Bank of America has become the latest Fortune 500 company to join the EV100, a global initiative led by the Climate Group that seeks to make electric transportation “the new normal” by 2030.
The EV100 calls on companies to leverage their investment, as well as their influence on millions of staff and customers worldwide, to address rising global transport emissions. Two dozen members—including Unilever, Ikea and Clif Bar—have already pledged to purchase more electric vehicles for their fleets, install EV charging points for employees and customers, and invest in sustainable transport solutions.
As part of its membership, Bank of America committed to install additional EV charging infrastructure at its owned properties. The company has already installed around 100 workplace charging points for employees in the U.S. and U.K., with more planned in 2019. Additionally, nearly 10,000 employees have participated in its low-carbon vehicle reimbursement program—which the company established a decade ago to incentivize purchase of electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
The financial giant was also an early member of the RE100, another effort from the Climate Group and CDP that calls on companies to source 100 percent renewable energy. Such measures not only prevent climate-warming emissions, but also offer a business benefit: A 2018 progress report, which draws on data from 3,500 companies, revealed that RE100 members earn up to 7.7 percent more profits than non-members.
“Being energy-smart and being business-smart goes hand in hand and this has to be norm, sooner rather than later,” Helen Clarkson, CEO of the Climate Group, said in a statement. “We congratulate those going further and faster on climate action and we urge others to do the same—a win-win for emissions and the bottom line.”
Bank of America’s goal to purchase 100 percent renewable energy and be completely carbon neutral by 2020 is ambitious, even by RE100 standards. The company purchased 1.7 million megawatt-hours of renewable electricity in 2017, which amounts to 83 percent of its global energy use, putting it on track for its 2020 goal. It also cut its direct emissions and those from the purchase of electricity by 86 percent since 2010, while growing the business by 4 percent in the last fiscal year.
“In addition to taking measurable action to reduce our environmental impacts, we are also deploying significant financial and intellectual capital to develop solutions to climate change and other environmental challenges,” Alex Liftman, global environmental executive for Bank of America, said in a statement.
The company has invested more than $96 billion “in financing for low-carbon and sustainable business activities” since 2007, Liftman said. That includes nearly $30 billion in financing for renewables, transportation and water infrastructure projects deployed from 2013 to 2017 in the U.S. In September, the company commissioned a report to examine the impacts of that investment—which is part of a $125 billion environmental business commitment leading up to 2025.
The analysis, conducted by consulting firm EY, revealed that Bank of America’s investment contributed a cumulative $35.6 billion to America’s GDP, while helping to prevent more than 1.8 million metric tons of carbon equivalent emissions in 2017 alone.
“We are engaging every part of our company to address today’s biggest global challenges—including solutions to help transition to lower-carbon energy sources and address unsustainable demands on our natural resources,” Bank of America Vice Chairman Anne Finucane said in a statement.
In May, the company also announced the issuance of its fourth and largest green bond for $2.25 billion, the proceeds of which will support increasing renewable energy generation.
Image credit: Flickr/Ryan Ozawa
Mary Mazzoni has reported on sustainability in business for over a decade and now serves as managing editor of TriplePundit. She is also the general manager of TriplePundit's Brand Studio, which has worked with dozens of brands and organizations on sustainability storytelling. Along with 3p, Mary's recent work can be found in publications like Conscious Company, Salon and Vice's Motherboard. She also works with nonprofits on media projects, including the women's entrepreneurship coaching organization Street Business School. She is an alumna of Temple University in Philadelphia and lives in the city with her partner and two spoiled dogs.