As a bank, we’re asking the fundamental questions: what do our stakeholders – starting with our customers, and extending to our employees, communities, and society as a whole – expect? How do we address those expectations fully and responsibly?
While everyone plays a part in building a more just society where people can thrive, we acknowledge that corporations – and especially financial institutions – are given a unique role. It’s more than a responsibility; it’s an opportunity to act as change makers, and to contribute – not just through our financial resources, but also our knowledge, our passion, our influence and our values.
It’s also good business. The health of our bank is inextricably linked to the long-term prosperity of our customers and communities, and to sustained – and sustainable – local and global economic growth.
It’s that sustainability that lives at the heart of our strategic agenda at BMO, and it’s integral to how we do business. When we celebrate diversity and the opportunity to learn from each other’s differences, we create meaningful change. When we become a carbon neutral bank, and then push further to address climate change across our organization, we’re part of a growing wave moving society toward the low-carbon economy of the future. When we finance the construction of infrastructure in inner-city Chicago or a remote Indigenous community in Alberta, we’re helping build healthy neighbourhoods and create long-term economic vitality. The impact of all this work is undeniable – and it’s measured in the rising standard of living today, and generational progress tomorrow.
Good corporate citizenship also means being a model for others. That’s why we aim to set a standard and forge a path for our peers to follow. BMO has been recognized across a number of corporate responsibility categories for our diligence, innovation and overall performance. And while we appreciate awards, that’s not why we do it. We strive constantly to strengthen our position as a leader in the effort to build a more sustainable society and environment; as a peer who can bring others to the table to solve challenges together; and as a community partner. That means listening to stakeholders, seeking to understand what they care about, offering support in many forms, and above all, living the values that underpin our actions and are integrated into every touchpoint with customers and communities.
Underlying all of these actions are our four sustainability principles:
These principles are deeply embedded in our corporate strategy, and they are reflected in the activities described in this handbook. Here, we can see the principles come to life.
At BMO, corporate social responsibility is an opportunity to act as change makers, activating our values in an effort to create economic vitality and strengthen our communities, neighbourhood by neighbourhood.