BMO Launches Climate Financing Program in U.S.

BMO launched its Greener Future Financing program in the U.S. The program is a climate financing program designed to help small and medium-sized businesses build climate-resilient operations.

The program is available 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).

The program will aim help to businesses make progress on climate-related goals by providing:

  • Climate resiliency loan discounts: Current and prospective customers may receive a 0.5% 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 million if they are used for an eligible purpose within the program guidelines, including for renewable energy (such as solar power and renewable fuels energy efficiency, including LED lighting), heat pump systems, smart meters and other performance monitoring equipment and flood proofing. Customers can also receive an additional 0.25% 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, including providing climate-related insights on emerging policies and regulations, technologies and case studies.

“Business leaders and our customers are telling us that 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,” Niamh Kristufek, head of U.S. business banking at BMO, said. “BMO’s commitment to sustainability is guided by our purpose to boldly grow the good in business and life and our climate ambition to be our clients’ lead partner in the transition to a net-zero world. Through our 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.”

According to the annual BMO Climate Institute Business Leaders survey:

  • Nearly half (48%) of business leaders believe climate change is already affecting their businesses and even more (81%) 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, 38% of U.S. business leaders are more likely to be moving forward with climate-related plans (up 10% from 2022).
  • Most business leaders (68%) continue to believe that financial institutions could play a role in helping companies become more climate friendly.

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, achieving the feat 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 provider of sustainability advisory services and market-based solutions, and technology-driven emissions measurement and management.

“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,” Michael Torrance, chief sustainability officer at BMO, said. “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.”

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Terry Mulreany
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