BMO announced a $3 million donation in support of GRID Alternative's (GRID) low-to-no cost solar 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 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.