For Immediate Release
San Francisco, September 18, 2023 -- Today, BMO announced a $3 million donation in support of GRID Alternative's (GRID) low-to-no cost energy systems and storage, clean mobility, and job training programs for underserved and unserved families throughout California, Colorado, and Native communities in the western United States. GRID, the nation's leading nonprofit solar installer, partners with organizations to build community-powered solutions to enable equitable access to renewable energy.
"The impacts of climate change are often felt most acutely by those that are the least able to address them. Investments to support progress in climate resilience and economic wellbeing are a critical lever in supporting these communities and helping to scale renewable energy sources," said Melissa Fifield, Head, BMO Climate Institute. "BMO's partnership with GRID will help foster a more sustainable future by funding a transition to renewable energy that is equitable, inclusive and aligned with our Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life."
BMO's support will help GRID install solar systems for 1,200 families and provide 250 battery powered systems and 1,400 charging stations for individuals in communities most impacted by climate change over the next three years. These installations will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 145,000 tons per year and transition participants' energy consumption to 70-80% solar. BMO's funding will also enable GRID to deepen its impact with Native communities to develop local talent through workforce development programming and solar installation training.
"We are excited for this new partnership with BMO," said GRID's CEO, Erica Mackie. "This investment will help us in our efforts to ensure that communities that have historically faced climate injustice and pollution have access to the benefits of renewable energy. We are grateful to BMO for their support and their commitment to creating sustainable communities."
This year, BMO employees have joined GRID to help install solar panels on the homes of underserved families in Watts, Oakland, and Richmond, California. BMO will host additional employee volunteer days to assist individuals throughout the term of the three-year partnership.
To meet the goal of being its clients' lead partner in the transition to a net-zero world, BMO announced its Climate Ambition in 2021, which included the launch of the BMO Climate Institute. Beyond its role in helping its clients better understand and accelerate the adoption of climate solutions, BMO's Climate Institute is also working with GRID to advance research on economic inequality and identify communities most in need of support. In 2021, BMO established a dedicated Energy Transition Group to support clients' pursuit of opportunities driven by the global economy's shift in the production and consumption of energy.
On February 1, 2023, BMO acquired Bank of the West. This donation builds on Bank of the West's longstanding partnership with GRID and is a part of BMO's more than $40 billion community benefits plan.
About GRID Alternatives
Renewable energy can drive economic growth and environmental benefits in communities most impacted by underemployment, pollution, and climate change. GRID Alternatives is a leader in helping economic and environmental justice communities get clean, affordable renewable energy, transportation, and job training and placement. Internationally, our energy access work is lighting up off-grid communities in Nepal, Nicaragua, and Mexico. GRID envisions a rapid, equitable transition to a world powered by renewable energy that benefits everyone.
BMO Gives. Good Grows Here.
Helping communities thrive by supporting the organizations that sustain them and encouraging employee giving and volunteerism is at the heart of BMO's Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life. In 2022, our social impact included more than $69 million donated to hundreds of charities and non-profit organizations across North America to help drive progress by enabling individuals to thrive and communities to prosper. Our colleagues spent almost 50,000 hours volunteering in the community and contributed more than $26 million of donations through our annual employee giving program. For more information, please visit BMO.com.
About BMO Financial Group
BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.25 trillion as of July 31, 2023. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to over 13 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.
Emily Iwan, BMO Media Relations, email@example.com, 628-250-6459
Carole Bernard, VP of Communications at GRID Alternatives, firstname.lastname@example.org, 443-538-1565