A winding road through a forest

Creating a more sustainable world through the power of partnership

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the blueprint to achieving a more sustainable future by 2030. Yet, while organizations around the world work to advance these 17 goals, there remains a significant gap between the capital needed to address global environmental and social challenges, and what is currently being spent — an estimated $3 trillion, annually.footnote1

The public and nonprofit sectors alone can’t solve challenges as large as providing clean water to the nearly 800 million people who lack itfootnote2, or transitioning the global energy grid to renewables. Private-sector leadership and investment is also critical to driving the change needed to realize the SDGs. For its part, Bank of America, is deploying and mobilizing $1 trillion by 2030 through an Environmental Business Initiative in order to accelerate the transition to a net zero economy. This commitment anchors a broader $1.5 trillion sustainable finance goal focused on supporting environmental transition and inclusive development activities across the globe.

Below are examples of how Bank of America is working alongside partners to drive innovation and advance the SDGs:

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Sustainable Consumption & Production (SDG 12): TerraCycle aims to make everything recyclable, and inspire everyone to be a recycler

“Humans are about one hundred times more wasteful than we were just seventy years ago,” notes Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle in the video above. Today, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute and 5 trillion single use plastic bags are thrown out annually, according to the United Nationsfootnote3. Yet each year in the United States, only 8.7% of plastic is recycled. TerraCycle focuses on reducing waste first by making more kinds of products recyclable, and then devising innovative ways to integrate the recycled materials into new products.

TerraCycle is working to realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12: Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns. This goal is grounded in the recognition that creating more responsible consumption and production processes will be key to achieving a more sustainable global economy and healthier environment. “More and more, people are focused on companies that take their carbon footprint seriously,” notes Brian Juleskusky, senior relationship manager at Bank of America, “TerraCycle helps enable companies to reach their sustainability goals.”

Sustainable Food Production (SDG 2.4): Little Leaf Farms’ local approach to feeding the world

Inside one of the most technologically-advanced lettuce growing greenhouses in the world, Little Leaf Farms, a Devens, MA, company, is rethinking how food is grown and distributed. By keeping their production facilities close to the markets they serve, using on-site renewable energy, and integrating sustainable growing practices into their business model, Little Leaf is able to minimize their environmental impact while providing more than 55 million people in the Northeast access to fresh, nutritious lettuce. “There’s no reason to ship food across the country,” notes Tim Cunniff of Little Leaf. “You can do it economically and sustainably while supporting local economies.”

Little Leaf’s innovative approach to growing food is one example of how private industries are adjusting their business models to help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. By 2050, it’s estimated that 1.5 billion people will lack a sufficient supply of fruits or vegetablesfootnote4. Addressing the significant environmental impacts of a growing global population, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2.4 is designed to promote sustainable food production systems and drive the implementation of resilient agricultural practices.

Here, the Little Leaf team discusses why they’re rethinking traditional agriculture, and how – with Bank of America’s support – they plan on building a more sustainable food production and supply chain.

Our ongoing commitment

Partnering with clients is just one way Bank of America is supporting long-term responsible and sustainable growth through its $1 trillion environmental business initiative.

Learn more about how we are financing the environmental transition and inclusive development needed to achieve the SDGS.

Updated on 1/5/2023.