Blue Water Project

Blue Water Project:  Royal Bank of Canada and Free The Children, Tides Canada and The National Geographic Society


In 2007 RBC took a leadership role in advancing the cause of water sustainability and created the RBC Blue Water Project – a $50,000,000, multi-year global commitment to protect the world’s most precious natural resource – fresh water, so that people, communities and businesses have clean fresh water today and tomorrow.

After establishing three years of credibility, RBC felt it timely to start talking about their freshwater initiatives by showcasing the work of three grant recipients – Free The Children, Tides Canada (Great Bear Rainforest) and The National Geographic Society.  Each grant recipient was featured in 30 second spots as part of a television and online media campaign. Longer documentaries on each recipient were also made available via YouTube.

The campaign’s social media platform was created to build internal employee advocacy for the cause by means of two internal programs taken into the social space.

The first RBC Blue Water Day enabled RBC employees to celebrate grant recipients in their region and encouraged employees to wear blue on the day as a sign of support for the cause.  Elsewhere, employees participated in watershed clean-up volunteer and education events.

In addition to brand lift, over 1,000 branches fully embraced RBC Blue Water Day with an employee participation rate of over 80%. The campaign won a Gold Cause Marketing Halo Award in 2011 in the Environmental/Animal Category.

Halo judges applauded RBC’s results and the magnitude of their long-term investment.  The level of employee and client involvement made a powerful splash, undoubtedly enabling RBC to continue to recruit and retain the best talent, of utmost importance to any business.

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