Around the world, there’s a growing recognition of the critical role investors can play in taking a responsible approach to ethics and sustainability.
Considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in our investment and ownership activities supports the long-term financial performance our clients want, and helps us promote positive change across a range of issues. It’s what our customers and regulators – as well as society – expect of us.
We believe that by considering factors such as climate change, labour standards, environmental management and corporate governance, we can gain a better understanding of the companies we invest in and the risks they face – helping us to make better investment decisions, and underpinning the delivery of long-term returns to our clients.
We also believe that acting responsibly is part of our duty as investment managers. Asset managers have a privileged and trusted position as stewards of capital. By using our influence wisely, we can contribute to meeting the world’s sustainability needs, as set out in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
BMO has a heritage of more than three decades in responsible investing. Our Global Asset Management business includes a team of ESG specialists who support the integration of ESG factors into investment processes throughout the entire group.
In addition to integrating material ESG issues into our investment decision-making, we also take an active approach to ownership. We have a comprehensive global program of engagement with the companies we invest in, encouraging them to adopt best practices on a wide range of ESG issues. Examples of our dialogue include discussing water management with food and beverage companies, pressing emerging market companies to improve their disclosure of sustainability issues, and calling on firms to improve board-level diversity.
Many of our customers share our passion for sustainability, and through our specialist ESG investment options, we can empower them to build portfolios that have a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact – alongside a financial return. Our award-winning Responsible Strategies range combines the exclusion of companies in controversial sectors with positive investment in sustainability solution providers. We also broke new ground by creating the BMO Women in Leadership Fund, the first impact investing fund of its kind in Canada, which seeks to invest in North American companies with a woman CEO or a board of directors with at least 25% female representation. And we provide products that use wealth-building tools to support environmental sustainability, including the BMO Fossil Fuel Free Fund, which excludes companies primarily involved in extracting and refining fossil fuels and maintaining infrastructure for their distribution.
Signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.
30+ years of responsible investing.
US$2.9 billion of assets held in the BMO Global Asset Management range of Responsible Funds as at September 30, 2018.