We achieved enterprise-wide carbon neutrality in August 2010. This milestone reflected our cumulative efforts in three areas: reduced energy consumption in our real estate facilities and for employees’ business-related travel; our investment in electricity from renewable sources; and our purchase of high-quality voluntary carbon credits to offset any remaining emissions.
Learn more about how we achieved that goal.
We maintained carbon neutrality even as our U.S. operations expanded significantly in 2011 with the acquisition of M&I Bank, which added several office facilities and 374 branches to our footprint. These additions increased our absolute carbon emissions; however, because we’ve made a multi-year commitment to purchase carbon credits, we were able to apply a surplus in offsetting the impact of our larger physical presence.
We are committed to reducing the impact we have on the environment. The largest contributing factor to that impact – approximately 90% – is the real estate space we occupy. Business transportation by our employees and the fleet of vehicles we own account for most of the balance.
In 2010 we successfully met our target of reducing absolute carbon emissions by 5% versus 2007 baseline levels. In fact, we exceeded that goal – absolute emissions were reduced by 8%, equivalent to just over 13,000 tonnes of emissions.
In 2012 BMO set a new target: to reduce absolute enterprise carbon emissions by 10% by the end of fiscal 2016.
How will we achieve this new target?
We’ll use the same formula we used to achieve our 2010 goal:
We will announce our paper reduction target in 2012.
As a financial institution occupying office buildings and retail branches, our use of water is limited primarily to kitchens and washrooms. Establishing a baseline for water consumption across our enterprise has been challenging mainly due to the availability of reliable data. We continue to focus on establishing a reliable baseline before committing to reduction targets.
Establishing a baseline for waste (landfill and recycling) has proved to be a challenge across the wide variety of facilities that we occupy, mainly due to the availability of reliable data. While we are making progress at some larger facilities and have established baselines and targets, we have not yet announced an enterprise-wide target.
Measurement and Accountability
We will measure progress against our target annually, and report to BMO’s Sustainability Council.