The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How TD promotes employee development

As a top 10 North American bank, with over 25 million customers served around the globe and more than 2,300 retail locations across North America, TD Bank remains focused on delivering award-winning customer service and hassle-free products to its customers. TD’s ability to attract and retain the best and the brightest, while sustaining and deepening the relationship with its current employees, is critical to maintaining its customer experience.

This case study is based on the 2018 ESG Report by TD published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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TD’s commitment to creating new development opportunities for its people extends across the organisation  Tweet This!, with leaders at every level supporting and challenging employees to bring their whole selves to work and deliver their best to customers and each other. In order to promote employee development TD took action to:

  • reskill employees
  • implement leadership programmes
  • apply Leading with Impact

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 ESG Report TD identified a range of material issues, such as customer experience, data security, responsible financing, social and economic inclusion, climate change, product and service responsibility. Among these, promoting employee development stands out as a key material issue for TD.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards                        

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups TD engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement


·      Soliciting feedback by phone and online

·      Formal process for handling complaints

·      Consumer associations

·      Social media team




·      Employee surveys, focus groups and HR meetings

·      Executive leadership visits

·      Intranet comment engine and online communities (Connections)

·      Employee Ombudsman (Between Us)

·      Employee Assistance Programme

·      Whistleblower Hotline

Shareholders and Investors


·      Annual meeting and quarterly earnings calls

·      Shareholder proposals

·      Shareholder Relations team

·      Regular meetings with investors

·      Investor Relations website

·      Industry conferences



·      Government Relations teams for Canada and the U.S.

·      Ongoing dialogue with regulators and policy-makers



·      Website for prospective suppliers

·      Email responses to supplier questions

Industry Associations


·      Industry association memberships

·      Memberships in various multi-stakeholder groups

·      Participation in financial centre bodies



·      Citizenship team

·      Diversity team

·      Ongoing dialogue with community organisations

·      Volunteer Network

·      TD Friends of the Environment

Non-Governmental Organisations


·      Meetings, phone calls, face-to-face consultation

·      Funding research projects

·      Conferences and forums

·      Over 250 engagements on environmental topics

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics TD conducted interviews with senior leaders from businesses across TD and representatives of various stakeholder groups.

What actions were taken by TD to promote employee development?

In its 2018 ESG Report TD reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee development:

  • Reskilling employees
  • In 2018, TD launched TD Thrive, a new development platform that empowers its employees to build the skills they need to learn and grow today and well into the future. TD’s vision is to have a single platform for all learning needs, with rich content and mobile and social functionality for real-time learning. With TD Thrive, TD fulfills its shared commitment to develop employees in a new way, letting them learn on their own terms, whether it is building new digital skills or deepening their financial expertise. TD Thrive allows employees to acquire capabilities and skills of their choosing and at their own pace that will serve them personally and professionally over their lifetimes. The content within TD Thrive, which is powered by the education technology company Degreed, is curated into Pathways, Skill Plans and Career Paths so that employees can access development content in a way that is relevant and personal to them and their career aspirations. As personal banking in Canada evolves TD is also adapting through a programme called Future Ready, which will help TD continue to meet the expectations of its customers. Future Ready is designed to help TD better understand their needs, simplify their lives and deliver timely advice they need to make appropriate and informed decisions. Evolving for its customers also means helping TD’s employees learn and contribute in new ways. For example, to improve its advice in branches, TD is equipping employees with the tools and training they need to help its customers feel more financially confident. TD has also begun to create more specialisation in branch roles, while concurrently establishing more career paths for branch employees.
  • Implementing leadership programmes
  • TD invests in creating unique and strategic development opportunities for leaders at all levels of the organisation and, in 2018, designed and delivered leadership programmes for hundreds of leaders across TD. Among these important programmes are the following:
    • Activate: This is a leadership development programme for new people managers. TD’s goal is for all new leaders to have the tools and knowledge they need to make the transition as quickly and as smoothly as possible by offering targeted development within their first six months. Activate offers two days of instructor-led training focusing on core leadership skills such as team dynamics, coaching capability, critical thinking and organisational awareness. The programme empowers newly hired or recently promoted managers to lead with confidence while at the same time being aligned with TD’s values.
    • Elevate: TD’s signature executive development programme is focused on inclusive leadership behaviours that are proven business accelerators. In this highly immersive and interactive two-day workshop, TD’s leaders grapple with the real-life trade-offs and tensions needed to balance employee engagement, client experience and profitability. Each session, co-facilitated by senior TD leaders, demonstrates effective leadership behaviours rooted in TD’s culture, values and real-life business context. By June 2019, it was expected that all of TD’s executives would have completed this comprehensive and challenging development programme. Additionally, Leadership Ready, TD’s online platform of over 300 self-directed learning assets, reinforces what effective leadership looks like at TD.
  • Applying Leading with Impact
  • In addition to developing all leaders, TD also makes additional targeted investments in an annually identified pool of diverse talent who are expected to be the successors to senior leadership roles. Since 2015, TD has offered programmes each year to invest in its future leaders, including Leading with Impact, pod coaching and 6in6 Mentoring. The largest of the three, Leading with Impact (LWI), is an experience-based programme that challenges participants through a combination of critical experiences and classroom learning, with a focus on driving real business impact and developing leadership capabilities through a strategic team assignment. The programme, which consists of seven days in class over the course of five months, builds business acumen and cross-enterprise, cross-border learning. A key component of the programme is the opportunity to work in cross-functional, cross-border teams to work with a community organisation. Each team helps address a business problem the organisation is facing, culminating with a presentation of recommended solutions to a board of directors panel. By leveraging the business acumen of its emerging leaders to strengthen its community partners, TD has established a unique approach to helping them achieve sustainability while also developing its people.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee

2) Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs


Disclosure 404-1 Average hours of training per year per employee corresponds to:

Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs corresponds to:


80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.

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By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP



1) This case study is based on published information by TD, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:


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