www.RBC.com/Responsibility/Environment/20101222-gn-env.html.


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2 Comments » for FINANCING: Royal Bank policy to consider oil sands impact before lending
  1. Rochchips says:

    So, the Royal Bank doesn’t think the Canadian environmental standards and approval processes, probably the most stringent of any mining jurisdiction in the world, are adequate. Instead, their investments in Canadian resources will be guided by their own established standards (Great news environmental activists looking for work) or will be made in reaction to pressures from other interest groups.

  2. Sudbury says:

    Our business is a supplier to both the mining and oil industries. As such we already follow stringent requirements set by the government. It is not for RBC to enter the field of environment, especially with an American environmental outfit called RAN. Better the bank should have investigated them.

    Personally we have both personal and business dealings with RBC but if this is the way the bank is now leaning, we will consider adding to our holdings, or in the alternative withdraw them altogether.

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