TD recognizes the value of third-party engagement as we continue to develop our corporate responsibility approach and strategy. We invited feedback from two stakeholder panels: one panel of external stakeholders and experts; and the other of TD employees. We selected individual panel members whom we judged could tell us candidly what we needed to know.
Both meetings were facilitated by an independent consultant from Solstice Sustainability Works (www.solsticeworks.ca), who convened a process that brought together representatives from the following groups: employees, customers, TD Friends of the Environment board members, Burnaby Community Connections, Vancity, Mountain Equipment Co-op, the Mennonite Central Committee, the World Wildlife Fund Canada, Social Investment Organization, PHH Arc Environmental, the International Society for Sustainability Professionals and Simon Fraser University.
We asked participants to review both the corporate responsibility priorities and the issues we identified as material to TD in last year’s Corporate Responsibility Report (2010). The following table features highlights of the panels’ feedback. A full report of the panel process and findings is available online.
Panel members commended TD for its commitment to corporate responsibility and for the openness demonstrated by inviting commentary from the panels. Panellists were encouraged by TD’s vision To Be The Better Bank to offer these comments in the spirit of continuous improvement.
|Panel Feedback||Our Response|
|Clearly establish what The Better Bank means in social and environmental terms. The priorities TD sets for corporate responsibility should show how TD plans to leverage its business to be “better” for all its key stakeholders.||Naturally, this is an iterative process as we seek to further integrate corporate responsibility initiatives throughout our business. The newly formed Corporate Citizenship Council – an executive management committee – will help refine and advance TD’s approach to corporate responsibility.|
|Panellists would like TD to be more precise about what the priorities mean in practice, with the priorities tied to specific objectives.||We agree that what gets measured – gets managed. We continue to align indicators with TD’s key corporate responsibility strategies. Where possible, we have included targets and time frames. See 2011 scorecards.|
|Treat customers fairly and provide support in tough times|
|Some employees thought that it should not be limited to tough economic times. Employees also noted that treating customers fairly does not go far enough to express employees’ passion for delivering legendary service||Part of TD’s core business strategy is to deliver legendary customer service. The economic downturn continues to be a pressing issue – hence the reference to “tough times”. The corporate responsibility priorities were established in 2010, and we expect them to evolve over time.|
|Be the bank of choice for diverse communities|
|It was unclear to the external panel how TD intended to be the “bank of choice for diverse communities.” The external panel interpreted this as reaching out to people in all communities to understand their financial and service needs, including people in situations of vulnerability such as new immigrants or single parents.||We have provided more explanation around what this priority means to TD. Read a fuller description.|
|Manage the social and environmental risks of our lending and investment products|
|This stood out as a priority for its centrality to TD’s core business and the potential scale of its impact. The panel would like to see more tracking of how often each step in the Environmental and Social Credit Risk Process is applied and the results of that process. The employee panel would extend this priority to include educating customers more about the risks they take on with credit.||We have provided more explanation about environmental risk issues and trends in financing and our review process. Our 2011 report also includes more discussion about the steps to educate customers with credit and investment products.|
|Contribute to the economic and social development of the diverse communities we serve|
|This priority resonated strongly with the panels as the area of corporate responsibility most closely connected to the role of a bank. They recognize it as an area of great opportunity and would like to see TD provide detailed objectives supported by measures of impact at the community level.||We are exploring which measurements will help demonstrate the longer-term impacts of TD’s contributions in the community beyond financial donations.|
|Use suppliers who demonstrate socially and environmentally responsible practices|
|The external panel commented that this priority has potential if more strongly worded. They encouraged TD to add more specific metrics that would show how TD is holding its suppliers to a higher standard.||With a focus on continuous improvement, in 2011 we established a dedicated team to strengthen TD’s approach to sustainability in the supply chain. Read more about the stakeholder engagement and supply chain research conducted by this team.|
|General comments on Material Issues|
|There were some suggestions to expand or reframe material issues and only a few suggestions for new issues. These were:
||We recognize that defining and mapping the social and environmental issues is an ongoing process. Read our 2011 discussion of materiality.|
|Employees suggested that this title understated the depth of TD’s commitment to legendary service. The external panel discussed how TD distinguished between corporate responsibility issues and normal business imperatives. Some saw customer satisfaction as material in itself while others wanted TD to put a “social responsibility lens” on it, to show where TD “goes above and beyond.”||Much emphasis is placed on “delivering legendary customer service” internally, so we appreciate that for employees, the generic term “customer satisfaction” falls short. Delivering legendary customer service is part of our core strategy. TD Helps is one way that we are responding to the social responsibility expectations of our brand.|
|Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions|
|Both panels wished to frame this issue more broadly. The external panel suggested shifting focus from TD’s own operations to the Bank’s role in aiding the transition to a low-carbon economy. This expanded view could include supporting customers to track their emissions, or offering low-interest products to make energy-efficient home improvements. The panel went so far as to say TD’s carbon-neutral position should be downplayed as this was now “table stakes” for large financial institutions.||TD remains one of a small number of financial institutions to be carbon neutral in North America. We agree with the recommendation to apply what we’ve learned into developing products and educating stakeholders on energy issues. Read more on how we are taking this approach.|
We thank the panel for providing valuable perspectives that help inform our discussions and review of key social and environmental issues moving forward.