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BMO’s first net-zero energy branch is here!

June 24, 2024 | Sustainability

BMO’s commitment to a sustainable future – and finding innovative ways to get there – will be on display at the June 24 opening of our first net-zero energy branch in Kitchener, Ontario.  

Designed and built according to innovative sustainability practices, the branch features the highest standards in energy efficient construction methods as well as low-carbon design, such as materials with high recyclable content, structural wood, and low-carbon concrete – minimizing the environmental impacts when building a new structure from the ground up. This sustainable and progressive construction method is another first for BMO.

The 5,000 ft2 branch has been equipped with solar panels to ensure any energy consumed is offset by the energy produced. An integrated monitoring system verifies and reports on the net-zero energy status of the branch.  

“This is an exciting climate-focused branch opening and a proud first for BMO. Our team is laser-focused on innovative ways to reduce BMO’s operational emissions. Deciding to build a new branch allowed us the opportunity to reimagine how we grow our real estate footprint and redefine our construction principles at the bank.”

George Della Rocca
Global Head, Corporate Real Estate 

“Our Climate Ambition is to be our clients’ lead partner in the transition to a net-zero world. In our role as a financial institution, we seek to enable innovative climate solutions and foster sustainable outcomes – and this build is a testament to that commitment.”

John McNain
Chief Operating Officer, North American Personal and Business Banking

Additional energy efficiency highlights include:  

  • Increased insulation: The branch’s exterior shell is designed to be up to five times more insulated than a typical BMO branch, reducing heating and cooling needs.  
  • Airtight: The branch is designed to be up to five times more airtight than a typical BMO branch to prevent tempered air from escaping.  
  • Low-carbon building materials: Building materials with lower environmental impacts, such as highly regenerative and easily recycled materials, were used to build the branch.  
  • Window positioning and sunshade canopies: Windows have been strategically placed to allow for maximum natural light and heat, and sunshade canopies control the amount of sunlight to maximize efficiency in all seasons.  
  • Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV): An ERV system reduces the heating/cooling needs of the branch and its overall energy consumption.  
  • Sustainable certifications: The branch is designed to both Passive House Classic and Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC) Zero Carbon Building Design standards. 

What’s next? 

To celebrate this milestone branch opening, we’ll be hosting a grand opening event at the Kitchener branch on Saturday, July 13. If you’re in the area, drop by to celebrate with leaders, community members and of course – BMO the Bear!  

While you’re there, be sure to check out the latest installation in BMO’s Branch Mural Program, which the bank commissioned from Kitchener-based artist Choolee (Julie Restrepo). This unique mural reflects our branch theme of nature and sustainability.  

To learn more about BMO’s Climate Ambition, visit

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