The head of Royal Bank of Canada says the country urgently needs to become more inclusive, fair and sustainable because the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the society we live in is not best for everyone.
Speaking at the bank’s annual meeting, chief executive Dave McKay says reaching those goals will mean addressing climate change, inequities that hold people back, the future of work and the digital economy.
McKay says he considers climate change to be the most pressing issue of our time because it is costing economies billions of dollars in damage and lost productivity, so RBC is boosting its sustainable financing target to $500 billion by 2025 and pledging to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
He says there is a need to address systemic racism, so the bank has committed to ensuring Black, Indigenous or persons of colour make up 30 per cent of its executive appointments and 40 per cent of the 1,400 students it will hire this summer.
McKay believes the country should also focus on mental health and preparing people for a different future because the pandemic has transformed how and where we work and increased the need for new skills.
He says the pandemic has shown Canada needs investments in technology and talent as it grapples with a digital-first economy, changing consumer behaviours and the rewiring of our supply chains and services.
The Canadian Press