Bank of America announces new environmental operations goals to be met by 2020, including plans to go carbon neutral. This announcement supports the bank’s continued efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of its operations. Bank of America will work to reduce location-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 %, energy use by 40 %, and water use by 45 % in its operations across the globe by 2020. In addition, Bank of America has committed to purchasing 100 % renewable electricity and has joined RE100, a global initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP and part of the We Mean Business Take Action campaign. These new commitments build on the success of the company’s 2015 operations goals and the deployment of its $125 billion environmental business initiative.
“Addressing global issues like climate change and the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon future takes collaboration, innovation and investment,” said Anne Finucane, vice chairman, Bank of America. “The expansion of our operational goals to 2020, achieving carbon neutrality, and the purchase of 100 % renewable electricity build on our existing environmental commitment and responsible growth strategy. This demonstrates the measurable actions we are taking to reduce our environmental impacts.”
From 2010 to 2015, the company reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 37 %, primarily through implementing energy efficiency projects, consolidating space and leveraging a less carbon-intensive grid. To achieve carbon neutrality, the bank will continue to scale its energy efficiency and conservation efforts, purchase 100 % renewable electricity, and utilize carbon offsets.
The company is already engaging in activities through efforts to modernize its data center footprint to support the carbon neutrality, energy reduction and water reduction goals. Additionally, the bank recently purchased Texas-based wind power for the company’s Texas data centers. This represents nearly half of statewide electricity purchases and will contribute five %age points toward the 2020 carbon neutral goal. The bank is also implementing a wide variety of energy efficiency programs, such as lighting upgrades planned for 900 financial centers in 2016.
“It is critical the public and private sector continue to do their part to help find solutions to this global issue,” said Amy Davidsen, executive director, U.S., The Climate Group. “Bank of America continues to demonstrate its commitment to the environment by joining RE100 with a goal to reach 100 % renewable electricity by 2020. One company can make a significant and positive impact on the environment, but collective action is key, and we believe Bank of America will inspire more to follow suit.”
In addition to reducing emissions in its own operations, Bank of America for the first time announced quantitative goals to address emissions in its supply chain. The company has committed to maintain a 90 % response rate to CDP supply chain survey requests and will increase the number of its CDP supply chain responding vendors who report GHG emissions to 90 % by 2020.
The bank recently joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Workplace Charging Challenge,” through which participating companies commit to add charging stations for electric vehicles in their parking facilities, enabling employees to expand low-carbon commuting options. This complements an existing bank program that encourages employees to purchase electric vehicles by reimbursing a portion of the cost for the electric vehicle or charger.
Summary of Bank of America’s 2010‒2020 environmental goals:
Beyond its environmental operations commitment, Bank of America is committed to bringing its expertise and innovative thinking to help meet the challenge of climate change by financing the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy. Since 2007, Bank of America has provided $53 billion to this effort. Last year, the bank expanded its environmental business initiative from $50 billion to $125 billion in sustainable and low-carbon business by 2025 to address climate change and demands on natural resources.
(Photo Credit: Mile Mozart via Flickr, shared by CC 2.0)
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