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Bank of America to Cut Energy Use 25%, as Part of $50bn Environmental Initiative

Bank of America says it will reduce its energy consumption 25 percent by 2015, compared to 2004 levels, equal to eliminating 1.2 million MWh of annual energy use from its portfolio.

Also by 2015, BoA plans to reduce its paper and water consumption by 20 percent, compared with 2010 consumption, and 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.

These initiatives are all part of BoA’s newly announced 10-year, $50 billion environmental business goal to help address climate change, reduce demands on natural resources and advance lower-carbon economic solutions.

The goal, effective Jan. 1, 2013, will follow the expected completion of the company’s current 10-year, $20 billion environmental business initiative — a program that the company says is more than four years ahead of schedule.

The new environmental business initiative will consist primarily of lending, equipment finance, capital markets and advisory activity, carbon finance, and advice and investment solutions for clients, BoA says. The areas of focus include:

  • Energy efficiency — in residential, commercial, and public properties, as well as supporting the full supply chain that drives energy efficiency.
  • Renewable energy and energy infrastructure — including wind, solar, hydro, biomass and waste-to-energy solutions and their upstream and downstream supply chains, as well as smart grid, large-scale energy storage and other infrastructures.
  • Transportation — including certain lower carbon forms of transport such as electric and hybrid electric vehicles, batteries/fuel cells and sustainable bio-fuels, as well as developing local and regional charging infrastructure to support the growth of new hybrid vehicle technologies.
  • Water and waste — focusing on new technologies and infrastructure development, including water purification and waste disposal and recycling.

The bank also announced a goal to provide $100 million in grants and program-related investments to nonprofit organizations, community development financial institutions and other non-governmental organizations promoting low-carbon and resource conservation solutions.

In 2004, Bank of America was the first financial institution to publicly commit to GHG reduction targets through the former EPA Climate Leaders program. In 2009, the company said it was the first financial institution to exceed its targets: reducing emissions by 18 percent from 2004 to 2009 — twice its original nine percent reduction goal. In 2011, the company partnered with The Durst Organization to build the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, the world’s first Platinum-certified high-rise office building under the LEED Core and Shell rating system.

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