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. To learn more about how we are reducing our environmental impact, please read our Environmental, Social and Governance report.

Operational targets

In 2011 and 2012, we announced environmental operational goals and worked to achieve these goals by 2015.


In the fall of 2016 we announced a new set of operational goals that we will work to achieve by 2020. These enhanced goals include:

  • Achieve carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 emissions
  • Purchase 100% of electricity from renewable sources
  • Reduce energy use by 40%
  • Reduce location-based GHG emissions by 50%
  • Maintain LEED certification in 20% of the company’s owned and leased space
  • Reduce water use by 45%
  • Reduce waste to landfill by 35% (baseline 2011)
  • Dispose 100% of e-waste using certified responsible vendors
  • Maintain paper reduction of 30%
  • Maintain an average of 10% recycled content in paper purchased
  • Purchase 100% of paper from certified sources
  • Maintain 90% response rate to our CDP supply chain requests
  • Increase the number of our CDP supply chain responding vendors who report GHG emissions to 90%

These new commitments support our continued efforts to reduce overall environmental impacts in our operations. They also build upon the success of our 2015 operational goals and the deployment of our $125 billion environmental business initiative.

Read our recent press release.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Energy

In 2011, we set a goal to reduce our absolute GHG emissions by 15 percent from 2010 to 2015. During that time, we reduced global GHG emissions by 37 percent, more than double our goal. To expand on this commitment, in 2016, we set a goal to achieve carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 emissions and purchase 100 percent renewable electricity by 2020, in addition to reducing our location-based GHG emissions by 50 percent from 2010 to 2020. These goals span our global operations in more than 35 countries and build on our previous GHG reduction of 18 percent from 2004 to 2009 in our U.S. portfolio.

We evaluated the carbon neutrality goal and the 50 percent location-based GHG goal using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommendations, the Sectoral Decarbonization Approach and the 3% Solution methodology. Our GHG goals are more aggressive than all three of these science-based target setting methodologies.

Since 2003, we’ve disclosed annually our GHG emissions and reduction strategies through the CDP climate change survey. In 2014 and 2015, we received a disclosure score of 100 for our reporting transparency and a performance score of A for our leadership in the field. 2015 was the sixth consecutive year CDP named Bank of America to the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index and the Climate A List.


From 2010 to 2015, we reduced our paper use by 28 percent, significantly exceeding our 20 percent goal. We increased the percent purchased from certified sources from 93 percent in 2011 to 99 percent in 2015, falling just short of our 100 percent goal. In 2016, we set a goal to achieve and maintain a paper reduction of 30 percent by 2020. Additionally, we will continue to work toward our goal to purchase paper from 100 percent certified sources through 2020.

While we’ve moved to 30 percent post- consumer waste paper in most of our employee locations, our overall percentage of recycled content is still at nine percent. A majority of our paper consumption comes from printed materials for customers. Integrating recycled content paper into these production streams is complex. We’re committed to maintaining an average of 10 percent recycled content in our paper through 2020.


We exceeded our goal to reach 20 percent LEED certified square footage in our workspace, by achieving 23 percent in 2015. In 2016, we set a goal to maintain at least 20 percent LEED certified square footage through 2020. We have nearly 19 million square feet of LEED certified workspace across all building types in our portfolio. LEED is a globally recognized standard identifying achievement in green building design, construction, and operations.


As of 2015, we’ve reduced our annual global water usage by 34 percent. Additionally, we recycled and/ or reused more than 21 million gallons of water throughout our facilities in 2015. In 2016, we set a goal to reduce our water consumption 45 percent from 2010 to 2020. In 2014, we piloted drought-tolerant landscaping at six California financial centers. In 2015, this program saved more than $20,000 and 4.8 million gallons of water, and we expect these savings to continue going forward.


Our goal was to achieve a 70 percent diversion rate by 2015. While our 64 percent diversion rate fell short of our goal, this rate is a significant improvement from 2011 and we will continue to work diligently to increase waste diversion. Recycling of plastic, aluminum, and cardboard is now available in 54 percent of our global workspace.

We’re also working to reduce the impact of our electronic waste streams. In 2010, we became an e-Stewards® enterprise and in 2012, we committed to disposing all of our electronic waste through certified, responsible disposal vendors by 2015. In 2015, we disposed of 98 percent of our e-waste using certified, responsible vendors, falling just short of our goal of 100 percent. We will continue to work toward meeting this goal by 2020.

Supply chain management

Since 2009, we’ve invited suppliers to respond to the CDP supply chain questionnaire, which helps us track greenhouse gas emissions and associated risks that impact our global supply chain. In 2015, we requested disclosures from 200 suppliers. We achieved a best-in-class response rate of 93 percent, up from 88 percent in 2012. In 2016, we set two vendor engagement goals: to maintain a response rate to CDP supply chain information requests of at least 90 percent, and for 90 percent of CDP supply chain responding vendors to disclose Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

We were named to the Supplier Climate A List for the quality of our own response to the survey in 2015, placing us among the top two percent of suppliers focused on the management of climate change and related issues.

Environmental Management System (EMS)

We employ an Environmental Management System (EMS) that relies on a comprehensive compliance database to help Real Estate Services Environmental Risk identify, manage, and mitigate risk, and improve performance across our corporate real estate portfolio. Our EMS covers all key areas, including roles and responsibilities, training, inspections, inventory procedures, formal targets, documentation, measurement, complaint response, and emergency procedures. Our strong record of compliance across our real estate portfolio is the result of our rigorous EMS. For more information please read our Environmental, Social and Governance report.

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Men working on solar panels

Transformational finance 

Our $125-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.