Desjardins removes certain single-use plastic products

In three months the group avoided the purchase of 30,000 plastic water bottles

Canadian financial co-op Desjardins Group has stopped purchasing single-use plastic products such as water bottles, cups, stir sticks and straws.

With its decision to ban such single-use plastic products – across the entire organisation – Desjardins has become the first Canadian financial institution to make this public commitment.

“In only three months, we’ve avoided the purchase of 30,000 plastic water bottles,” said Pauline D’Amboise, secretary general and vice-president, governance and sustainable development.

“On an annual basis, this represents a reduction of more than 100,000 bottles. This change ties in perfectly with our commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and take concrete action to fight climate change.”

Back in 2015, Desjardins launched a similar Paper Challenge aiming for a 10% reduction in paper consumption by 2018 and a 10% increase in recycled paper.

Desjardins has expressed support for the United Nations sustainable development goals and the Paris Agreement, and is a signatory of the Statement by Financial Institutions on Energy Efficiency, which was ratified by more than 100 financial institutions from 42 countries.

It also endorsed a statement issued by the European Association of Co-operative Banks together with 11 member signatories to confirm their commitment to better financing the energy transition towards green growth.

Since 2007, Desjardins has been producing an inventory of its greenhouse gas emissions, which it pledged to reduce to 20% below 2008 levels by 2020. It has also initiated a reflection process on the decarbonisation of its investments.