CHERRY HILL, N.J. and PORTLAND, Maine, April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With more than 90 percent of North Americans identifying forests as natural areas in need of protection, TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, and its parent company, TD Bank Group (TD), both environmental leaders in the North American banking sector, today announced a major forest conservation initiative – TD Forests (www.td.com/forests).
TD Forests is a program to protect critical forest habitat in the U.S. and Canada, and it will be linked to TD's commitment to reduce its paper usage on both sides of the border by at least 20 percent by 2015. Through the new initiative, TD Bank in the U.S. and TD in Canada will protect forested areas in both countries equivalent to the paper they use – that's roughly two football fields of forest each and every day. A forest the size of a football field can provide a day's oxygen for more than 1,000 people.
Most Americans agree that forests are beneficial. According to a recent survey of Americans living within TD Bank's Maine to Florida footprint, more than 90 percent of those polled identified forests as providing multiple benefits. Out of the 1,502 that were surveyed, 72 percent of Americans strongly believe forests and natural areas are the "lungs" of the planet and contribute to fresh, cleaner air, and 57 percent strongly believe forests and natural areas play an important role as places for leisure and recreational activities. The latter is no surprise as hundreds of millions of Americans visit state and national parks each year.
TD Forests is the next chapter in TD Bank's growing environmental initiative. The bank is the first U.S.-based bank to become carbon neutral by opening more than 50 stores and offices that have achieved or are targeting LEED certification, and by purchasing enough renewable energy credits to offset 100 percent of the bank's annual energy use throughout its Maine to Florida footprint. In 2011, TD Bank also opened the first net-zero energy bank location in the U.S. in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; an energy-efficient building with 400 solar panels that produce 100 percent of the building's annual energy needs.
"The TD Forests program is very much part of our goal to embed an environmental perspective into our business," said Diana Glassman, Head of Environmental Affairs, TD Bank. "With TD Forests, we are expanding the bank's environmental initiatives to address paper usage through two pillars of reduce and grow – reduce paper use and grow the area of protected forest habitat."
TD Forests will address customer and employee demand for using less paper, will reduce business expenses while increasing efficiency, will enhance communities where our customers and employees live and work, and will benefit the environment.
TD Bank will soon finalize a partnership with a U.S.-based nonprofit conservation organization with the goal of protecting forests across the bank's Maine to Florida footprint. TD has already formed an innovative partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to increase the area of protected forest habitat across TD's business footprint in Canada.
TD's environmental roots are deep. The bank has been involved in environmental conservation, education and volunteering for more than 20 years.
Since 1990, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) in Canada has supported more than 20,000 environmental projects. Almost 80 percent of the $3.6 million that TD FEF provided to Canadian organizations in 2011 went to fund educational, conservation and biodiversity initiatives.
TD Tree Days was introduced in 2010. During the first two years of the program TD volunteers planted more than 46,000 trees across Canada. In 2011, the program was expanded to the U.S. where 200 trees were planted in Boston, Philadelphia and Jacksonville. This year another 40,000+ trees will be planted in North America through the program, which will include plantings in at least six U.S. cities from Maine to Florida.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented TD Bank with a 2010 Green Power Partner Leadership Award for the bank's extensive purchase of renewable energy credits.
In 2010, TD Bank opened a 60,000 square-foot call center in Auburn, Maine that has achieved the highest level of LEED-CI certification, LEED-CI Platinum. It is the first building in Maine to receive the distinction.
To date, TD Bank has opened more than 20 LEED-certified stores and offices, and opened an additional 30+ stores that are currently targeting LEED certification. Moving forward, all of TD Bank's new stores will be LEED-designed. On average, TD Bank opens more than 30 new stores in the U.S. a year.
During the first five years of the program, TD Forests will focus on three areas:
Business commitment – to radically reduce the amount of paper it uses in its products, services and business operations
Community commitments – to greening urban environments, forest protection, and education
Volunteerism – dedicated to employee initiatives such as TD Tree Days, the bank's flagship volunteer initiative around the environment
About the TD Forests Survey The survey was conducted by Environics Research Group on behalf of TD Bank Group from February 10 to 28, 2012. The online survey is based on a randomly selected sample of 1,504 Canadians and 1,502 Americans living within TD's operational footprint.
About TD Bank Group The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 20.5 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust, TD Insurance, and TD Auto Finance Canada; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, and TD Auto Finance U.S.; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 7.5 million online customers. TD had CDN$686 billion in assets on October 31, 2011. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.
About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank® TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,280 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized wealth management services through TD Wealth, and insurance products and services through TD Insurance, Inc. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., and Portland, Maine. To learn more, find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDMoneyLoungeUS, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US, or visit www.tdbank.com.
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America and one of the few banks in the world rated Aaa by Moody's. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD." To learn more, visit www.td.com.
About TD Friends of the Environment Foundation: Since 1990, TD FEF has provided more than $57 million in funding to more than 20,000 grassroots environment and wildlife projects across Canada. In 2011, TD FEF provided more than $3.6 million in support of 1,058 projects. Thousands of donors give to TD FEF on a monthly basis and TD Bank Group contributes in excess of $1 million annually. TD also covers the management costs of running TD FEF, which guarantees 100 per cent of every dollar donated goes directly to funding environment and wildlife projects in the community where the donation was made. For more information on how to donate and get involved in your community, visit www.tdfef.com.
About the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2.2 million acres (890,300 hectares), coast to coast. To learn more visit: www.natureconservancy.ca