RBC’s commitment to making the longest Olympic Torch Relay in history carbon neutral was an easy one, and a unique opportunity.
The biggest hurdle was the complexity of the event and the need to account for the activities of hundreds of staff and more than 70 vehicles, all travelling a distance of 45,000 kilometres through every province and territory over a 106–day period.
RBC worked with the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) and Coca–Cola in addition to the RCMP (who provided security) to complete the carbon dioxide emission inventory. The partners kept in close contact with Torch Relay project managers to ensure they had the most up-to-date information.
RBC’s share of the total Torch Relay emissions was estimated at 500 tonnes. To neutralize this total, the bank purchased a combination of carbon offsets from British Columbia clean technology projects and Gold Standard certified emission reduction units (CERs) through RBC’s own emissions trading desk, which traded over 121 million tonnes of carbon credits in 2009.
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