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BMO among first banks to sign UN Principles for Responsible Banking

February 2, 2021 | Purpose, Sustainability

BMO has signed the United Nations Environment Programme – Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) Principles for Responsible Banking.

The Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) provide a framework for a sustainable banking system. By signing, BMO is committing to align its business strategy with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement and relevant national regional frameworks. This includes conducting an impact analysis to identify priority positive and negative impacts associated with its operations and financing activity, working collaboratively with clients and stakeholders to maximize positive and minimize negative impacts, and demonstrating transparency and accountability through public reporting.

“We’ve been members of the UNEP-FI since 2010 and are pleased to be an early signatory to the Principles for Responsible Banking in Canada,” said Darryl White, CEO, BMO Financial Group. “Banks have a critical role to shape and finance a more sustainable future. The work we do with our clients and stakeholders to understand and mitigate the impact of our operations and financial activity is an important part of how we’ll achieve it. By signing the PRB we are strengthening our commitment to advance the SDGs and the transition to a net zero carbon economy.”

BMO continues to make significant progress on its Purpose to double the good for a sustainable future. Committed to mobilizing $400 billion in sustainable finance by 2025 — including lending, underwriting and investing $150 billion in companies pursuing sustainable outcomes, and aligning $250 billion in client investments to sustainable objectives — the bank has already achieved 71 per cent of its $150 billion target and surpassed its $250 billion target. In developing a world-class Sustainability program, BMO has already built the framework that will enable the bank to meet and exceed its obligations as a signatory to the Principles.

“We are excited that BMO as a longstanding and valued member of UNEP FI is now also becoming a Principle for Responsible Banking Signatory and hope more Canadian peers will follow BMO’s leadership,” said Eric Usher, Head, UNEP Finance Initiative.

BMO’s leadership on sustainability has been recognized on numerous rankings, including:

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