California Voluntary Carbon Market Disclosures Act (VCMDA) Disclosures

Bank of America Corporation and its subsidiaries comprise a global financial services firm (BofA). BofA makes the following disclosures pursuant to The California Voluntary Carbon Market Disclosures Act (VCMDA) requiring businesses to disclose key information if they do any of the following:

  • Market or sell voluntary carbon offsets within the State of California;
  • Purchase or use voluntary carbon offsets that makes claims regarding the achievement of net zero emissions, claims that the entity, related entity, or a product is “carbon neutral,” or makes other claims implying the entity, related entity, or a product does not add net carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases to the climate or has made significant reductions to its carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • Make claims regarding the achievement of net zero emissions, claims that the entity, a related or affiliated entity, or a product is “carbon neutral,” or makes other claims implying the entity, related or affiliated entity, or a product does not add net carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases, as defined in Section 38505, to the climate or has made significant reductions to its carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emissions.

Disclosures

The VCMDA requires businesses marketing or selling voluntary carbon offsets (VCOs) within the State of California to disclose key information. As of the date of this disclosure, certain BofA subsidiaries engage in the marketing or selling of VCOs, both within and outside the state, in the capacity of market-maker in environmental commodities. Those BofA entities are registered swap dealers under the Commodity Exchange Act, are regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and engage in trading as principal in VCOs and similar products, through swaps, plain vanilla options, futures, spot, and forward transactions. These VCO transactions are traded either on an exchange or on an over-the-counter basis. Any carbon offset project which produces VCOs that BofA would market or sell will be registered on one of the following registries and therefore, the VCOs will be developed and calculated according to the particular standards and protocol of that registry, including, but not limited to, the estimated emissions reductions or removal benefits:

In its principal trading capacity, BofA has the role of market-maker, which means that BofA stands ready to transact as buyer and/or seller in VCOs based on customer/counterparty demand and direction and in the projects specified or indicated by such demand. This may include the marketing or selling of any or all VCOs listed on any or all of the above registries. In its capacity as market-maker, BofA’s activities include engaging in price quoting, responding to indications of interest, carrying out trade execution, and related activities in VCOs, all of which may be on a solicited or unsolicited basis. In its role as principal and market-maker, BofA transacts almost exclusively in the secondary market with respect to VCOs and does not necessarily have a direct contractual relationship to the developer. As such, BofA relies on the information provided by the developer to the applicable registry and has no knowledge of the traded VCO beyond that which is available to the public on the registry. In addition, BofA does not represent to the market or to the potential or actual buyer that it has any additional information with respect to a particular VCO beyond that which is publicly available on the applicable registry. As principal in the trading of VCOs, BofA does not serve as an agent, fiduciary, advisor or any other similar capacity to the market, including to potential or actual buyers of VCOs. In this role, BofA does not provide financial or investment advice or specific recommendations to the market or to potential or actual buyers. In addition, BofA does not provide representations or warranties as to merchantability or fitness for purpose.

With respect to any VCO which BofA stands positioned and ready to market or sell within the State of California, the following details regarding the VCO (and potentially others) are typically made available by the registry that evaluated the offset on its publicly available website, for the particular project in question:

