Canadian Packaging

BMO and TD onboard with carbon offset fund


November 24, 2009
by Purchasingb2b staff

Toronto—Large corporations will have access to a new carbon emissions reduction fund, announced this week.

Called the Greening Canada Fund, it’s billed as the first-ever voluntary carbon reduction fund for large organizations. It will purchase offset credits from green projects across Canada.

BMO Financial Group and TD Bank Financial Group have committed to an initial $13 million investment as they move towards becoming the first large carbon neutral corporations in Canada.

"We will be sourcing Canadian carbon offset credits from green projects in private, public and not-for-profit sector organizations across Canada," explained Gerry Rocchi, CEO of Green Power Action, which will manage the fund.

"These organizations may be able to realize revenues from selling offsets from their greening projects equal to 20 percent of the capital cost over the lifetime of the projects. For example, a $1-million retrofit might generate $200,000 worth of carbon offset credits over its life, in addition to energy savings. Through our purchases, these types of projects become more economically feasible."

The fund was set up to help corporations offset the emissions remaining after implementing internal energy abatement strategies. Its initial $13-million investment is expected to generate offset credits equivalent to taking 190,000 cars off the road for one year.

“Investing in this unique fund complements the efforts we are already making to achieve absolute reductions in our carbon emissions and use renewable energy, helping us achieve our commitment to reach carbon neutrality next year," said Cam Fowler, head of strategy and corporate marketing with BMO Financial Group.

"What makes the Greening Canada Fund so attractive is the beneficiaries are located in communities across the country," added Karen Clarke-Whistler, chief environment officer with TD Bank Financial Group. "Bringing local green projects to life will show Canadians how we can make a measurable difference in reducing emissions in our neighbourhoods. It makes the carbon story real."

The fund is part of the Greening Greater Toronto initiative aimed at making the city one of the greenest urban regions in North America.