Being a responsible bank means weighing the impact of every decision, everywhere we do business. And it means always thinking about what further contribution we can make: Building more robust communities. Protecting the environment. Helping people find new opportunities. And driving social and economic well-being. Because this is the only way to achieve sustainable growth.
Every new initiative at BMO starts with a basic question: What do our stakeholders expect? Not just our customers and shareholders, but also our employees. The communities where we do business. And all of society. Simply stated, our diverse stakeholders count on us to act ethically, transparently and responsibly. Always.
For our bank, sustainability is not an add-on. It’s at the heart of our strategic agenda. The value we help to create goes far beyond the returns we deliver to investors. It’s also measured by the positive impacts we achieve collectively with all of our stakeholders. And like them, we’re continually adjusting our perspective in light of fast-changing social, political, economic and environmental issues.
In 2017, we formalized a set of sustainability principles focused on social change, financial resilience, community building and environmental impact. They’re clear statements of purpose that reinforce our promise to customers – We’re here to help – and ground it in a deeper sense of responsibility. Placing these principles alongside our strategic priorities underlines what has always been clear from our actions: sustainability is integral to how our bank does business. How we make important decisions. How we manage risk. And how we drive long-term growth.
Our business is built on conversations. We listen closely to the customers who use our products and services. And to the change makers who ask us to partner with them as they launch ventures, create jobs, improve neighbourhoods and boost social and economic well-being. We need to understand their priorities. Appreciate their points of view. And respond meaningfully on the questions that matter – to all of us.
We also listen to our employees, working together to foster a mutually supportive culture anchored by the highest standards of ethical behaviour. The bank’s Code of Conduct, grounded in our shared values, guides every choice we make and helps us gauge the actions of others. Across every area and level of the organization, we’re committed to ensuring a work environment in which people feel welcome, respected and safe.
In all of these efforts, we consult regularly with the diverse community of stakeholders who contribute to our success and are affected by how we do business. We’ve identified the best global practices in stakeholder engagement, adapting them for our industry. And we’re committed to rigorously measuring and reporting on BMO’s sustainability performance.As our bank continues to move forward, we’re strengthening the bridge between strategy and sustainability. Because for us the choice is never between one or the other – it’s both. We constantly look beyond the horizon. We stay agile and responsive as we adapt to, and help to create, new opportunities. At the same time, we’re anchored by fundamentals that don’t change – beginning with our accountability to all BMO stakeholders as we work to earn and retain their trust.