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A greener future: BMO launches first U.S. climate financing program to help businesses build climate resilient operations

April 22, 2024 | Sustainable finance

BMO has launched its Greener Future Financing program in the United States – its first climate financing program to help small and medium-sized businesses build future-ready, climate resilient operations.  

In 24 states – including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming (businesses located in Michigan or Texas must be within 100 miles of a BMO full-service retail branch in an adjacent state) – BMO’s Greener Future Financing program will help businesses make progress on climate-related goals by providing the following: 

  • Climate resiliency loan discounts: Current and prospective customers may receive a 0.5 percent rate discount on qualifying business term loans, business flex loans, owner-occupied commercial estate mortgage loans, and investor-owned real estate mortgage loans ranging from $100,000 to $1,000,000. Loans must be used for an eligible purpose within the program guidelines which may include one of the following: renewable energy such as solar power and renewable fuels energy efficiency including LED lighting, heat pump systems, smart meters and other performance monitoring equipment, flood proofing and more. Customers can also receive an additional 0.25 percent off a loan rate when they set up automatic payments from a BMO business checking account at loan closing.  
  • Green business advisory: BMO will support, educate, and advise business owners with the information and capital required to build climate resilient operations and support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This includes providing climate-related insights on emerging policies and regulations, technologies, and case studies that help customers capture opportunities and manage climate-related risks. 

“Business leaders and our customers are telling us they value products, services and incentives that will help reduce their carbon footprint – as well as insights to help them adapt and thrive in this evolving business landscape. BMO’s commitment to sustainability is guided by our Purpose, to Boldy Grow the Good in business and life, and our Climate Ambition to be our customers’ lead partner in the transition to a net-zero world. Through the Greener Future Financing program, BMO is meeting these needs to help our customers make progress, advising them of climate-related risks and plans that future-proof businesses.”  

Niamh Kristufek
Head of U.S. Business Banking, BMO 

Climate change is an increasing priority for businesses 

According to the annual BMO Climate Institute Business Leaders survey: 

  • Half (48 percent) of business leaders believe climate change is already affecting their businesses and even more (81 percent) anticipate it will affect their businesses in the next five years – underscoring the need for climate-related solutions to make businesses more resilient to future challenges.  
  • In fact, U.S. business leaders (38 percent) are more likely to be moving forward with climate-related plans – up 10 percent from 2022. 
  • Most business leaders (68 percent) continue to believe that financial institutions could play a role in helping companies become more climate friendly. 

“We’re working hard to be our clients’ lead partner in the transition to a net-zero world, and Greener Future Financing will help them achieve their emissions reduction and resilience goals. Strategic insights into climate risks, tailored advice on mitigation plans, and facilitating access to financial resources, all support and empower our clients to drive sustainable progress.”   

– Michael Torrance 
Chief Sustainability Officer, BMO 

BMO’s Greener Future Financing program supports the bank’s Climate Ambition 

Carbon neutral in its operations since 2010, BMO announced its Climate Ambition in March 2021, including the launch of the BMO Climate Institute, to be its clients’ lead partner in the transition to a net-zero world. This ambition built on a previous commitment to mobilize $300 billion in capital to clients pursuing sustainable outcomes by 2025 – achieved two years early in 2023. 

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. Additionally, in 2022, BMO acquired Radicle Group, now BMO Radicle, a leader in sustainability advisory services and market-based solutions, and technology-driven emissions measurement and management.    

BMO’s sustainability leadership has been recognized on several other global rankings, including #1 bank on the World Benchmarking Alliance’s 2022 Financial System Benchmark, and Ethisphere Institute’s list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.    

In addition to Greener Future Financing, BMO offers a range of products and services to help business customers with the transition to net-zero, including: 

  • Climate Smart, a carbon accounting program that helps businesses measure and reduce their carbon footprint as well as cut operational costs. 
  • Sustainable Finance expertise and solutions, including loans, deposits, and bonds. 
  • Carbon Credit development and trading advisory to help businesses meet sustainability goals. 
  • A real estate retrofit program (Canada) to help real estate owners and operators improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. 

Learn more about BMO’s Greener Future Financing program in the U.S. 

For more information on BMO’s Purpose and how we are delivering on our commitments to a sustainable future, see our Sustainability Report and our Purpose, Climate, and Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 pages.

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