Our plan of action
We want to be a leader amongst financial institutions in Canada in the area of Environmental Sustainability, specifically in the area of understanding and addressing the environmental impacts of our own operational footprint.
The BMO ECO5 Strategy
BMO aims to be a leader amongst financial institutions in environmental sustainability, specifically understanding and addressing the environmental impacts of our own operational footprint. We’ve built our environmental sustainability strategy around five key BMO operational activities that have the potential to significantly impact the environment:
These activities are continually revised to achieve greater environmental performance.
The BMO ECO5 Strategy is an organizational framework that helps us:
Energy reduction and efficiency
Energy reduction and efficiency program
BMO aims to maximize energy conservation in our facilities. We continually upgrade infrastructure (such as lighting, HVAC, building envelope and control systems) to increase operating efficiency and employee comfort. Some of the ways we’re reducing energy consumption are highlighted below.
Retail branch energy audits
BMO’s retail branch portfolio makes up about half of our total carbon footprint. To identify energy efficiency opportunities, we have commissioned energy audits for a significant portion of our retail branches in Canada and the U.S. Energy audits target lighting, building envelope, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, controls, signage and plumbing. By improving energy efficiency, we are reducing energy consumption, improving employee and customer comfort and reducing our carbon footprint.
Remote monitoring within retail branches (Canada)
BMO worked with business units of United Technologies Corporation to create a system that allows cooling, heating, lighting, signage and security systems at 12 retail branches across Ontario to be remotely monitored and controlled from a central location. The innovative system is expected to yield reductions of 20% in electricity usage and 15% in natural gas consumption, as well as savings from lower operating costs and longer equipment life cycles.
Over the past several years, BMO has undertaken a number of projects which are either registered for, or have achieved, LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). LEED certification covers the design, construction and operation of green buildings and considers features such as energy-efficient heating and cooling, including energy recovery from exhaust air.
In Canada, three BMO branches are LEED-certified and one is awaiting certification under the Canadian Green Building Councils’ LEED (New Construction) certification program. In addition, a number of our office floor renovations have been submitted for registration under the LEED Commercial Interiors program.
In the U.S., we have two LEED-certified branches, one which is geothermally powered. A third branch, in the Chicago area, is registered and awaiting certification.
In 2011, BMO occupied a new, state-of-the-art customer contact facility in Mississauga, Ontario. The building is registered for LEED Core & Shell and Commercial Interiors certification. To learn more, read the press release.
IT hardware asset utilization
BMO received the 2008 Green Enterprise IT Award for IT Hardware Asset Utilization from the Uptime Institute for our reduction efforts. By eliminating 409 servers, 40 peripheral devices and two storage subsystems, our computer centre in the Greater Toronto Area reduced its energy consumption by 526 kilowatts – equivalent to the energy 430 average-sized homes would use in a year.
GREEN OFFICE designation
In 2010, our 658,000 square-foot office building in Chicago received GREEN OFFICE designation from leading sustainable real estate firm Hines. To achieve this, we satisfied at least 70 Leaf Credits by taking proactive steps to reduce energy consumption, waste profile and overall impact on the environment.
Sustainable transport program
BMO aims to continually minimize the environmental impacts associated with transportation by personnel for business-related activities. Highlights of our sustainable transport program are listed below.
Reducing air travel
To reduce our fossil fuel consumption from air travel, BMO encourages our employees to use technological alternatives such as video-conferencing and teleconferencing whenever possible. BMO’s Audio Visual Services developed an online tool for BMO employees outlining the available collaboration technologies, which include TelePresence, VideoConference, WebCast and Teleconference.
We continue to focus on the fuel efficiency of vehicles in our service fleet. In Chicago, our employee motor pool consists of 20 hybrid sedans. In Canada, we have 62 hybrid vehicles, representing over half of our service vehicle fleet. As leases expire for conventional, gas-powered vehicles, we will continue to convert to greener alternatives. Across the enterprise, sixty per cent of our service vehicle fleet is comprised of hybrid vehicles.
Public transit passes
To reduce vehicle emissions, BMO encourages employees to use public transit when travelling to and from our offices. In the Toronto area, BMO has enrolled in the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) VIP Green Metropass Program, which allows companies to manage the purchase and distribution of discounted transit passes for their employees. In Vancouver, BMO participates in a similar program offered by TransLink, the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority.
We’re working to reduce congestion on our roadways. BMO partnered with Smart Commute Mississauga to create a Carpool Zone for employees at our Mississauga Customer Contact Centre. The program allows commuters to easily find people to carpool with, and helps reduce congestion and lower emissions. We hope to expand this program to feasible locations in the future.
BMO also participates in the Emergency Ride Home Program, which provides commuters with easy access to transportation alternatives in the event of a personal emergency.
Greenteam Courier is a Toronto-based company that has eliminated motorized delivery vehicles from its fleet in the downtown core by using bicycle, foot and public transit couriers for pick-ups and deliveries. BMO Nesbitt Burns uses Greenteam for more than half their deliveries.
BMO partnered with Grand & Toy in Canada and Office Max in the U.S. to implement a right-day delivery service for office supplies to a number of our facilities. These vendors select particular days for delivery and consolidate our orders, reducing the frequency of trips to our offices and consequently, the number of trucks on the road. We expect the carbon emissions associated with Grand & Toy and Office Max delivery to be cut by 34% as a result of this initiative.
Sustainable materials program
BMO aims to improve our efficiency in the use of materials. Highlights of our sustainable materials program are listed below.
Responsible paper use
We have introduced a number of initiatives to responsibly manage our paper consumption, including:
BMO continues to focus on using more sustainable materials in new construction and renovation projects for our facilities. We aim to:
To further protect the environment, we maximize the use of green cleaning products by janitorial services personnel in our facilities.
Waste management program
As an organization, we recognize waste is produced through our operations. Our goal is reduce waste going to landfill and promote recycling. Highlights of our waste management program are listed below:
Technology disposal program
BMO has a well-established technology disposal program designed to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of our customers and employees, and minimize the environmental impact of disposing unwanted equipment. When possible, we donate equipment, including computers, fax machines and cell phones, to charitable organizations. Non-usable equipment is disposed of using environmentally friendly methods. Please see Environmental Performance for specific data.
Paper shredding and recycling
BMO partners with Iron Mountain®, a leading records and information management service, to provide secure shredding at all BMO facilities in Canada and the U.S. This provides added security for customers and employees. Iron Mountain tallies all paper captured, shredded and recycled, helping us to accurately measure our paper shredding and recycling efforts. Please see Environmental Performance for specific data.
BMO has initiated waste audits at several large, owned office and special-purpose facilities (e.g. processing centres, learning centre) over the past few years. The result of these formal reviews is a waste audit report and waste diversion work plan. We are using this information to better understand our current waste practices and implement improvements. To identify even more opportunities for improvement, we also completed waste audits for a small number of retail branches across Canada.
For leased facilities, we continue to work with landlords to promote awareness of building-specific waste practices, and we encourage our employees to take advantage of waste reduction and recycling opportunities.
We have organics-composting programs in a number of our major office facilities. Kitchen food waste and soiled kitchen/washroom paper towels are diverted from landfill for composting.
BMO is committed to ongoing compliance with applicable environmental legal requirements. Examples include:
Sustainable procurement program
BMO is committed to purchasing products and services from socially and environmentally responsible suppliers. We have a comprehensive sustainable procurement practice that includes environmental and social considerations in the process for evaluating and selecting suppliers across the enterprise. View the BMO Sustainable Procurement Questionnaire.