- BMO joint winner of Environmental Finance's 2021 Lead Manager of the Year, Social Bonds – Local Authority/Municipality category
- City of Toronto Social Bond is first-ever Social Bond from a Canadian Government issuer
TORONTO, March 31, 2021 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group (TSX: BMO) (NYSE: BMO) was one of several organizations recognized today by Environmental Finance's 2021 Bond Awards in the category of Lead Manager of the Year, Social Bonds – Local Authority/Municipality category.
BMO was recognized for its work on the inaugural Social Bond issued under the new City of Toronto Social Debenture Framework in June 2020 -- the first-ever Social Bond from a Canadian Government issuer. According to data from the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), the City of Toronto was only the third local government globally to issue a Social Bond in accordance with the ICMA Social Bond Principles.
The City of Toronto Social Bond, issued under Toronto's Social Debenture Framework, is part of a program to promote positive socioeconomic outcomes, from affordable housing and access to essential infrastructure and services, to socioeconomic advancement and empowerment.
"We're pleased about the recognition the City of Toronto Social Bond has received from Environmental Finance," said Jonathan Hackett, Head, BMO Sustainable Finance. "Government Social Bond issuances are an emerging and increasingly important area of sustainable financing and BMO is excited to be a leader in this growing space -- one that so closely aligns with our Purpose to grow the good."
"The pandemic has put pre-existing systemic socio-economic inequalities and poverty into the spotlight. We need to address these issues at the forefront of our thinking," said Heather Taylor, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, City of Toronto. "The City of Toronto's $100 million social bond proceeds have helped fund critical strategic initiatives that include shelters and affordable housing."
The $100 million bond issue, with a 10-year maturity, will mature on December 2, 2030. Investors paid a price of $99.98 to yield 1.602 per cent, which is the lowest borrowing cost the City of Toronto has ever secured. The proceeds from this issuance will be used to help fund Shelter, Support and Housing Administration's George Street Revitalization and 1,000 New Shelter Beds projects. More information about the City's Social Debenture Program is available on the City's website.
BMO continues to make significant progress on its Purpose to double the good for a sustainable future:
- In 2019, BMO unveiled its Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, announcing commitments to double the good for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society
- BMO has been carbon neutral across its operations since 2010 and in October 2020 BMO reached a key milestone in matching 100 per cent of electricity usage with renewable electricity
- In 2019, BMO issued a $500 million USD Sustainability Bond with use of proceeds tied to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
- In February 2021, BMO provided the first labelled Green Loan in Canadian history to Atlantic Packaging to finance a new 100% recycled containerboard facility, and worked with Atlantic to publish a Green Financing Framework
- In March 2021 the bank announced its climate ambition, including plans to build unique climate analytics capabilities to be its clients' lead partner in the transition to a net zero world. As part of the announcement the bank introduced the BMO Climate Institute, a multi-disciplinary organization harnessing science, analytics powered by innovative technology and industry leading expertise. BMO will more than double its Sustainable Finance commitment to deploying $300 billion in sustainable lending and underwriting by 2025, and mobilizing $700 billion via Responsible advisory and investment management services by 2025
BMO's leadership on sustainability has been recognized on numerous rankings:
- Ranked 15th on the Wall Street Journal's 2020 list of the 100 Most Sustainably Managed Companies in the World, third overall on Social Capital, only bank in North America
- Top North American bank on Corporate Knights' 2021 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World for the second year in a row
- Ranked in the top 10 per cent of banks globally on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and the top North American bank (2020)
- Scored an A- on the 2020 CDP Climate Change disclosure
- Ethisphere® Institute's 2020 list of the World's Most Ethical Companies®
- Corporate Knights 2020 Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada
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 $973 billion as of January 31, 2021, 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