Mr. Michael Torrance reports
BMO TO CHAIR GLOBAL CROSS-SECTOR BIODIVERSITY INITIATIVE
Bank of Montreal's BMO Financial Group has been appointed chair of the Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative (CSBI). The CSBI is a partnership of the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA), the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM), the Equator Principals Association (EPA), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the International Finance Corp. (IFC), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to develop and share good practices related to biodiversity and ecosystem services in the extractive industries.
"After two years as part of the North American steering committee on the Equator Principles Association, we are honoured to be named chair of the CSBI," said Michael Torrance, chief sustainability officer of BMO Financial Group. "Biodiversity must be core to environmental sustainability, alongside climate action. This will be a critical year with the planned launch of a post-2020 strategy for biodiversity and work under way to enhance corporate management and disclosure on this topic. We hope to advance the CSBI's work in promoting leading approaches to biodiversity management for companies in the mining, energy and financial sectors."
Areas of focus for the CSBI include providing practical guidance and innovative approaches to extractive projects on implementing the mitigation hierarchy -- avoid, minimize, restore and offset; good practices for biodiversity baseline studies that allow biodiversity to be included effectively in impact assessments and management plans; and a road map to identify milestones and key interdependencies between project development schedules, financing timelines and actions required to mitigate impact on ecosystems. Through its knowledge-sharing working group, various tools and member webinars, the CSBI enables invaluable information sharing, capacity building and learning among members and stakeholders.
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 (U.S.) sustainability bond with use of proceeds tied to the United Nation sustainable development goals.
- In February, 2021, BMO provided the first labelled green loan in Canadian history to Atlantic Packaging to finance a new 100-per-cent-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 multidisciplinary 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 over all 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-minus 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.
About Bank of Montreal
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider -- the eighth-largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $973-billion as of Jan. 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.
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