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BMO Financial Group signs IFC led Operating Principles for Impact Management
  • Affirms Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good through its commitment to a sustainable future through sustainable finance

NEW YORK, May 28, 2020 /CNW/ - Earlier today, at a virtual round table on impact investing co-hosted by BMO Capital Markets and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group, BMO announced it has signed the Operating Principles for Impact Management (the Principles), for which IFC led the development. BMO is the 95th signatory to the Principles and the first major bank in Canada to sign.

The Principles establish a market standard for investing in which investors seek to contribute to measurable positive social or environmental impact, alongside financial returns, in a transparent and accountable way. Signatories commit to upholding 9 principles, including defining impact objectives, assessing the expected impact of investments, monitoring and reporting on progress. The Principles aim to ensure that impact considerations are integrated into investment decisions throughout the investment lifecycle.

"By signing the Operating Principles for Impact Management, BMO commits to considering environmental and social impact in our approach to managing selected funds. The Principles are aligned with our approach to sustainability, responsible investing and our commitment to a sustainable future through sustainable finance," said Simon Fish, General Counsel for BMO Financial Group and Chair of BMO's Sustainability Council. "We hope this action encourages other investors to embed considerations of environmental and social impact alongside financial returns in their investing approach."

BMO's commitment covers a range of funds, including a selection of Global Asset Management Responsible Funds and the aligned BMO Impact Investment Fund.

"Responsible Investment is integral to our purpose as an asset manager, and this year we celebrate 20 years of running our investor engagement program," said Kristi Mitchem, CEO, BMO Global Asset Management. "During this time we have demonstrated our accountability through our reporting across the responsible strategies we run. In signing the Principles, we are proud to continue our commitment to making a positive impact and playing our part in the wider investor movement towards making finance a force for good."

BMO Financial Group's actions towards creating a sustainable future include:

  • First bank in Canada to structure a Sustainability Linked Loan
  • BMO committed to a 2020 goal to match 100% of its electricity usage with electricity produced from renewable sources across global operations
  • To date, World Bank has issued 9 Sustainable Development Bond [SDB] benchmark-sized tranches in USD and CAD: 7 CAD and 2 USD. BMO has been an underwriter on 8 of those 9 offerings, for a total of USD ~13bn in financing
  • In 2019, BMO issued a USD $500 million Sustainability Bond with use of proceeds tied to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • In 2019, BMO participated in USD $9.4 billion in sustainable bond underwriting, USD $7.9 billion of renewable energy debt and equity financing, and providing USD $4.2 billion of loan commitments to renewable energy entities and projects
  • BMO has implemented enhanced disclosure on climate-related risks and opportunities, in line with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board standards

BMO's leadership on sustainability has been recognized on numerous rankings, including:

  • Top ranked North American bank on Corporate Knights 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World
  • Recognized at the Leadership Level (A- score) by the CDP (formerly called the Carbon Disclosure Project) for its strong actions and transparency in the areas of climate change governance, climate change risk management, and greenhouse gas emissions reduction
  • Corporate Knights 2019 Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada
  • Dow Jones Sustainability Index, North America (2019) for the 15th year in a row
  • Ethisphere® Institute's list of the 2020 World's Most Ethical Companies®

For more information on BMO's commitment to a sustainable future, please visit the 2019 Sustainability Report.

About BMO Financial Group 
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $987 billion as of April 30, 2020, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: Media Contact: Kelly Hechler, Toronto, | 647-218-4830