Demonstrating our commitment to the environment through our operations

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

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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 and reduce energy use 40% 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.

In 2016, Bank of America made considerable progress against all of these GHG and energy goals. We have reduced market-based emissions 75% since 2010 across our portfolio, a great stride toward carbon neutrality. We purchased 1.4 million MWh of renewable electricity, which amounts to 64% of our global energy use. We have reduced energy use 36% since 2010 across our portfolio. We have also reduced location-based emissions 42% since 2010. We achieved these reductions primarily by consolidating space, implementing energy-efficiency projects and purchasing renewable power.

Energy efficiency projects directed by our Real Estate Services Energy and Sustainability team in 2016 will save more than 23,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, which is equivalent to avoiding nearly 11,000 metric tons of GHG emissions. Since 2004, energy efficiency projects have resulted in more than $400 million of cumulative reductions in energy costs.

Beyond the impact of our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, we recognize and measure significant emissions generated throughout our value chain. In 2016, we saw reductions across several of these categories, including business travel and waste emissions.

We evaluated both our new carbon neutrality and 50 percent location-based GHG goals 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.

These commitments expand on our previous GHG emission reduction goal. 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.

Since 2003, we have annually disclosed 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. In 2016, we received a score of A- for our climate disclosure and activities to reduce GHG emissions and mitigate climate risks.


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. Finally, we are committed to maintaining an average of 10 percent recycled content in our paper through 2020 and will continue to look for ways to incorporate recycled content into the paper we use.

Since 2010, we’ve reduced our paper use by 30% through our focus on transitioning customers to online banking, reducing employee printing, and increasing the digital delivery of key documents. In 2016, we purchased paper with an average of 11% recycled content globally, as a result of increasing recycled content used for commercial printing and converting in the US. In 2016, 99 percent of our paper was purchased from certified responsible sources.

These goals aim to maintain our prior paper goals, which were to reduce paper use by 20 percent from 2010 to 2015, to purchase paper from 100 percent certified sources and to achieve an average of 20 percent recycled content. While we’ve moved to 30 percent post-consumer waste paper in most of our employee locations, our overall percentage of recycled content in 2015 was nine percent.

Green Building

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a globally recognized standard identifying achievement in green building design, construction, and operations. In 2016, we set a goal to maintain at least 20 percent LEED certified square footage through 2020. As of the end of 2016, we have 18 million square feet of LEED certified workspace, which is 22% of our workspace globally. We’ve completed more than 3.4 million square feet of certified projects in 2016 and at year’s end, 145 of our financial centers had achieved LEED certification, comprising more than 600,000 square feet.

This goal maintains our prior green building goal. In 2015, we exceeded our goal to reach 20 percent LEED certified square footage in our workspace, by achieving 23 percent.


In 2016, we set a goal to reduce our water consumption 45 percent from 2010 to 2020. As of 2016, we’ve reduced our annual global water usage by 37 percent. Additionally, we recycled and/ or reused more than 41 million gallons of water throughout our facilities in 2016.

In 2014, we piloted drought-tolerant landscaping at six California financial centers. In 2016, this program saved over 2.8 million gallons of water. We expect these changes to deliver savings going forward and we will continue to look for ways to incorporate water-saving landscaping at our financial centers.


In 2016, we set a goal to reduce the waste we send to landfill by 35 percent from 2011 to 2020. From 2011 to 2016, we reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill by 6%, compared to 20% through 2015. The 2016 reduction is not as large as the 2015 reduction, primarily as a result of decreased recycling of our construction and demolition (C&D) waste this year. C&D waste is comprised of materials such as asphalt, wood and drywall, and these materials are often challenging to recycle. We are committed to our 35% reduction from landfill goal, so we will increase our focus on C&D waste diversion in the coming years.

Our waste and recycling programs continue to save money each year, resulting in cumulative savings of more than $1.5 million since 2010. Additionally, recycling of plastic, aluminum, and cardboard is now available in 70 percent of our global workspace. We continue to work diligently to reduce waste and increase waste diversion across our operations.

We’re also working to reduce the impact of our electronic waste streams. In 2012, we committed to disposing all of our e-waste through certified, responsible disposal vendors by 2015, and in 2016, we extended this goal to 2020. In 2010, we became an e-Stewards® enterprise, and in addition to the e-Stewards® standard, we also recognize the R2 and WEEELABEX standards for this goal. In 2016, we disposed of 98 percent of our e-waste using certified, responsible vendors.

Supply Chain Management

Since 2009, we have 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 2016, we set our first-ever goals to address greenhouse gas emissions in our supply chain with 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 GHG emissions.

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.

To learn more about our environmental operations goals, please read our recent Press Release about our 2020 goals.

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