Bank of America Sustainability Report: Net CO2 Emissions Drop 7%
Bank of America’s net Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions fell almost 7 percent from 2010 to 2011, but its revenues dropped by over 15 percent in that year, according to the company’s 2011 sustainability report.
In 2011, the two combined scopes fell from 1.8 million to just under 1.7 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Scope 2 emissions account for over 90 percent of these totals. The 2010 and 2011 net totals include reductions of 24,552 and 10,310 metric tons respectively from the purchase of renewable energy credits.
The report does not provide a normalized CO2 emissions metric.
In 2011, Bank of America set an ambitious new goal to reduce its Scopes 1 and 2 emissions by 15 percent from 2011 to 2015, based on a 2010 baseline. The bank had already reduced its greenhouse emissions by 18 percent between 2004 and 2009 under a prior goal. The newer target puts the company on the path of reducing its Scopes 1 and 2 emissions by more than 30 percent over 2004 levels and eliminating the emission of 700,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent, the report says.
The company’s Scope 3 emissions from employee commuting fell 25 percent year-on-year, from 719,532 to 538,578 metric tons of CO2e. Its Scope 3 emissions from business travel, check couriers and armored cars stayed fairly static from 2010 to 2011.
Due to the dominance of Scope 2 emissions from energy use in Bank of America’s greenhouse gas emissions total, the company’s efforts on reducing such emissions are closely linked to reducing this energy use, the report says. The company’s electricity use fell almost 7 percent year on year from 12,130,629 GJ in 2010 to 11,305,313 GJ in 2010.
In 2011, BoA invested more than $3.5 million in energy efficiency projects, contributing to a cost savings of $7.9 million in the same year, the report says. These efficiency projects included what the bank calls “low- and no-cost operational improvements” including turning off idle equipment, improved maintenance and optimizing cold-air delivery to computer rooms.
Since 2004 the company has reduced its electricity costs by more than 14 percent in banking facilities and 18 percent in office buildings. These moves have contributed to a cumulative cost savings of $195 million, the report says.
In 2011, the company conducted its first ever audit of water usage. The review found that BoA consumed 3.9 billion gallons of water in 2011, down from 4.2 billion gallons in 2010. These figures represent a year-on-year reduction in water use of around 7 percent. The company says that water usage is not usually seen as a “significant environmental impact for financial services companies” but that due to growing concerns over water availability in many of the bank’s markets it is a concern the company takes seriously.
At a BoA location in Charlotte, N.C., an on-site groundwater treatment system reduced the site’s demand on city water by approximately 600,000 gallons in 2011.
In 2011, the company diverted 60 percent of the non-hazardous waste it produced from landfill, the report says. The report does not include figures for earlier years. By the end of the year recycling of plastic, aluminum and cardboard was available in over 71 million square feet, or 60 percent, of Bank of America workspace, up from 43 million square feet in 2010.
The bank’s efforts to enhance its waste management capabilities in the US resulted in annualized cost avoidance of nearly $329,000 in 2011, the report says. Last year the company recycled 1,556 metric tons of e-waste from operations in the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
By 2015 BoA plans to reduce its paper and water consumption by 20 percent, compared with 2010 consumption, and the company says paper used will contain 20 percent post-consumer recycled content and be sourced entirely from certified forests.
Additionally, BoA will divert 70 percent of global waste from landfills, and all electronic waste streams will be disposed of using certified, responsible vendors, the bank announced in June.
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