Toronto-Dominion Bank

Canadian business must lead the charge for inclusivity

Bharat Masrani,
Group President and Chief Executive Officer
Toronto-Dominion Bank

Canada’s unemployment is low. Wages are growing. So too are household and disposable incomes. Business investment is also set to climb this year, reflecting a confidence in the country’s economic resilience.

Indeed, the road ahead looks promising. But ask many Canadians about their personal prospects, and their optimism about the future wanes. They feel excluded from the opportunities and advancements taking place around them. This disengagement can be a source of social ills that threatens our collective prosperity – including the business community’s.

Despite our enviable standard of living, and the potential for it to improve through many of the changes that Canada is experiencing now, we are witnessing profound amounts of disruption and displacement.

For instance, innovative technologies are transforming the way we work and, in some cases, even our opportunity to work. While this has led to more flexibility and entrepreneurship, an estimated 3.3 million Canadians experience monthly income swings by 25 per cent or more. These people are often forced to make unconventional financial decisions to stabilize their situation today but that, in turn, makes it much harder for them to plan for tomorrow.

It’s easy to understand why these Canadians may feel like they are falling behind instead of getting ahead. This kind of public angst can be politicized. Just look at how it has been used by protectionists around the world. Lines are being drawn. I’m convinced that success – in whatever form – relies on forces that bring us together, not drive us apart.

Opening the doors for an inclusive tomorrow

Our role, as business leaders, is not just to shine a light on these issues, it is to propose and support solutions, so that we open the doors for an inclusive tomorrow.

For instance, the workplace requires new approaches to the changing skills that employees require. We must find ways to “reinvent” employees for their next role and prepare them to understand and navigate the new technologies impacting their current one.

Of course, public concerns about change stem well beyond the workplace. Urbanization is impacting our quality of life today, just as climate change threatens to do even more so tomorrow. And a highly digitized society does not necessarily mean one with greater connections between people and places.

Given that our bank’s success very much relies on the success of those around us, we have a vested interest in helping individuals and communities thrive in a changing world.

Leveraging our business, people, and philanthropy

To this end, TD recently launched The Ready Commitment, a multi-year North American program that will leverage our business, people and philanthropy.

Our goals are both local and beyond, recognizing that we have a role to play in contributing toward the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations to transform the world for the better.

In our business we have targeted $100-billion toward initiatives in low-carbon lending, financing, asset management and other programs by 2030.

To tap into the talents of our people, we are the first Canadian company to be a founding sponsor of Impact2030, a global private sector-led collaboration created to mobilize employee volunteer programs that directly contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Focusing our contribution to create
a more inclusive and sustainable future

And we have targeted $1-billion in total by 2030 in philanthropy to create a more inclusive and sustainable future. We will focus on four areas that are important to our customers, colleagues and communities.

Financial security will be a core focus, in part, by helping people gain access to affordable housing and to develop the skills and experiences required to take greater control of their financial situation.

Another area will focus on helping to create a better sense of social cohesion between people and places. More than one-third of Canadians surveyed by TD don’t feel like they are part of their community. We will find big and small ways to foster human connections and create opportunities for everyone to feel included in an increasingly digital world.

Our efforts to enhance green spaces and support the transition to a low-carbon economy will help sustain the health and vibrancy of the environment, which is vital to our economy and quality of life.

And while we have had great advances in health research and innovation, our shifting demographics can create barriers to accessing our health care system, which we will help to address in order to support more equitable health outcomes.

Inclusion is a powerful force that makes us feel better about ourselves and more confident about our future. We engage and participate more fully in our communities. And, in turn, mitigate some of the challenges and maximize the opportunities that come about during periods of profound change.

Bharat Masrani
The Globe and Mail


The Ready Commitment

To help create the conditions so everyone has the chance to succeed in a changing world, TD is investing C$1 billion by 2030 in 4 areas that support change, nurture progress and contribute to making the world a better, more inclusive place. That is The Ready Commitment

The Ready Commitment

Music Matters

Music is where we all belong
Connecting people from different walks of life

Through music, we can help open doors for a more inclusive future.

Music reminds us that we’re all connected through shared passions and ideas. Regardless of who you are, it invites all of us to a common ground where we can find confidence, acceptance and self-expression. That’s why, through music sponsorships and partnerships, we strive to create opportunities for people to come together, engage and feel included in their communities.

TD is proud to sponsor over 90 music festivals and 100 community music programs from coast to coast. From national stages that bring millions of music fans together, to classrooms and resources that give the next generation a platform for education, expression, collaboration and inclusion through music.

By investing in music, we’re investing in more closely connected, confident communities. It’s a part of our commitment to help open doors for an inclusive tomorrow.

TD Music

Why Music

You may be asking yourself why TD cares so much about music. Well, it’s simple: music is universally relevant, it has no boundaries in regards to language, gender, ethnicity or religion and because of that, it has the power to unite us.

That’s why we strive to create opportunities for people and communities to come together over music.

Since 2003, we have helped countless Canadians experience the power of music by sponsoring over 100 community music programs and 90 music festivals across Canada.
From Halifax to Victoria, we’ve brought 2.5 million festival goers across the country together. We’ve donated $1.7 million to The MusiCounts TD Community Music Program, which provides underserved youth access to musical instruments and equipment. We are also a very proud supporter of the JUNOs. We participate throughout JUNO Week as a Premier sponsor, including presenting sponsor of the JUNO Fan Choice Award, the only fan voted award, as well as through the TD Green Room, which provides a unique showcase opportunity for local and emerging artists.

From national to local stages, from coast to coast, our goal is to connect people from different walks of life so they can learn from one another, laugh with one another, and grow together.

By investing in music, we’re investing in more closely connected, confident communities and ultimately, a better, more inclusive world.

Why Music

The world is rapidly changing and many Canadians feel more isolated than ever. But music has the power to unite us. Music can turn the feeling of isolation into one of belonging. And when you feel like you belong, you feel connected, included, and confident.

By investing in music, we’re investing in more closely connected, confident communities and ultimately, a better world of tomorrow. From national to local stages, our goal is to connect people from different walks of life so they can learn from one another, laugh with one another, and grow together.

Music Matters

Impact 2030 – What we are doing

Impact 2030 is a business-led initiative mobilizing human capital within the private sector to advance the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by

  • Inspiring awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals and showcasing the impact of employee volunteering programs on these global goals.
  • Facilitating a cross sector and cross industry global movement to maximize collaboration and deploy employee volunteer resources to scale impact.
  • Leveraging existing resources and developing methodologies and frameworks to capture and measure the impact of employee volunteering on the Sustainable Development Goals

Impact 2030

Creative connections

Imagining the Possibilities
Music in Our Schools
Creative Canada 2017