Bank of America has expanded its environmental operations efforts to include the installation of solar panels across multiple locations through its Onsite Solar Initiative. The addition of solar power at financial centers, ATMs, office locations, and other operational buildings will reduce energy costs for the bank and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The program is expected to generate more than 25 megawatts of renewable electricity that will directly power the bank’s operations with clean energy.
“Low-carbon energy programs like this demonstrate how Bank of America is working to meet our goal to use 100 percent renewable electricity by adding new solar sources and energy options to our operational footprint,” says Tom Scrivener, Global Real Estate and Enterprise Initiatives executive at Bank of America. “The Onsite Solar Initiative is a critical component that will directly offset the bank’s energy use and lower energy costs, resulting in an estimated savings of $50 million over 25 years.”
Six financial centers (in California, Florida and Pennsylvania) and two office locations (in Nevada and North Carolina) are already benefiting from the energy savings and low-carbon enhancement through the bank’s onsite solar installations. This year, the bank plans to install solar panels at 15 financial centers and on 10 ATMs. Over the next three years, the company is expected to add more than 60 solar installations across its operations.
“Having solar energy onsite to power our facilities is part of our responsible growth strategy and reduces our operational impact on the environment,” said Andrew Plepler, global head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Bank of America. “This work, along with our LEED certifications at our financial centers and other locations, provides not only an innovative experience for our clients, but is key to our role in helping to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy while supporting the communities where we work and live.”
The company’s total sourcing of renewable electricity in 2018 was 1.8 million megawatt hours (MWh), amounting to 91 percent of its global energy use – the equivalent of powering 153,000 homes for one year. The bank expects to directly use all of the renewable electricity it generates onsite from these solar installations for its operations.
In 2019, the Onsite Solar Initiative will focus on installing solar panels at select financial centers, community financial centers and on ATMs in the following states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, and Virginia.
In 2020 and 2021, the initiative will install solar panels on select administrative offices in the following states: Arizona, Delaware, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Texas.
These actions will move the bank closer to meeting its broader environmental operations commitment to carbon neutrality and purchasing 100 percent renewable electricity by the end of 2020, as well as its goals to reduce location-based GHG emissions by 50 percent and energy use by 40 percent in the same timeframe. In November 2018, the bank announced a partnership with Juhl Energy to support a first-of-its-kind wind and solar hybrid project which brings renewable energy to an underserved community in Minnesota, driving social equity through its renewable program. The bank is also a member of the RE100.
Additionally, Bank of America has achieved LEED certification in more than 200 financial centers. Presently, the company has 19 million square feet of LEED-certified workspace and 341 LEED certifications, which include whole buildings and/or floor levels. The company’s first LEED certification was in 2007, and it has an environmental operations goal to have LEED certification in 20 percent of the company’s owned and leased space ‒ a goal it is presently exceeding.
As part of the bank’s broader financial commitment, the company has deployed more than $126 billion over the past 12 years in support of environmental business efforts, and recently announced it will mobilize an additional $300 billion in capital starting next year to support more sustainable business activities. This is its third environmental business commitment as part of its broader Environmental Business Initiative. The bank will meet its current goal of $125 billion by the end of 2019, six years ahead of schedule.