- Part of UN Principles for Responsible Banking, Nature Target Setting Working Group to align targets with Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework which aims to reverse nature loss by 2030
- BMO named as the only Canadian bank participating in pioneering global working group composed of 34 banks from 24 countries
TORONTO, May 10, 2023 /CNW/ - BMO (TSX: BMO) (NYSE: BMO) today announced it has been selected to join the newly formed UN Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) Nature Target Setting Working Group to innovate nature target-setting for banks. The working group consists of 34 bank signatories to the UN PRB.
"As members of the United Nations Environment Program since 2010 and a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Banking since 2021, we are pleased to be part of the working group tasked with providing guidance to global banks for setting biodiversity and nature targets," said Michael Torrance, Chief Sustainability Officer, BMO. "Biodiversity, alongside climate action, is core to environmental sustainability. Banks have a critical role to play in supporting the goals set out in the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and driving progress toward closing the biodiversity financing gap."
The working group will work to build a new path for the banking sector to take urgent action on nature, including:
- Ensuring alignment with existing finance approaches
- Providing guidance to banks on setting targets to align their portfolio with the goals of the GBF
- Developing a Theory of Change for nature that considers the relationship between banking activities and the natural world
- Analyzing resources needed to close the biodiversity financing gap
- Recommending measures to enable nature-friendly businesses
- Providing guidance for integrating the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities in biodiversity targets
- Leveraging existing climate mitigation and net-zero targets towards addressing biodiversity loss
Updated guidance from the working group will allow PRB signatories interested in tackling the loss of biodiversity and nature to apply a holistic and systematic approach to set and achieve biodiversity targets. BMO's participation in this working group builds on its engagement with the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosure as a Forum participant, and collaboration with the Partnership for Biodiversity Accounting Financials– both leading frameworks for biodiversity and nature-related impact measurement in the financial sector.
As part of its Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is driving progress toward a more sustainable future. Carbon neutral in its own operations since 2010, BMO announced its Climate Ambition, to be its clients' lead partner in the transition to a net-zero world, in March 2021 alongside the launch of the BMO Climate Institute. The bank's climate ambition builds on a previous commitment to mobilize $300 billion (CAD) in sustainable lending and underwriting to companies pursuing sustainable outcomes by 2025. In 2021 BMO established a dedicated Energy Transition Group, to support clients' pursuit of opportunities driven by the increasing momentum of the global economy's shift in production and consumption of energy.
BMO's sustainability leadership continues to be recognized on global rankings, including number one bank on the World Benchmarking Alliance's 2022 Financial System Benchmark released at COP 27, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Ethisphere Institute's list of the World's Most Ethical Companies, and the most sustainable bank in North America for the fourth year in a row on Corporate Knights' 2023 Ranking of the World's 100 Most Sustainable Corporations.
BMO is a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Banking, the Operating Principles for Impact Investment, and the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials. BMO has been recognized for world class sustainability disclosure in line with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. In 2021 BMO was named Chair of the Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative to develop and share good practices related to biodiversity and ecosystem services in the extractive industries.
BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.15 trillion as of January 31, 2023. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to 12 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future and more inclusive society.
SOURCE BMO Financial Group