Responsible Investing

By considering long-term environmental, social, governance and ethical issues, we believe we are better placed to match our clients’ investment goals with what they value. For more than 30 years, our responsible investment approach has driven the creation of investment solutions and funds across sectors and geographies.

“People are understanding that what they do with their savings, with their pension money, is not disconnected from the real world. Their money means something and they want it to reflect their values and concerns.”

Alice Evans, Co-head, Responsible Investment team

Responsible Investment Team - BMO Global Asset Management Canada
In-house expertise

Separate teams focus on sustainable screening and portfolio management with extensive research capabilities and risk management.

Global coverage

Environmental, social & governance (ESG) analysis on hundreds of global companies to support Responsible Investment strategies.

Engagement

Responsible engagement and voting program led by our in-house analysts.

Responsible investment policy

At BMO Global Asset Management, portfolio investment decisions are always made in the best interests of our clients. Supporting these investment decisions is the belief that prudent management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues can have an important impact on the creation of long-term investor value. Companies that successfully manage their ESG risks, and proactively follow ESG best practices, may experience risk-adjusted outperformance over the longer-term. This belief underpins our commitment to being a responsible investor.

Material ESG considerations are integrated into our overall investment process. Our research analysts and portfolio managers follow a process that considers the potential impact of ESG issues related to investments in our internally managed portfolios, and we seek partners that do the same. This analysis informs our asset allocation, stock selection, portfolio construction, shareholder engagement and voting.

This approach does not apply to non-discretionary accounts where clients make their own investment choices or investments where we replicate an index.

Awards and recognition

BMO Named One of the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute*

Signatory of UN supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) since 2014

PRI’s mission: “We believe that an economically efficient, sustainable global financial system is a necessity for long-term value creation. Such a system will reward long-term, responsible investment and benefit the environment and society as a whole.”

* The World’s Most Ethical Companies assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient® (EQ) framework. Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35 percent), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20 percent), culture of ethics (20 percent), governance (15 percent) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10 percent). In 2018, 135 companies were honored from 23 countries and 57 industries.

17

The number of professionals on our Responsible Investing team

A+

Our rating from the UN Principles for Responsible Investment for our overall strategy and governance

1984

Launched Europe’s first social and environmentally screened fund

675+

The number of companies we engaged with in 2017

Responsible Investment Insights

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June 2020

Modern slavery: Engagement update

In our last Viewpoint about modern slavery, we highlighted that as long-term investors, we encourage companies – particularly those in high-risk sectors – to identify and manage modern slavery risks.

April 2020

The meaty realities of food production

The growing global population is driving demand for protein, increasing the impact of the global food industry on workers and the environment.

March 2020

ESG implications of the COVID-19 pandemic

We are still in the early stages of understanding the impact that COVID-19 will have. However, some important implications are already emerging.

February 2020

A new life for old coal power?

As part of our 2020 climate-related engagement, we will tackle coal as it is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel.

February 2020

Living wage in the retail sector

We are working with a group of companies, NGOs and an agency for international development cooperation to develop and pilot a methodology for ‘social opportunities scenario analysis’, which would help companies to consider the trade-offs between short-term cost management and long-term employee satisfaction and performance in a more structured way.

January 2020

Gender diversity: Are German companies keeping up?

Despite a 30% quota for Supervisory Board diversity, German corporations continue to lag peers on gender diversity at senior levels.

December 2019

Access for growth: Promoting responsible access to healthcare and finance in India

India’s vast untapped market for healthcare and financial services offers significant growth prospects for companies looking to serve it.

December 2019

Kristi Mitchem discusses opportunities in ESG

BMO Global Asset Management CEO Kristi Mitchem talks with BNN Bloomberg anchor Catherine Murray at the Canadian Sustainable Investment Forum in Toronto about how the company is working to advance sustainable finance initiatives.

December 2019

The workforce data quest: Why we need it and why it helps companies as well

Response rates to the WDI are still low in comparison to the investment universe or similar initiatives, but numbers are increasing year after year.

December 2019

Energy transition in developing Asia: Critical to the success of addressing climate change

We traveled to Thailand, China and Hong Kong to engage with 10 Asian energy companies to encourage actions aligning emissions to Paris Agreement goals.

December 2019

Purpose & ESG: Transforming Corporations While Building Long-Term Profit

Studies show that adopting environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles is good for business, but doing it right requires companies to develop a proper framework that communicates their purpose with sustainability as a prominent driver.

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