BMO Financial Group has issued C$500 million in green bonds to Bruce Power, a Tiverton, Ontario-based nuclear power facility. The deal was done under a green finance framework designed to guide bond issues focused on Bruce Power’s life-extension program and investments related to increasing the output of nuclear units and extending the plant’s life. Bruce Power is co-owned by OMERS Infrastructure.
TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2021 /CNW/ – Bruce Power, Ontario’s leading private sector power provider, has taken another industry-leading step in its environmental, social and governance strategy by launching the world’s first green finance framework with nuclear use of proceeds.
Acting as Co-Lead Green Structuring Agent, BMO Financial Group (TSX:BMO) (NYSE:BMO), today announced the successful issuance of CAD $500 Million in green bonds under the framework, which is designed to guide future issues of green bonds with a focus on Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program and investments related to increasing the output of nuclear units and extending the plant’s life beyond 2060.
The framework sets out the guidelines in accordance with the Green Bond Principles issued by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) and the Green Loan Principles issued by the Loan Market Association (LMA) and Loan Syndications and Trading Association (LSTA) – ensuring the proceeds are exclusively allocated to green projects and activities that promote environmental sustainability and deliver clear environmental benefits.
CICERO Shades of Green, an internationally-recognized leading provider of independent review and second-party opinions on green financing frameworks, has given Bruce Power’s Green Finance Framework the highest possible governance score of Excellent, and an overall designation of CICERO Medium Green, acknowledging the role of nuclear power in mitigating climate change and recognizing Bruce Power’s strong risk management processes.
“Clean nuclear power is crucial to fighting climate change, and today’s announcement marks another industry-leading step in the company’s environmental, social and governance strategy,” said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power’s President and CEO. “One of the largest greenhouse gas emission reduction initiatives in the world was the phase-out of coal-fired electricity in Ontario, and Bruce Power was at the heart of making this a reality by providing 70 per cent of the energy the province needed to achieve this goal.”
“We’re proud to partner with Bruce Power to build a green framework that facilitates the alignment of the company’s business and financing activities to support nuclear power’s critical role in mitigating climate change,” said Jonathan Hackett, Head, Sustainable Finance, BMO Capital Markets. “Providing access to sustainable financing and being a lead partner in our clients’ transition to a net-zero future is part of BMO’s purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life.”
A track record of innovative firsts
BMO continues to work closely with clients in their transition to a more sustainable future as part of its commitment to deploy $300 billion in sustainable lending and underwriting to companies pursuing sustainable outcomes by 2025. In December 2019, BMO provided Maple Leaf Foods Inc. with Canada’s first sustainability-linked loan. Since then BMO has completed sustainability and green financing frameworks, green and sustainability-linked loans for companies in a range of sectors, from manufacturing and packaging to metals & mining and energy. This year, as part of its Climate Ambition to be its clients’ lead partner in the transition to a net-zero world, BMO established a dedicated Energy Transition Group and the BMO Climate Institute.
About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider – the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $971 billion as of July 31, 2021, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.