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BMO Celebrates Earth Day and Encourages Canadians to Pay Attention to Their Environmental Footprint

- Earth Day is the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/19/13 -- In celebration of Earth Day which takes place on Monday, BMO Bank of Montreal encourages Canadians to take part and review their environmental footprint.

Established April 22, 1970, Earth Day has grown into the largest and most celebrated environmental event worldwide, with more than one billion people taking part to acknowledge and protect the environment.

"BMO strives to be a leader in environmental sustainability, on Earth Day and throughout the year," said Jim Johnston, Director, Environmental Sustainability & Compliance, BMO Financial Group. "Whether we're reducing our footprint, making responsible lending and investment decisions, developing products or providing financial support to organizations, the goal of our Clear Blue Skies environmental strategy is clear: to integrate environmental considerations into everything we do."

Printing on both sides of the paper, setting up a scrap paper bin, and turning off electronic devices and lights when not in use, are a few little things that all of us can do to make a big difference, noted Mr. Johnston.

"Earth Day provides a great opportunity to take a moment and review your environmental footprint - a large portion of which is often made up of your household's energy usage," said Laura Parsons, Mortgage Expert, BMO Bank of Montreal.

BMO offers the following energy-saving tips to help Canadians reduce their environmental impact and lessen total household expenses:

Windows: If there is a slight breeze outside, and you do not have the air conditioner turned on, open the windows and doors. Be sure to open more than one window as this will allow for a cross breeze to circulate throughout the house.

Light Coloured Window Shades, Blinds or Drapes: Choosing a pale colour of window dressing can reflect heat away from the house. Also consider window film for heat and glare reduction. This can help other cooling devices such as fans or air-conditioners work more efficiently.

Ceiling Fans and Portable Fans: Neither use much energy to power, but produce great air circulation. Generating air movement can make the temperature in a room drop by up to five degrees. Ceiling fans are the most effective as they blow air downwards, however portable fans can be a great alternative.

Programmable thermostat: One of the most effective ways to keep heating or cooling costs down is to limit the time the furnace is running. Program your thermostat to turn on only during times when you will be home.

Humidity: As humidity often makes the air feel warmer, reduce activities that create a humid environment such as washing and drying clothes, showering and cooking. If these cannot be avoided, turn on a ventilating fan to help extract warm, moist air.

Plant a Tree: Well-placed trees and shrubs can put your house under the shade and reduce cooling costs by almost 25 per cent. Deciduous trees should be planted facing the south and west, and conifers to the north for maximum shade.

Reflective Roofing: Dark coloured roofing or outside walls can attract the thermal heat from the sun. Painting your roof or walls a light colour or installing reflective strips.

BMO and the Environment

BMO achieved enterprise-wide carbon neutrality relative to its energy consumption and transportation emissions in August 2010. This goal was achieved by reducing and limiting emissions from transportation and energy use, purchasing electricity from renewable energy sources and buying carbon credits to offset the remaining emissions. BMO has also set an emissions reduction target; the bank plans to reduce absolute enterprise carbon emissions by 10 per cent - versus 2011 baseline levels - by the end of 2016.

BMO is one of the initial investors in the Greening Canada Fund (GCF), the first-ever voluntary carbon emissions reduction fund aimed exclusively at large Canadian corporations. The fund provides direct access to high-quality carbon offset credits and helps BMO support Canadian-based energy efficiency projects in Canadian public schools, hospitals and community housing. BMO's initial investment commitment in the fund was $10 million.

BMO is listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Series Index. BMO has also been included on the Maclean's/Jantzi-Sustainalytics list of the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada and Corporate Knights Magazine's Best 50 Corporate Citizens. For three years in a in a row, BMO Financial Group has been named to the Global 500 Carbon Performance Leadership Index by the Carbon Disclosure Project.

To review BMO's environmental performance data, visit www.bmo.com/environment.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at January 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

Media Contacts:
Russell Baker, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
[email protected]

Jessica Park, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
[email protected]

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
[email protected]

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
[email protected]

Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia

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