Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has launched a new initiative involving a coalition of charitable organizations and technology experts aimed at addressing environmental challenges.
RBC Tech for Nature aims to tackle issues outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by partnering with more than 115 organizations globally. RBC has allotted $10 million in annual support to universities and charities, through the initiative. RBC will fund projects that help make environmental data available, as well as influence positive behavioural change towards environmental conservation.
“We see immense potential for technology to accelerate and scale solutions to the most pressing environmental challenges.”
“We see immense potential for technology to accelerate and scale solutions to the most pressing environmental challenges,” said RBC vice-president, corporate citizenship, Valerie Chort. “We are investing in technology-based programs and initiatives with our charitable partners to address these issues that are facing us globally.”
Current coalition members include Toronto-based charity Swim Drink Fish, the Centre for Social Innovation, Nature Conservancy of Canada, and Aqua Forum, a Montreal-based non-profit organization aimed at developing solutions to Canadian watershed and freshwater issues. Other partners include Ontario-based research station IISD Experimental Lakes Area, and the Canadian Red Cross.
RBC called Tech for Nature the fifth pillar of its Climate Blueprint, its initiative that the financial institution claims to uses to guide its work with clients and communities. The fifth pillar focuses on investing in technology to address complex environmental challenges. Along with RBC Tech for Nature this pillar also includes RBC’s work through Borealis AI.
Other environmental projects RBC has supported include the Gordon Foundation’s online platform DataStream, which uses blockchain to share information about freshwater health, and Rideau Hall Foundation’s Arctic Inspiration Prize, which recognizes projects that have lasting impacts to the Yukon and Nunatsiavut communities.
Through its RBC Foundation, the financial institution also partnered with Alberta-based Energy Futures Lab to launch its Energy.AI Series, which explores climate and environmental solutions within the energy and power sectors through technology.
RBC also recently announced a partnership with Western University to create a new university program focused on the ethical and social aspects of data analytics and AI. In February, RBC Foundation pledged $1.1 million to Actua’s Future Skills program, which assists in developing employability skills for students, preparing them to be leaders in the workplace.
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