Bank of America announced today progress that was made in 2016 to fulfill its commitments across environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors as part of the company’s focus to deliver responsible growth.
“Our ESG focus reflects our values, presents tremendous business opportunity and allows us to create shared success with our clients and communities,” said Anne Finucane, vice chairman at Bank of America. “It’s committing to our own employees, behaving responsibly and finding innovative ways to deploy capital and activate partnerships to fuel social and economic progress around the world.”
Driving economic and social progress:
- Provided nearly $4 billion in loans, tax credit equity investments and other real estate development solutions to create housing for individuals, families, veterans, seniors and previously homeless individuals across the U.S.
- Launched the Affordable Loan Solution® mortgage, in partnership with Self-Help Ventures Fund (Self-Help) and Freddie Mac, to provide low- and moderate-income (LMI) homebuyers a responsible way to buy their first home.
- Continued to offer Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and U.S. Trust clients opportunities for impact investing, with more than $11.3 billion in custom portfolios, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and separately managed accounts holding a clearly defined ESG approach.
- Committed $2.6 billion toward growth of diverse businesses through vendors owned by minorities, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
- Introduced a Community Financial Center initiative to better serve low- and moderate-income clients and neighborhoods through enhanced commitments to our employees, technology improvements, and resources to help clients learn more about their money and access products most relevant for them.
- Extended more than $11.6 billion in new credit to small business owners, resulting in total small business lending of nearly $26.7 billion.
- Announced a three-year, $40 million philanthropic commitment to connect 100,000 youth and young adults to skills, training and employment through various initiatives, including the bank’s signature Student Leaders® program.
- Advanced dialogue on civil rights and social justice through partnerships, including celebrating the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., of which the bank is proud to serve as a founding donor.
Furthering environmental sustainability:
- Directed $15.9 billion to address climate change through financing of clean energy, energy efficiency, water, sustainable transportation and other environmentally supportive activities.
- Issued third green bond for $1 billion, resulting in $2.1 billion in total funds raised by the company through green bonds, continuing our green bond leadership in the industry.
- Expanded the Catalytic Finance Initiative to eight new partners, pledging $8 billion in total commitments toward high-impact, sustainable investments.
- Announced new operations goals to reduce environmental impacts by 2020, including becoming carbon neutral and purchasing 100 percent renewable electricity.
Valuing our employees:
- Increased minimum wage for hourly, noncommissioned U.S. employees to $15 per hour.
- For employees making less than $50,000 a year, we reduced their annual medical premiums by 50 percent in 2011, and have kept their premiums flat for five consecutive years.
- Expanded paid parental leaves – including maternity, paternity and adoptive – for all U.S. employees from 12 to 16 weeks to bond with a new child.
- Continued focus on being a diverse and inclusive company, earning recognition from Bloomberg as the highest-scoring U.S. firm two years in a row on the Financial Services Gender-Equality Index, and from Euromoney with its inaugural World’s Best Bank of Diversity award.
- Supported employees in their passion and commitment to improve communities through meaningful volunteer opportunities, with approximately 2 million volunteer hours invested in communities around the world.
Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading 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 approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,600 retail financial centers, approximately 15,900 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with approximately 35 million active users and more than 22 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, 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 all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE:BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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Kelly Sapp, Bank of America