Bank of America has expanded its use of drought-tolerant landscaping and funded a $250,000 grant for drought research and response as part of its ongoing efforts to help address California’s severe drought conditions.
The Pacific Institute on Monday received a $250,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to support its research efforts designed to respond to the California drought. The Institute is working to develop new approaches to the drought, including conservation and efficiency, storm water capture and water reuse, leading to effective and permanent solutions.
On the heels of the Pacific Institute grant, Bank of America also announced new water conservation efforts to transition traditional landscaping at six of its banking centers in Southern California to fully drought-tolerant landscaping known as xeriscaping. The pilot builds on existing water management efforts currently in place at more than 100 other Bank of America properties across the Southland that have partial xeriscaping.
The initial locations are in California’s Inland Empire. The bank expects a total water savings of more than 3 million gallons annually, or about 50 percent of current use. The bank will assess the results of this pilot in considering expansion of full xeriscaping to additional sites in the area and in other water-stressed regions.
The transition to xeriscaping will include:
- Removal of lawn grasses and the introduction of native and adapted plants, which require less water and are more capable of withstanding drought conditions.
- Flower beds mulched to reduce the need for extra watering.
- Modification of irrigation systems to more efficient drip delivery or micro-emitters.
The xeriscaping initiative is part of Bank of America’s commitment to reduce the impact of its own operations on the environment, especially in the areas of energy, water and paper usage, greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation and its extensive supply chain. In 2012, Bank of America set energy, waste and water reduction goals by 2015.
The majority of the bank’s water usage comes from bathroom fixtures, irrigation systems and HVAC equipment like cooling towers. By 2015, Bank of America aims to reduce its water usage by 20 percent, compared to 2010 consumption, through:
- Irrigation controls and fixture upgrades.
- Low-flow (0.5 gallons per minute), low-cost, in-sink faucets.
- Employee water leak detection and reporting program.