Canadians Ready to ‘Go Green’ with Home Renovations but Overwhelmed by Information and Options: Scotiabank Study

Jun 14, 2010 | Corporate Member News

New Scotiabank ‘EcoLiving’ program and website help consumers navigate through complexity of ‘green’ products, services and government rebates

A new study commissioned by Scotiabank reveals that Canadians are in favour of green renovations for their homes, but find it difficult to navigate through the maze of available options. Scotiabank today unveiled a new program to help Canadians go green.

Nine-in-ten (91 per cent) Canadians say they would likely consider using or installing energy efficient products if they were doing home renovations, according to a recent Scotiabank survey conducted by Harris/Decima assessing Canadian attitudes on personal environmental responsibility. At the same time, 62 per cent said it’s not easy to stay on top of the many ways to save energy and money and take advantage of various rebates. Almost all Canadians would welcome a one-stop resource that makes it easier to understand how to make their homes greener and how to save money.

“We know that Canadians are looking for ways to be more environmentally responsible and we are answering that call,” said Chris Hodgson, Group Head, Canadian Banking, Scotiabank. “We have an important role to play in helping Canadians make a contribution by turning their home renovations into savings – for the environment and their bank account. The Scotiabank ‘EcoLiving’ website will make it much easier for homeowners to understand their green options, make their homes more energy efficient and ultimately save money.”

In response to Canadians’ growing interest in reducing their environmental impact, Scotiabank announced today that it has launched a comprehensive ‘EcoLiving’ program. A cornerstone of the program is the Scotiabank ‘EcoLiving’ website, www.scotiabank.com/ecoliving, a unique online consumer resource that provides home greening options together with government rebate and financial savings information all in one place – providing an easy-to-use resource for Canadians to learn about, plan, and compare green home improvement options.

The survey also revealed that over half of all Canadians (51 per cent) are planning to undertake home renovations over the next 12 months. Of those planning renovations, 88 per cent want to learn more about how to make their homes greener, while 83 per cent are actively looking for ways to reduce their home energy bills. Canadians said that their renovations would include new windows and doors (48 per cent), toilets (36 per cent) and air sealing/draft proofing (34 per cent).

Regional Highlights: Canadians Interest in and Familiarity with Home Greening – By Region 

Likelihood of Renovating using Energy Efficient Products

        Region    
  Total Atlantic Quebec Ontario Prairies B.C.
Likely 91% 95% 86% 93% 93% 93%

 Likelihood of Renovating using Energy Efficient Products

        Region    
  Total Atlantic Quebec Ontario Prairies B.C.
Not Easy 62% 65% 66% 58% 67% 59%

“We are really excited to launch the Scotiabank ‘EcoLiving’ program,” said Kaz Flinn, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Scotiabank. “We’ve made many changes to Scotiabank branches and offices to improve our environmental footprint, but the most significant changes come when we work together. With millions of Canadian homes across the country, we see the impact that we can have by helping homeowners reduce their carbon footprint.”

Visitors to the ‘EcoLiving’ website will find up-to-date, expert information on over 35 different types of green renovation projects along with a comprehensive listing of all related government rebates. Project planning tools and a financial calculator allow visitors to compare products and rebates, plan and finance their project and see the savings that can result from each energy efficiency renovation.

Much of the educational information on the website is provided by Green Living Enterprises, one of Canada’s foremost environmental experts and Scotiabank’s partner on the development of the Scotiabank ‘EcoLiving’ program. Over 55 articles commissioned by Green Living experts offer valuable advice to help homeowners make green-reno decisions. Topics covered include finding home improvements that will pay for themselves, understanding green technologies like drain water heat recovery systems, and eco-friendly lawn maintenance. 

“Green Living Enterprises is proud to partner with Scotiabank by providing our knowledge and expertise to help educate Canadians about easy and workable solutions for leading a sustainable lifestyle,” said Laurie Simmonds, President and CEO, Green Living Enterprises. “We applaud Scotiabank for its commitment to developing an innovative program that will assist Canadians in meeting their environmental, as well as financial goals.”

“The website gets EcoLiving off to a great start, and we’re looking forward to introducing Canadians to other pieces of this broad-based program,” said Ms. Flinn. “EcoLiving will soon introduce a unique awards program to recognize environmental excellence.”

The Scotiabank ‘EcoLiving’ Awards Program, to be introduced later this year, will recognize innovation and achievement in the area of green building. The only awards program of its kind will honour businesses and students for excellence in enabling residential energy efficiency.

Scotiabank’s ‘EcoLiving’ program will also provide support for environmental organizations. Last month Scotiabank announced its role as lead sponsor of Environmental Defence’s “I Am Green Power” campaign, www.iamgreenpower.ca, which features stories from Canadians on how they are making an environmental difference as part of their every day lives.  

“’The I Am Green Power’ program and the innovative EcoLiving program are great ways to reach Canadians to engage them with both saving money and saving the planet. Good on Scotiabank for making this possible!” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence.

About the Survey

A total of 1,000 completed surveys were collected from a random sample of Harris/Decima panel members across Canada. The study was conducted from April 14th, 2010 to April 16th, 2010. 

This was a standard panel survey among a random sample of Harris/Decima’s Canadian panel members. In a fashion similar to a telephone study, email addresses from their panel were pulled at random, according to population and gender specifications, in order to make the study representative of the Canadian population by region and gender. When contacted to solicit participation, participants had no prior knowledge of the subject matter of the study. Harris/Decima controls access to the study through passwords to ensure that respondents can participate only once. Subsequent to completion of the study, the data was weighted by region, age, and gender.

Study Highlights

Environmental CSR at Scotiabank

Quotes

“We applaud Scotiabank for its commitment to developing an innovative program that will assist Canadians in meeting their environmental, as well as financial goals.” Laurie Simonds, President and CEO, Green Living Enterprises

“Good on Scotiabank for making this possible!” Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence

“With millions of Canadian homes across the country, we see the impact that we can have by helping homeowners reduce their carbon footprint.” Kaz Flinn, Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility, Scotiabank

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is one of North America’s premier financial institutions and Canada’s most international bank. With close to 68,000 employees, Scotiabank Group and its affiliates serve approximately 14.6 million customers in some 50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a diverse range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With more than $526 billion in assets (as at April 30, 2010), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com

About GreenLiving

Green Living Enterprises is a pioneer and leader in developing social and environmental marketing programs that keep consumers and clients at the forefront of the green agenda. Green Living Enterprises is a full-service, one-stop solution for green marketing, product and program development, custom publishing, and event management. Green Living Enterprises, an authentically green company, also includes Greenlivingonline.com and The Green Living Show, North America’s largest green consumer show, dedicated to easy and workable solutions for leading a sustainable lifestyle.

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