TORONTO, May 4, 2021 /CNW/ - In May 2020, BMO Financial Group (TSX: BMO) (NYSE: BMO) became the first major bank in Canada to sign the International Finance Corporation (IFC) led Operating Principles for Impact Management ("the Principles"). The Principles set a market standard for investing by which investors seek to contribute to measurable positive social or environmental impacts 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.
As part of its pledge, BMO has published its first Disclosure Statement which affirms that the bank has established procedures that ensure investments made through the $250 million BMO Impact Fund are managed in alignment with the Principles. The Fund's goal is to find and scale solutions to sustainability challenges and was established as part of BMO's Purpose, its commitment to sustainable finance and a sustainable future.
"In setting up the BMO Impact Fund as part of our broader Sustainable Finance commitment, we wanted to implement processes that met the high-water mark of impact fund management," said Jonathan Hackett, Managing Director and Head of Sustainable Finance at BMO. "The Principles provide us with that benchmark, have helped inform our impact assessment and management throughout the investment lifecycle, and help us to prioritize investments that demonstrably contribute to sustainability objectives."
The Disclosure Statement, which can be read here, describes the Fund's strategy and focus areas, as well as the bespoke methodology BMO has developed to assess impact at a portfolio and individual investment level.
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 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 percent 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. As part of its commitment to Sustainable Finance, BMO has committed to deploying $300 billion in sustainable lending and underwriting 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 – BMO was the only North American bank included
- 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 2020 Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and the top North American bank
- 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
- Joint winner of Environmental Finance's 2021 Lead Manager of the Year, Social Bonds – Local Authority/Municipality category
For more information on BMO's commitment to a sustainable future, please visit the bank's Sustainability Report. To learn more about sustainable finance at BMO click here. For BMO's climate ambition, visit our Climate page.
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