Bank of America

RATING

SECTOR

Banking

WEBSITE

CONTACT

Bank of America Corporate Center
100 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28255

Tel: +1(315)724-4022
Fax: +1 (800)432-1000
Email: N/A

STOCK EXCHANGE

LISTING

EMPLOYEES

213,000

HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT, SOCIAL & GOVERNANCE

Andrea Sullivan

AWARDS

CONTENT SOURCE

FURTHER READING

Report created by Sonria Willis

 

Bank of America

SECTIONS :  Sustainability Targets    Evaluation  •  Key Points  •  Overview

 

Company Activity

Bank of America is an American multinational investment bank and financial services holding company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is the second largest banking institution in the United States, after JPMorgan Chase, and the eighth largest bank in the world. 

Bank of America is one of the Big Four banking institutions of the United States and services approximately 10.73% of all American bank deposits, in direct competition with JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. Its primary financial services revolve around commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking.

Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, it built upon its commercial banking business by establishing Merrill Lynch for wealth management in 2008 and Bank of America Merrill Lynch for investment banking in 2009.

Bank of America operates in all 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia and more than 40 other countries. Its commercial banking footprint encapsulates 46 million consumer and small business relationships at 4,600 banking centers and 15,900 ATMs.

Company Sustainability Activity

Bank of America (BOA) states it is committed to improving its sustainable business strategy by working with partners, supporting employees, making its operations more sustainable, and improving the local and international economy.

Since 2007, its Environmental Business Initiative has mobilized more than $158 billion in financing to low-carbon and sustainable business activities across the globe. Their multi-year financing commitment provides financial capital, along with significant intellectual capital, to develop solutions to climate change and other environmental challenges. It focuses on low-carbon energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable transportation, in addition to addressing other areas like water conservation, land use and waste.

Bank of America states it is working to decrease its carbon footprint in its activities and operations. The group has already made progress: achieving carbon neutrality and procuring 100% renewable electricity in 2019, a year ahead of schedule. 

In 2018, BOA launched Blended Finance Catalyst Pool to mobilize additional private capital to help address the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. This financing initiative provides $60 million of capital for Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG6), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG11), and Climate Action (SDG13), among others.

Highlights

  • Carbon neutral and purchases 100% renewable electricity 
  • Mobilized approximately $100 billion in capital to support the environmental transition to a low-carbon economy
  • Tax Equity renewable energy portfolio was approximately $10.1 billion
  • $15 billion in Bank of America Community Homeownership Commitment
  • Provided dedicated support to meet the needs of 13 million small business owners 
  • Issued a $1 billion corporate social bond to support COVID-19 healthcare workers
  • Issued a $2 billion equality progress sustainability bond to help advance racial equality

Targets

  • Direct $445 billion to low-carbon, sustainable business initiatives by 2030 as part of Environmental Business Initiative 
  • Achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in financing activities, operations and supply chain before 2050
  • Reduce energy use by 40%
  • Reduce location GHG emissions by 50%
  • Maintain LEED certification in 20% of the company’s owned and leased space
  • Reduce water use by 45%
  • Reduce waste to landfill by 35%
  • Dispose of 100% of e-waste using certified responsible vendors 
  • Maintain paper reduction of 30%
  • Maintain an average of 10% recycled content in paper purchased
  • Purchase 100% of paper from certified sources
  • Maintain a 90% response rate from CDP supply chain information requests
  • Increase the number of CDP supply chain responding vendors who report GHG emissions to 90%

Progress

  • Since 2007, BOA has mobilized around $200 billion to Environmental Business Initiative
  • Has achieved 100% renewable energy goal
  • Reduced energy use by 42%  since 2010
  • Has reduced location-based emissions by 56% globally since 2010
  • 19 million square ft of LEED-certified workspace (25% of total workspace)
  • Has reduced annual global water usage by 1.6 billion gallons since 2010 (44% reduction)
  • Reduced the amount of waste to landfills by 29%
  • Disposed of 100% of e-waste globally
  • Reduced paper use by 40%
  • Purchased an average of 15% recycled content globally
  • Increased the amount of paper purchased globally from certified sources from 95% to 99.3%
  • Requested CDP disclosures from 191 vendors and achieved a 92% response rate 
  • 83% of responding vendors reported GHG emissions

Certificates

  • LEED certified buildings

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance

SDG 4: Quality Education

  • Education programmes such as: Education Matters Africa and Wheels4Work 

SDG 5: Gender Equality

  • Financing to Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program and Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Cornell

SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation:

  • Has reduced annual global water usage by 1.6 billion gallons since 2010 (44% reduction)

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

  • Has achieved 100% renewable energy goal
  • Reduced energy use by 42%  since 2010
  • Has reduced location-based emissions by 56% globally since 2010
  • 19 million square ft of LEED certified workspace (25% of total workspace)

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

SDG 13: Climate Action

  • Working towards net zero emissions in its operations
  • Reduced the amount of waste to landfill by 29%
  • Disposed of 100% of e-waste globally
  • Reduced paper use by 40%
  • Purchased an average of 15% recycled content globally
  • Increased the amount of paper purchased globally from certified sources from 95% to 99.3%
  • Requested CDP disclosures from 191 vendors and achi
 

Evaluation

Bank of America states it is dedicated to investing in low carbon and sustainable business activities according to its report. They have set objectives for 2020 and achieved 100% renewable electricity in 2019, a year ahead of schedule. They also issued green and social bonds and encouraged their employees to act for the environment through; for example, My Environment® employee program.

Bank of America has several certificates and awards and is featured in two notable sustainable listings (CDP A List, GRI). However, the bank has been dropped from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Nevertheless, Bank of America has financed extreme fossil fuels with $106.69 billion since the Paris Agreement was adopted (2016–2018). In addition, the bank’s activities led to numerous lawsuits and investigations regarding both mortgages and financial disclosures dating back to the 2008 financial crisis.

BOA also lacks transparency in its reporting, their year-on-year progress is not clear, as everything is measured from the moment the activities started (since 2007, 2018, etc.).

Despite its sustainability initiatives, the Bank of America has invested $198.452 B into the fossil fuel industry since the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Although its investment has dropped by approximately $6B since 2019, its contributions to the industry cannot be ignored.

Therefore, Bank of America has been rated a D.

Analyst Outlook: Neutral

Although Bank of America has funded many sustainable activities and has been celebrated for its pledge to contribute $1 trillion to sustainable practices, it is still one of the biggest financiers of fossil fuels.

Moreover, the Dow Jones Industrial Index recently dropped the bank from its index, which is indicative of BOA’s practices.

 

Key Points

  • Committed $1 trillion to global sustainability initiatives in 2021
  • Dropped from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index
  • Among the top 4 banks that finance the fossil fuel industry
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