First Canadian-Based Financial Institution to Sign the Compact

Scotiabank today announced it has signed the UN Global Compact, a commitment to uphold and protect human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption standards through business practices. With its signing, Scotiabank becomes the first Canadian-based financial institution to adopt the UN standards in its international day-to-day operations, and organizational culture.

“Scotiabank is proud to collaborate with the United Nations to foster development across the globe,” said Rick Waugh, President and CEO, Scotiabank. “The tenets of the UN Global Compact are strategies we currently employ throughout our global operations and we are pleased to join the many organizations who believe, as we do, that ethical business operation standards are the only way to encourage global development.”

Under the four categories – human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption – the UN Global Compact details a set of ten principles to which organizations voluntarily adhere. Please see the appendix below for a list of the ten principles.

“As a member of the Compact, Scotiabank will share and contribute to best practices on human rights, labor practices and environmental innovations,” said Rob Pitfield, Group Head and Executive Vice President, International Banking, Scotiabank. “Scotiabank continues to develop its social and environmental responsibility programs, and our membership in the UN Global Compact will allow us to collaborate with like-minded organizations.”

As a signatory, Scotiabank will complete an annual Communication on Progress (CoP) submission, demonstrating its progress in working towards the Compact’s ten principles.

Scotiabank joins more than 55 Canadian companies in signing the UN Global Compact. For the Bank, this commitment complements its overall Corporate Social Responsibility platform. The Bank focuses on five key areas where it can make a difference: corporate governance, employees, customers, environment and communities. 

About Scotiabank 

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic activities, in 2009 the Bank provided about $39 million in sponsorships and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas of healthcare, education, social services and arts and culture. Visit us at http://www.scotiabank.com/.

Scotiabank is one of North America’s premier financial institutions and Canada’s most international bank. With close to 70,000 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 $523 billion in assets (as at July 31, 2010), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com

APPENDIX 1: 

The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact 

HUMAN RIGHTS

Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and

Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses. 

LABOUR

Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;

Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;

Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and

Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. 

ENVIRONMENT

Principle 7: Businesses are asked to support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;

Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and

Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies. 

ANTI-CORRUPTION

Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery. 

Published by the United Nations Global Compact Office, October 2008.

Contact information:

UN Global Compact Office. United Nations, DC2-612, New York City, NY 10017, USA.

http://www.unglobalcompact.org/

[email protected]

For further information: Deborah Clark, Scotiabank Public Affairs, 416-933-0646, [email protected]; OR Lauren Mostowyk, Scotiabank International Public Affairs, 416-866-6806, [email protected]