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Bank of America Continues to Help Address California’s Severe Drought

Partnership With Pacific Institute’s Drought Research and Response Effort and New Pilot to Transform Landscaping at Banking Centers

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 10:00 am EDT

Dateline:

Charlotte
"We hope to see more corporations like Bank of America step up as leaders to address the water challenges across our communities and help the state develop short- and long-term responses to this critical drought situation"

Bank of America announced today two new initiatives as part of its ongoing efforts to help address California’s severe drought conditions, including a funding commitment to the Pacific Institute. The $250,000 grant will go toward the Institute’s drought research and response effort. The bank also announced it will expand the use of xeriscaping – drought-tolerant landscaping that significantly reduces the need for supplemental water – at its California banking centers.

“These initiatives are part of a broader response on our part, beginning earlier this year when we committed $500,000 to help increase the capacity of local food banks to serve agricultural workers who have lost their jobs because of the drought,” said Janet Lamkin, Bank of America’s California president. “We’re continuing to seek ways to help the state manage through the drought and address ongoing water issues, as well as conserve water in our own operations.”

Pacific Institute grant
Yesterday, the Pacific Institute announced it received a $250,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to support its research efforts designed to respond to the California drought. The Institute is working to develop new approaches to the drought, including conservation and efficiency, storm water capture and water reuse, leading to effective and permanent solutions. The Institute will partner with a variety of nonprofit, academic and government institutions on technical analyses, policy recommendations and communications and outreach.

“We hope to see more corporations like Bank of America step up as leaders to address the water challenges across our communities and help the state develop short- and long-term responses to this critical drought situation,” said Heather Cooley, director of the Pacific Institute Water Program.

Xeriscaping
On the heels of the Pacific Institute grant, Bank of America also announced new water conservation efforts to transition traditional landscaping at six of its banking centers in Southern California to fully drought-tolerant landscaping known as xeriscaping. The pilot builds on existing water management efforts currently in place at more than 100 other Bank of America properties across the Southland that have partial xeriscaping. 

The initial locations are in California’s Inland Empire. The bank expects estimates a total water savings of more than 3 million gallons annually, or about 50 percent of current use, which is equivalent to the annual water usage of approximately 60 Californians. The bank will assess the results of this pilot in considering expansion of full xeriscaping to additional sites in the area and in other water-stressed regions.

The transition to xeriscaping will include:

  • Removal of lawn grasses and the introduction of native and adapted plants, which require less water and are more capable of withstanding drought conditions.
  • Flower beds mulched to reduce the need for extra watering.
  • Modification of irrigation systems to more efficient drip delivery or micro-emitters.

 

Bank of America operations
This xeriscaping initiative is just one part of Bank of America’s commitment to reduce the impact of its own operations on the environment, especially in the areas of energy, water and paper usage, greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation and its extensive supply chain. In 2011 and 2012, Bank of America set aggressive energy, waste and water reduction goals by 2015.

The majority of the bank’s water usage comes from bathroom fixtures, irrigation systems and HVAC equipment like cooling towers. By 2015, Bank of America aims to reduce its water usage by 20 percent through:

  • Irrigation controls and fixture upgrades.
  • Low-flow (0.5 gallons per minute), low-cost, in-sink faucets.
  • Employee water leak detection and reporting program.

 

Read more about how Bank of America reduces the impact of its operations on the environment.

 

 Adelanto
Bank of America banking center in Adelanto, Calif. with fully drought-tolerant landscaping (xeriscaping).

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small businesses, 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 approximately 49 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,000 retail banking offices and approximately 16,000 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users and more than 15 million mobile users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Reporters May Contact:
Colleen Haggerty, Bank of America, 1.213.621.7414
colleen.haggerty@bankofamerica.com 

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image/jpeg iconAdelanto.jpg (58.18 KB)