Sustainability at BDC
Canada’s path to a sustainable future must include small and medium-sized businesses. Our job is to make it as easy as possible, and empower entrepreneurs to build greener, more inclusive, prosperous businesses.
In 2022, we launched our first sustainability framework which outlines the Bank’s actions and targets across its workforce, workplace, marketplace, and community in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It has four pillars:
Creating economic, social, and environmental value
Help Canadians create strong resilient businesses
Ensure no one is left behind
Enable a clean, low carbon, circular economy
Work collectively with clients, employees and partners
Building a better tomorrow
Meet Sandra Odendahl, BDC’s Senior Vice President and Head, Sustainability and Diversity, who is leading the team responsible for all facets of BDC’s sustainability and ESG programs.
Help people across Canada create strong, resilient businesses.
Behind every business is a human story – a unique entrepreneur with aspirations and plans. We help them create economic value by providing financing and expert advice that enables them to succeed and grow in a quickly changing business landscape.
We are committed to supporting entrepreneurs by:
- Offering entrepreneurs various financing options for every stage of growth.
- Acting as a strategic partner for the country’s most innovative and high-growth companies through BDC Capital.
- Offering non-financial support and training through BDC Advisory Services.
clients across Canada
estimated jobs created
Ensure no one is left behind.
We strive for an equitable economy. Working through our dedicated employees, and with partners, to deliver products and services, and offer advice develop to ensure no one is left behind.
We champion diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) – inside and outside our organization. Our commitment starts internally with a measurable action plan, informed by feedback from our employees and employee resource groups. They help shape our policies, and play a critical role in the success of our DEI initiatives. This engagement is one of the reasons we are consistently recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers.
We are working to empower entrepreneurs from equity deserving communities through our Client Diversity strategy. Our approach is to listen to what entrepreneurs need, learn by working with organizations that serve these communities, and then act to provide tangible solutions.
- Champion women's entrepreneurship through financing, venture capital investments, partnerships and mentorship.
- Delivering $500 million through the Thrive Venture Fund and Lab for Women, to ensure innovative women-led businesses have access to the capital they need to grow and have a lasting impact on the economy.
- Offer the Indigenous Entrepreneur Loan with preferred rates and flexible terms, and gives back to charity.
- Work with partners to provide capital, advice and resources to the Indigenous business community, including $150M Indigenous Growth Fund.
- Invested more than $135 million in dedicated financing and capital solutions to support Black entrepreneurs.
- Work with national and regional partners, we are developing free resources like the Better Together webinar series, completing research and sponsoring events and workshops.
- Developing a more inclusive supply chain through our Supplier Diversity Program.
- BDC Capital is a founding signatory of the ILPA Diversity in Action Initiative.
- Launched a DEI & ESG reporting template for Canadian fund managers and their portfolios to report on consistent diversity and inclusion metrics.
- Regularly survey entrepreneurs about their mental health and wellbeing to guide our offering of free tools and resources.
Help build a clean, low carbon, circular economy.
We are helping Canada build a greener future. We are reducing our impact, and supporting the entrepreneurs creating and implementing solutions on the path to a clean, low-carbon, circular economy. Our efforts include:
- Committing over $1 billion to sustainability initiatives, including $1 billion for our Cleantech and Climate Tech Fund investments.
- Providing information, advice, and tools to support companies in reducing their environmental impact on our Sustainability Page
- Helping entrepreneurs reduce their carbon footprint in our Climate Action Centre
- Offering the B Corp Impact Assessment tool which measures a company’s environmental and social impact.
- Reducing our own operational footprint to net zero by 2025.
Work collectively with clients, employees and partners because we are stronger together.
At BDC, we recognize that we are all in this together. Examples of our partnerships include:
- BDC is a founding member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Platform on Financing SMEs for Sustainability
- BDC joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) in December 2021 and will measure and disclose the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with our loans and investments by December 2024.
- Collaborate with organizations that share our sustainability goals and mandate to support Canadian entrepreneurs