Insurance, finance leaders named among Canada’s Clean50 for commitment to sustainable development and clean capitalism
Several of Canada’s financial service and insurance professionals have been recognized for their efforts in sustainable development or “clean capitalism.”
Canada’s 2013 Clean50, founded by Delta Management Group, recognizes 50 individuals (or small teams) who they believe, along with qualified third party advisors, have made the greatest contributions to sustainable development or clean capitalism in Canada between January 1, 2010 and March 31, 2012.
Among those honoured in the 2013 Clean50 in the financial services sector are:
- Tamara Vrooman – CEO, Vancity Credit Union. Says the Clean50: Tamara has led Vancity through a significant transformation to fully integrate social, environmental and economic impact into all of the financial cooperative’s operations. High-impact lending, environmental advocacy, engagement and education, and reduced impact operations are hallmarks of the credit union’s industry-wide leadership in sustainability.
- Sandra Odendahl – Director, Corporate Sustainability, Royal Bank of Canada. Says the Clean50: Sandra has led environmental sustainability efforts at RBC since 2000, during which time the company has risen to be rated among the top corporations for environmental sustainability in Canada, receiving numerous awards for its environmental strategy and programs. Sandra believes that the only way to make sustainability mainstream is to integrate it into business and focus on things that add value, mitigate risk or enhance reputation. For example, since 2010, she played a key role in establishing an internal working team to “green” RBC’s retail branches; she developed and hosted an “Oil Sands Day of Learning” for bankers from 17 global banks, with presentations from the NGO, government, legal, First Nations and industry sectors; she led a team that trained over 1000 bankers and risk managers on incorporating environmental and social issues into credit risk assessment; and she has identified and screened prospective grant recipients for the Blue Water Project. She is also a board member of Pollution Probe and the Toronto Atmospheric Fund.
- Mike Pedersen – Group Head, Wealth Management, Insurance & Corporate Shared Services, TD Bank Group. Says the Clean50: Mike led the creation of TD’s environment strategy, which embeds concern for the environment organization-wide and has made the bank an environmental leader. TD was the first North America-based bank to be carbon neutral. It opened the first net-zero energy branches in Canada and the U.S., financed billions of dollars for green ventures, created environmentally friendly products, issued major research reports on environmental issues and this year, launched TD Forests, a major conservation initiative. Mike co-founded and is a board member of the Greening Canada Fund, which has raised over $13 million to fund emission-reduction initiatives in Canadian communities. He has spoken at environment conferences in Europe and North America and, in 2008, created a Chief Environment Officer role within TD, the first of any major bank in Canada to do so. That role is filled by Karen Clarke-Whistler, a Clean50 Honouree of last year.
- Barbara Turley-McIntyre – Director, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, The Co-Operators Group Limited. Says the Clean50: Barbara is responsible for embedding sustainability at The Co-operators. The co-operative insurer has committed to reducing its carbon emissions 50% by 2014, and to zero by 2020. By creating products and services to meet emerging risks associated with climate change, engaging stakeholders and equipping student leaders to be champions of sustainability, this focus has driven innovation. Since taking on the portfolio in 2007, Barbara helped the The Co-operators get onto the list, then sit in the top three on Corporate Knights’ “50 Best Corporate Citizens” list since 2010. Barbara also serves as a director with The Natural Step Canada, and as a board member of the Sustainability Environment Committee of the Canadian Co-operative Association. She is the co-chair of the North American Task Force of the United Nations Environment Program, Financial Institutions organization.
For more on this year’s Clean50, visit www.clean50.ca.