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HomePersonal BankingWealth ManagementSmall BusinessCommercialCorporate & InstitutionalAbout BMO


Carbon Neutrality

*Relative to energy consumption and transportation emissions.

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.

Emissions Reduction

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 we successfully met a second target which was to reduce absolute enterprise carbon emissions by 10% versus 2011 baseline levels by the end of fiscal 2016.

Currently we have two emissions related reduction targets, both established in 2013:

  1. Absolute emissions target - to reduce absolute enterprise carbon emissions by 10% versus fiscal 2012 baseline levels by the end of fiscal 2017.

    As at the end of fiscal 2015, our progress against this target is as follows:
    Absolute emissions, adjusted to exclude the impacts of weather and emissions factors changes, have decreased by 9.9% as at the end of F2015 vs. our F2012 baseline, just shy of our 5 year 10% target.

  2. Intensity based emissions target - To reduce enterprise carbon emissions by 0.50 tonnes per employee versus fiscal 2012 baseline level of 4.76 tCO2e/FTE, by the end of fiscal 2017.

    As at the end of fiscal 2015, our progress against this target is as follows:
    With a reduction of 0.46 tCO2e per FTE realized, versus the target of 0.50 tCO2e, we are currently tracking at a 92% reduction rate versus the base year of F2012. BMO uses emissions for Scopes 1, 2 & 3 for this target.  Emissions, adjusted for weather and changes to emissions factors decreased versus F2012 baseline by 9.9% while total employees increase by approximately 0.2% over the same period.

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How will we achieve these new targets?

We’ll use the same formula we used to achieve our prior goals:

Step 1: Reduce and limit emissions from transportation and energy usage.

Step 1: We have a number of activities underway that focus on reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. These include energy retrofits and recommissioning or reducing real estate facilities where we have consolidation or alternate workplace strategies in place. We are also reducing emissions from employee transportation for business purposes using technology such as teleconferencing and videoconferencing.

Step 2: Purchase electricity from renewable energy sources.

Step 2: We are committed to investing in the use of renewable electricity for our facilities, and the renewable energy certificates we’ve purchased will reduce our emissions.

Step 3: Buy carbon credits to offset remaining emissions.

Step 3: In 2009 we invested $10 million ($2 million each year for five years) in the Greening Canada Fund, a voluntary carbon emissions reduction fund aimed exclusively at large Canadian corporations. The fund purchases and delivers carbon offset credits across Canada for its investors. This commitment will take us through to 2013 and will be evaluated as part of the measurement process.


In 2012, we set a five-year goal to reduce enterprise paper consumption by 25% (based on our 2011 consumption level of 6,626 tonnes). We expect to achieve this by:

  1. Encouraging customers to use our eStatement service;
  2. Focusing on optimizing internal processes to reduce paper use; and
  3. Encouraging shareholders to consent to the electronic delivery of shareholder materials, such as our Annual Report and Management Proxy Circular.

    As at the end of fiscal 2015, our progress against this target is as follows:

    We are on track to reach our goal of reducing paper consumption by 25%.  At the end of year four, we have reduced paper consumption, versus the 2011 baseline, by 20.6%.


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 targets annually, and report to BMO’s Sustainability Council.

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