ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

Operations

We have established a goal to reduce our absolute GHG emissions by 15 percent from 2010 to 2015.

Reducing Our Own Environmental Impact

We understand the impacts our operations have on the environment, especially in the areas of energy, water and paper usage, greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation and our extensive supply chain. But our scale and influence also allow us to take measurable action to reduce the environmental effects of our operations through our own efficiency and by influencing our supply chain.

New operational targets

In 2011 and 2012, we announced new operational goals we plan to achieve by 2015.

25%

reduction in energy consumption from 2004 — equal to eliminating 1.2 million MWh of annual energy use from our portfolio.

20%

reduction in paper consumption (2010 baseline); paper used will:

- Contain an average of 20% post-consumer, recycled content.

- Be sourced entirely from certified forests.

20%

reduction in global water consumption (2010 baseline).

70%

diversion of global waste from landfill — all electronic waste streams to be disposed of using certified, responsible vendors.

15%

reduction in global GHG emissions (2010 baseline), equal to more than 30% aggregate reduction in emissions from 2004 to 2015.

This is a new goal for 2015, that builds on the May 2011 announcement.

20%

LEED certification within our corporate workplace portfolio.

This is a new goal for 2015, that builds on the May 2011 announcement.

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Environmental Management System (EMS)

Bank of America employs an EMS that is well recognized as best-in-class for financial services and service-sector companies in general. Our EMS helps Global Workplace Environmental Risk to identify, manage and mitigate environmental risk and improve environmental performance across our corporate real estate portfolio. The foundation of the EMS is the bank’s stringent environmental policy that ensures a commitment to:

  1. Compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations
  2. Pollution prevention and environmentally sustainable practices
  3. Continuous improvement in all areas of environmental management

Our EMS includes detailed protocols that comprehensively address compliance across all environmental media. The EMS covers all key areas including roles and responsibilities, training, inspections, inventory procedures, formal targets, documentation, measurement, complaint response and emergency procedures.

A core component of the EMS is an online tool for bank employees and partners. This tool provides the unique ability to understand and manage environmental compliance across the bank’s significant real estate footprint—roughly 8,500 buildings and 110 million square feet.

It includes:

  • A centralized repository for environmental compliance and sustainability data for the entire real estate portfolio
  • Real-time, remote data access
  • Tracking of required actions and updates and a calendar
  • Automatic e-mail notification of required actions
  • Easy-to-read dashboard reporting

Greenhouse Gas Reductions

We have an ambitious goal to reduce our absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 15% between 2011 and 2015. This goal spans all of our global operations in more than 40 countries and builds on our previous GHG reduction of 18% from 2004-2009.

Our new target represents an overall global reduction in aggregate GHG emissions of more than 30% from our 2004 baseline. This is equal to eliminating the annual GHG emissions from more than 124,000 passenger vehicles.

In December 2011, we became the first corporate building owner and manager to earn pre-certification in the recently launched version of the LEED Volume Program for Operations and Maintenance. This prototype establishes a set of standards for verifying actual achievement and performance levels at each LEED for Existing Buildings project site. Pre-certification will streamline the LEED certification process for the bank, saving both time and money.

To further advance our GHG reduction goals, we announced that 20% of our corporate real estate portfolio will be certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system by 2015. As of the third quarter of 2012, 16% of Bank of America’s workplace portfolio (18.5 million square feet) is comprised of LEED-certified space.

In December 2011, Bank of America became the first corporate building owner and manager to earn pre-certification in the recently launched version of the LEED Volume Program for Operations and Maintenance. This prototype establishes a set of standards for verifying actual achievement and performance levels at each LEED-for-Existing-Buildings project site. Pre-certification will streamline the LEED certification process for the bank, saving both time and money.

Other Environmental Goals

In 2012, Bank of America also announced new operational goals it plans to achieve by 2015:

  • 25 percent reduction in energy consumption from 2004 – equal to eliminating 1.2 million megawatt hours of annual energy use from our portfolio.
  • 20 percent reduction in paper consumption (2010 baseline). Paper used by the bank will average 20 percent post-consumer recycled content and will be sourced entirely from certified forests.
  • 20 percent reduction in global water consumption (2010 baseline).
  • 70 percent diversion of global waste from landfill. All electronic waste streams will be disposed of using certified, responsible vendors.
  • 30 percent aggregate reduction in global GHG emissions (2004 baseline).
  • 20 percent LEED certification within our corporate workplace portfolio.

Supply Chain Management

We work diligently to engage and partner with our supply base to drive transparency and carbon disclosure. In June 2010, we held our first global supply chain conference on sustainability, “Partnering for a Sustainable Future.” This two-day event was attended by our employees and approximately 400 representatives from 100 suppliers. Attendees heard from a variety of experts, provided feedback to the bank on sustainable supply chain efforts, and were strongly encouraged to participate in the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) Supply Chain Survey.

We continued to focus on supply chain sustainability in 2012. A letter from our senior leadership was sent to more than 160 of our largest and most impactful suppliers to emphasize the importance of carbon disclosure and request participation in the 2012 CDP survey. We are actively increasing the number of suppliers that participate in CDP (we increased from 74 responders in 2010 to 144 in 2012) and improving the performance of these suppliers year-over-year. We maintained our status as a “trendsetter” with an 88% response rate. 

In 2011, following on the success of the supply chain conference in 2010, Bank of America held three regional Carbon Reduction Workshops. These workshops were co-hosted with three top disclosure companies from our CDP supply base. The workshops provided best practice tips to assist companies in reducing their carbon impact. The workshops also provided an opportunity for BAC to recognize three companies exceeding in sustainability. Additionally, we worked to drive improvement among other suppliers through one-on-one coaching and webinars. Bank of America’s suppliers had an average disclosure score of 58 in 2011, which compares favorably to the global supplier average disclosure of 47. Bank of America’s respondents also outpaced the average global supplier performance score of 29 with an average score of 38. 

In addition to engaging our supply base via CDP, we have integrated environmental sustainability criteria into our supplier sourcing processes. Sourcing managers are provided with sample sustainability questions and scoring criteria for RFPs and RFIs.

See More

Transformational Finance

Transformational Finance 

Our 10-year, $50-billion environmental initiative is a catalyst for accelerating low-carbon activities for the businesses, institutions and customers we serve.

Employee Programs & Partnerships

Employee Programs & Partnerships 

We enable our employees to act as environmental stewards by helping them to conserve resources.

Governance & Policies

Governance & Policies 

Our executive leadership sets strategy, priorities and goals with a global perspective and ensures rigorous risk management in our lending and other business activities.