Bank of America Announces $20 Billion Environmental Initiative

Mar 06, 2007, 00:00 ET from Bank of America Corporation

    CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of America Corporation
 announced today a $20 billion initiative to support the growth of
 environmentally sustainable business activity to address global climate
 change. Bank of America's ten-year initiative encourages development of
 environmentally sustainable business practices through lending, investing,
 philanthropy and the creation of new products and services.
     (Logo: )
     "Over the last decade, Bank of America has implemented programs that
 have significantly reduced the environmental impact of our own operations,"
 said Kenneth D. Lewis, Bank of America chairman and CEO. "Today, we have a
 tremendous opportunity to support our customer's efforts to build an
 environmentally sustainable economy -- through innovative home and office
 construction, new manufacturing technology, changes in transportation, and
 new ways to supply our energy."
     Under its environmental initiative, Bank of America will emphasize the
 business opportunities created by "green" economic growth by providing
 critical financing to encourage the development of environmentally
 sustainable products and technology; accelerate the deployment of existing
 technology; and increase energy efficiency.
     Corporate Clients
     Bank of America will commit $18 billion in lending, advice and market
 creation to help commercial clients finance the use and production of new
 products, services and technologies:
     * Commercial Real Estate Banking:  The company will build upon its
       expertise in financing environmentally friendly development by creating
       customized solutions for clients who are developing and implementing
       environmentally sustainable designs.  Areas of focus include financing
       real estate projects with LEED certification, improvements in energy
       efficiency, brownfield redevelopment, promotion of smart growth, and the
       use of energy-related tax credits.
     * Corporate & Investment Banking:  The company will focus on financing and
       advisory services to clients participating in emissions offsets markets,
       developing energy-efficient or low-carbon technologies and helping
       private/public sector entities adopt green and low-emissions technology.
     * Carbon Emissions Trading:  The bank will launch the capability to trade
       carbon emissions credits in order to enable clients to achieve carbon
       emission neutrality through existing and emerging market mechanisms.
     * Environmental Lending Consideration: The company will give favorable
       consideration, among other existing underwriting criteria, to lending
       opportunities with clients that are creating and implementing
       environmentally sustainable products, services and technologies.
     Individual Customers
     Bank of America currently is developing a set of products for
 individuals who consider the environmental impact of their purchasing
 decisions and want to offset or minimize their carbon emissions. The bank
 will announce the launch of the following new products in the next year:
     * Eco-friendly Credit Card:  For every dollar spent on this new card, Bank
       of America will make a contribution to an environmental organization to
       invest in greenhouse gas reduction projects. These cards, available
       later this year, will have environmentally friendly incentives and
     * WorldPoints Rewards for the Environment:  Existing cardholders may
       donate their WorldPoints rewards to organizations that invest in
       greenhouse gas reductions or redeem them for environmentally friendly
     * The Green Mortgage Program:  Homebuyers will receive a reduced interest
       rate or $1,000 back for each home-purchase mortgage meeting ENERGY STAR
     * Environmental Home Equity Program:  For customers who use their home
       equity line of credit's Visa Access Card, Bank of America will make an
       annual donation to a non-profit organization that focuses on
       environmental conservation.  At launch, donations will be directed to
       Conservation International for land conservation and carbon
       sequestration.  Additional non-profit organizations may be added to the
       program over time.
     * Timberland Investment Solutions:  Bank of America is evaluating
       proprietary investment management solutions that incorporate forest
       conservation principles consistent with those defined by the Forest
       Stewardship Council.  Reforestation, wildlife management, responsible
       development and the support of carbon sequestration ecosystems are
       important attributes that will be considered.  Bank of America intends
       to commit its own capital to promote "green" investment solutions for
       its clients.
     In addition, Bank of America will further promote its existing product:
     * EPA SmartWay Transport Program:  Under a partnership between the
       Environmental Protection Agency and the freight industry, the bank
       provides Small Business Administration SBA Express loans with no
       collateral and flexible terms to small and mid-sized trucking companies
       to finance fuel efficient technologies. The loan program helps trucking
       companies purchase SmartWay Upgrade Kits that include idle-reduction
       devices, low-rolling resistance tires, aerodynamic equipment and exhaust
       after-treatment devices.  The kits can improve fuel efficiency by 15
     Investments by Bank of America
     Bank of America will also make the following investments to offset the
 impact its own operations and associates have on the environment:
     * Committing $1.4 billion to achieve LEED certification in all new
       construction of office facilities and banking centers;
     * Donating $50 million from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to
       support non-profit organizations focused on forest preservation,
       innovative energy conservation, developing green affordable housing and
       other environmentally Progressive activities; and
     * Investing $100 million in energy conservation measures for use in all
       company facilities.
     "We have the opportunity to do more than address our own internal
 business practices," said Anne Finucane, chief marketing officer and chair
 of the company's environmental council. "As one of the world's leading
 financial institutions, we can and will work directly with individual and
 business customers to address the pressing issue of global climate change."
     "Bank of America is getting out on the front end of this issue --
 developing innovative products and services that will flourish in a
 developing green economy while helping households, investors, and
 businesses cut greenhouse gases," said Eileen Claussen, president of the
 Pew Center on Global Climate Change.
     Today's announcement by Bank of America builds upon environmental
 programs previously announced by the company, including:
     * Expansion earlier this year of its $3,000 hybrid vehicle reimbursement
       to more than 185,000 U.S.-based Bank of America associates;
     * Investment of $1.5 billion to construct environmentally progressive
       towers in Charlotte, N.C. and New York City;
     * Aggressive, voluntary goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across
       the company nine percent by 2009 and seven percent in our energy and
       utility portfolio by 2008; and
     * Active program to reduce paper usage throughout company operations; from
       2000-2006, the company reduced paper usage per associate by 40 percent.
     Bank of America will continue to track and report on the progress of
 its environmental initiatives. The 2005 Sustainability Report can be found
     Bank of America
     Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions,
 serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large
 corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and
 other financial and risk-management products and services. The company
 provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving more than 55
 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 5,700
 retail banking offices, through more than 17,000 ATMs and award-winning
 online banking with more than 21 million active users. Bank of America is
 the No. 1 overall Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United
 States and the No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small businesses. The
 company serves clients in 175 countries and has relationships with 98
 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 80 percent of the Global
 Fortune 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE:   BAC) is listed on the
 New York Stock Exchange. Bank of America is an equal housing lender.
 Certain activities and services referred to in this press release are
 provided by Banc of America Securities LLC and other affiliates of Bank of
 America Corporation.

SOURCE Bank of America Corporation