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.

In 2017, Bank of America made considerable progress against all of these GHG and energy goals. We have reduced market-based emissions 86% since 2010 across our portfolio, a great stride toward carbon neutrality. We purchased 1.7 million MWh of renewable electricity, which amounts to 83% of our global energy use. We have reduced energy use 39% since 2010 across our portfolio. We have also reduced location-based emissions 49% 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 2017 will save nearly 30,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, which is equivalent to avoiding over 12,000 metric tons of GHG emissions. Since 2004, energy efficiency projects have resulted in more than $440 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.

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 2017, we received a score of A for our climate disclosure and activities to reduce GHG emissions and mitigate climate risks, again earning a spot on the Climate A List.


In 2016, we set a goal to achieve and maintain a paper reduction of 30 percent by 2020. Additionally, we 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 31% through our focus on transitioning customers to online banking, reducing employee printing, and increasing the digital delivery of key documents. In 2017, we purchased paper with an average of 15% recycled content globally, as a result of increasing recycled content used for commercial printing and converting in the US. In 2017, 98 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.

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 2017, we have 19 million square feet of LEED certified workspace, which is 25% of our workspace globally. At year end, 148 of our financial centers had achieved LEED certification.

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 use 45 percent from 2010 to 2020. As of 2017, we’ve reduced our annual global water usage by 39 percent. Additionally, we recycled and/ or reused more than 12 million gallons of water throughout our facilities in 2017.


In 2016, we set a goal to reduce the waste we send to landfill by 35 percent from 2011 to 2020. From 2011 to 2017, we reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill by 14%, compared to 25% through 2016. The 2017 reduction is not as large as the 2016 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.

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 2017, we disposed of 98 percent of our e-waste using certified, responsible vendors.

Supply Chain Management

Through the CDP supply chain program, we survey about 200 of our suppliers annually to assess their environmental practices and performance. 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.

In 2017, we requested disclosures from 195 suppliers and achieved a response rate of 88 percent. We are proud to report that in 2017, 65 percent of our supplier respondents have greenhouse gas emissions reduction or renewable electricity procurement goals. Thirteen suppliers that we invited to respond to the CDP supply chain survey are on the 2017 Supplier Climate A List, a ranking based on their survey responses and demonstration of strong and transparent climate strategies and emissions reduction programs. For the second year in a row, Bank of America has been recognized as one of 59 companies on CDP’s supplier engagement leader board for requesting vendors to share carbon emissions and climate related risks over the past year.

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 2017 Environmental, Social and Governance Update.

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

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