BMO Arranges Green Financing for Trinity College’s Centre for Sustainability

Trinity College secured a labelled green loan for the Lawson Centre for Sustainability, the college’s new residence and academic building. Arranged by BMO, the green loan will be used to finance the construction of the new mass timber, zero carbon, LEED platinum multi-use building.

“This new flagship facility is the most significant building project Trinity College has undertaken in 100 years, something made possible by the generosity of our alumni, who have given unprecedented levels of support to the Living Trinity Campaign. The Lawson Centre for Sustainability will enhance our historic campus and benefit students for generations to come,” Mayo Moran, provost and vice chancellor of Trinity College, a university federated with the University of Toronto, said. “Through the new Lawson Centre for Sustainability and our innovative Integrated Sustainability Initiative, we are building upon our commitment to the environment, promoting wellness and creating a new student experience model in which sustainability education and practices are integrated into daily life at the college.”

Currently under construction, the multi-use facility will add 14,450 square meters of residential, academic, social and dining spaces for the Trinity College community. Residential capacity on the Trinity campus will increase from 450 to 800 beds.

“Inspired by our purpose to boldly grow the good in business and life, BMO’s climate ambition is to be our clients’ lead partner in the transition to a net zero world,” Jonathan Hackett, head of sustainable finance at BMO, said. “As a leader in sustainable finance, we are proud to arrange the first labelled green loan to a North American university. Helping clients like Trinity College make progress towards their ESG goals, which include supporting sustainability education and practices, is a great example of the way we partner with organizations to create new and effective sustainable solutions.”

The Lawson Centre will use geothermal heating and cooling as well as rooftop photovoltaics, triple-glazed windows, an underground cistern for rainwater collection and reuse, and locally sourced materials, including limestone and bricks.

“Through our Integrated Sustainability Initiative, innovative sustainability programming will also be available to students, from academic and co-curricular initiatives to research opportunities and experiential learning, along with a farm-to-table program, community kitchen for teaching and learning, and food-systems research,” Moran said, noting that the landscape plan includes unique native species ecology zones, two new courtyard spaces and open green space for a variety of activities, along with the George and Martha Butterfield Rooftop Farm.

Scheduled to open in 2025, the Lawson Centre for Sustainability is expected to receive the highest advanced levels of energy efficiency certifications, including LEED Platinum certification and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Building Design Standard. It will also aim to achieve the WELL standard to address the broader sustainability goals of the project and the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals No. 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), No. 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), No. 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and No. 13 (Climate Action).

The green financing is issued under Trinity College’s Green Financing Framework, which is aligned with the International Capital Market Association’s Green Bond Principles 2021 as well as the Loan Market Association’s Green Loan Principles 2021. The green financing received a positive second party opinion by DNV Business Assurance Services UK Limited.

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