It’s more important than ever for organizations to integrate sustainability into business practices and procedures. At BMO, we make it a priority not only to ensure we’re doing this ourselves, but also to collaborate with global partners on these issues. A recent example is our work with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).
UNEP FI is a partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector to mobilize private sector finance for sustainable development. It works with more than 300 members – banks, insurers, and investors – and more than 100 supporting institutions to help create a financial sector that serves people and the planet – while delivering positive impacts. By leveraging the UN’s role, UNEP FI accelerates sustainable finance.
Now, BMO is playing a key role in developing UNEP FI tools that will enable banks, investors and their service providers to implement a holistic approach to managing their impact.
BMO’s Whitney McWade is part of the team working on UNEP FI’s Portfolio Impact Analysis Tool for Banks, which aims to help banks understand the sustainability-related challenges and opportunities faced by their clients. The analysis will allow banks to prioritize social, environmental and economic impacts based on the impact profile of their portfolios and the needs of the countries where they operate. With this information, banks will be better equipped to mobilize the private sector’s effectiveness in contributing to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“This tool will be useful for banks aiming to embed the concept of impact into their business model, from both a risk management perspective, and as a means to identify opportunities to grow positive impact, in particular through sustainable finance,” says Whitney.
We’re also participating in the banking pilot of the UNEP FI Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), focused on enhancing TCFD implementation, with BMO’s Rebekah Church representing the bank in the working group. The pilot aims to expand the group of participating banks and external partners, improve the existing TCFD toolkit, and establish UNEP FI’s leadership position as an essential platform for advice and dialogue.
The project addresses several aspects of implementing the TCFD recommendations, including developing standardized methodologies and best practices around scenario analysis, data and methodology, reporting and governance. Another focus area is further developing a scenario-based approach for assessing the potential physical and transition impacts of climate change on corporate lending portfolios.
“We have been a leader in the climate risk field for a long time, and we have a lot of knowledge to contribute in developing global best practices,” says Rebekah. “This is a great opportunity to collaborate with our peers and cement our leadership position in managing risks related to climate change.”
Learn more about sustainable finance at BMO.