TD Bank branches out with forest conservation program

TD Bank said today it would protect forestlands in United States and Canada equivalent to what it uses each day – which works out to about two football fields of forest each day, the company said in a release.

“TD Forests is a program to protect critical forest habitat in the U.S. and Canada, and it will be linked to TD’s commitment to reduce its paper usage on both sides of the border by at least 20 percent by 2015,” the company said.

According to the release, TD Bank is in the process of finalazing a partnership with a U.S.-based nonprofit conservation group to protect forests across the bank’s Maine to Florida footprint. TD has already formed an innovative partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to increase the area of protected forest habitat across TD’s business footprint in Canada, the bank said.

This move is the latest the bank has made to run an environmentally sustainable business, TD Bank noted:

The bank is the first U.S.-based bank to become carbon neutral by opening more than 50 stores and offices that have achieved or are targeting LEED certification, and by purchasing enough renewable energy credits to offset 100 percent of the bank’s annual energy use throughout its Maine to Florida footprint. In 2011, TD Bank also opened the first net-zero energy bank location in the U.S. in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; an energy-efficient building with 400 solar panels that produce 100 percent of the building’s annual energy needs.

And, the bank notes, people actually like forests! Who knew? Again, from TD Bank:

Most Americans agree that forests are beneficial. According to a recent survey of Americans living within TD Bank’s Maine to Florida footprint, more than 90 percent of those polled identified forests as providing multiple benefits. Out of the 1,502 that were surveyed, 72 percent of Americans strongly believe forests and natural areas are the “lungs” of the planet and contribute to fresh, cleaner air, and 57 percent strongly believe forests and natural areas play an important role as places for leisure and recreational activities. The latter is no surprise as hundreds of millions of Americans visit state and national parks each year.

To recap: Forests good. Fresh air good.