BMO leads North American banking industry for sustainability

Bank of Montreal recognized in an annual ranking of the world's most sustainable companies

BMO leads North American banking industry for sustainability
Steve Randall

Bank of Montreal (BMO) is North America’s most sustainable bank according to a new ranking.

The banking group has been recognized for its sizeable sustainable loans portfolio including green loans and loans to women and to small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour.

The Corporate Knights' 2021 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World also acknowledged BMO’s ongoing commitment to sustainability across its business along with its leadership and board diversity – women account for more than 45% of its independent directors.

It’s the second year that BMO has lead the North American banking sector in the rankings.

"As the global discussion about climate change and sustainability grows, companies need not only to be part of the conversation but also part of the solution," said Dan Barclay, Chief Executive Officer and Group Head, BMO Capital Markets. "BMO has a Purpose-driven commitment to sustainability that includes investing in and supporting the communities where we work and providing strategic support to assist clients in transitioning to more sustainable ways of operating. We believe sustainability is critical to a successful future."

In 2019, BMO unveiled its Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, announcing commitments to double the good for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.

The Global Knights list for 2021 includes 33 firms from North America, 46 from Europe, and 16 from Asia among the top 100.


The world’s most sustainable company overall is Schneider Electric SE, a French company providing digital energy and automation solutions.

Analysis of financial performance and corporate longevity continues to demonstrate that the most sustainable companies tend to both outperform and outlast.

From its inception on February 1, 2005, to December 31, 2020, the Global 100 Index has generated a total investment return of 263% compared to 220% for the MSCI ACWI.

“This year’s analysis and results strongly suggest that the world’s leading companies learned a lesson from the aftermath of the 2008/09 financial crisis,” says Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights. “Rather than de-prioritizing sustainability when confronted with a major shock, they’ve recognized that it will drive the success of recovery strategies.”