NEW YORK, April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of America Chairman and CEO Kenneth D. Lewis will be recognized by one of the country's leading environmental organizations for his guidance of the company's efforts to address climate change. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) will honor Lewis, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his PlaNYC initiative, at its tenth annual award gala this evening. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050720/CLW086LOGO-b ) Also tonight, Lewis will announce that Bank of America will adopt The Carbon Principles, a set of guidelines that help advisors and lenders to power companies evaluate and address carbon risks in the financing of projects. "The Carbon Principles are critical as we work to secure a more sustainable energy future," said Lewis. "It is my hope that these principles, when combined with Bank of America's commitment to assess the cost of carbon in our risk and underwriting process, will enable us to better evaluate the business models of utility sector companies and, ultimately, help them move to cleaner technologies in the future." Bank of America's ten-year, $20 billion environmental initiative addresses climate change by championing sustainable business practices through innovative lending and investing strategies, new financial products and services and operations. An example of these efforts is the new Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park in New York City that, when completed in 2009, will be one of the most environmentally friendly and efficient office buildings in the world, built to meet the highest LEED Platinum green building standards. "Helping our nation reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as encourage renewable energy and low carbon technologies, is not only the right thing for our planet, but it is also smart business -- and Bank of America is proud to be at the forefront," added Lewis. "Receiving the recognition of the Natural Resources Defense Council for this effort is a tremendous honor." "We have the know-how to beat global warming. What we need is the leadership to make it happen, and Ken Lewis is providing that leadership," said NRDC President Frances Beinecke. Bank of America has a legacy of environmental leadership dating back two decades, when it began implementing and applying green techniques to its own operations and internal business practices. For example, the bank reduced paper usage per associate by 40 percent and set aggressive, voluntary goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the company by nine percent through the reduction of its energy consumption. Bank of America also reimburses its associates $3,000 when they buy a hybrid vehicle - a benefit that nearly 2,000 individuals have taken advantage of to-date. Bank of America's environmental initiatives emphasize business opportunities, created by green economic growth, by providing critical financing to encourage the development of environmentally sustainable products and technologies; accelerate the deployment of existing technologies; and increase energy efficiency. Results under these initiatives include investments in solar and other renewable energy efforts at schools, municipalities and businesses, and financing the preservation of redwood forests, among other efforts. At the same time, the company has policies in place against financing projects that would destroy primary moist tropical rainforests, certain endangered forests or companies involved in illegal logging. 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 59 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 6,100 retail banking offices, nearly 19,000 ATMs and award-winning online banking with nearly 24 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 99 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 83 percent of the Global Fortune 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Natural Resources Defense Council Based in New York City since 1970, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Beijing.
SOURCE Bank of America