  1. The protocol used to estimate emissions reductions or removal benefits from the particular project is located on the registry website under “methodology”, “standard”, or similar and associated terms.
  2. The location of the particular project is publicly available using the applicable registry link above and navigating to “State/Province”, “Project Site Location”, or similar and associated terms.
  3. The project timeline is located on the registry website under the “crediting period”, “Current Crediting Period Start Date”, “Current Crediting Period End Date”, “Project Timeline”, or similar and associated terms.
  4. The date when the project started or will start is located on the registry website under “crediting period term”, “Start Date/Offset Project Commencement”, or similar and associated terms.
  5. The dates and quantities when a specified quantity of emissions reductions or removals started or will start, or was modified or reversed is located on the registry website under “Crediting Period Term”, “canceled offset credits”, “GHG Project Plan”, or similar and associated terms.
  6. The type of project, including whether the offsets from the project are derived from a carbon removal, an avoided emission, or, in the case of a project with both carbon removals and avoided emissions, the breakdown of offsets from each, is stated or inferred from information located on the registry website under the particular noted “Project Type”, within verification and filing documents, “GHG Project Plan”, or similar and associated terms.
  7. Whether the project meets any standards established by law or by a nonprofit entity is located on the registry website under the methodology/standards/status term, “Compliance Program Status”, or similar and associated terms.
  8. Relevant information, if available, regarding the durability period for any project that the seller knows or should know that the durability of the project’s greenhouse gas reductions or greenhouse gas removal enhancements is less than the atmospheric lifetime of carbon dioxide emissions, would reside in varying locations on the registry website, including but not limited to, the miscellaneous documents posted by the project to the registry website, including the “GHG Project Plan”, or similar and associated terms.
  9. Whether there is independent expert or third-party validation or verification of the project attributes would be per the registry standards available on the registry website, and if specified, may be located on the registry website under the listing of the project validator, verifier, or similar and associated terms.
  10. Emissions reduced or carbon removed on an annual basis is located on the registry website under the estimated annual emissions reductions section, the “GHG Project Plan”, or similar and associated terms.
  11. Details regarding accountability measures if a project is not completed or does not meet the projected emissions reductions or removal benefits would be available in the registry’s protocol and noted in the buffer pool account balance, Project Plan, and canceled offset sections, as applicable.
  12. The pertinent data and calculation methods needed to independently reproduce and verify the number of emissions reduction or removal credits issued using the protocol would be available from the materials available on the registry website.

The VCMDA requires an entity that purchases or uses voluntary carbon offsets that makes claims regarding the achievement of net zero emissions, claims that the entity, related entity, or a product is “carbon neutral,” or makes other claims implying the entity, related entity, or a product does not add net carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases to the climate or has made significant reductions to its carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emissions, disclose key information pertaining to each project or program on the entity’s internet website.

For more information on our overall carbon credit position and activity please refer to pgs. 35-38 of our 2023 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD Report). BofA discloses information about our retired carbon credits and carbon credit projects annually, for 2022 see pg.19 of our 2022 Performance Data Summary (PDS)footnote1. BofA follows the World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard to calculate Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions (pg. 18 of PDS).

The VCMDA requires an entity that makes claims regarding the achievement of net zero emissions, claims that the entity, a related or affiliated entity, or a product is “carbon neutral,” or makes other claims implying the entity, related or affiliated entity, or a product does not add net carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases, as defined in Section 38505, to the climate or has made significant reductions to its carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emissions, as described in Section 38505, disclose on the entity’s internet website key information pertaining to all greenhouse gas emissions associated with the aforementioned claims.

BofA uses VCOs within the State of California to assist in achieving its commitment to climate goals including net zero emissions targets and maintaining carbon neutrality. For information on BofA’s commitment to achieve net zero emission by 2050, including interim 2030 targets, our approach to target management, and our annual attestations please refer to pgs. 28-34 of our TCFD Report.

With regard to carbon neutrality claims, BofA discloses information about retired carbon credits and carbon credit projects annually on pg.19 of our PDS. For more information on our carbon credit position and activity please refer to pgs. 35-38 of our TCFD Report.

BofA engaged Apex Companies, LLC (“Apex”)footnote2 to provide assurance of selected environmental and social data reported in its annual 2022 Environmental, Social & Governance Report. Apex performed its work in accordance with its standard procedures and guidelines for external Assurance of Sustainability Reports and International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 Revised, Assurance Engagements Other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information (effective for assurance reports dated on or after Dec. 15, 2015), issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. A copy of Apex’s 2022 independent reasonable and limited assurance statement is available here.

12/15/2023

BofA updates its PDS report annually in June.

1

Apex is an independent professional services company that specializes in health, safety, social and environmental management service including assurance with over 30 years history in providing these services.

2