Bank of America: Embedding Sustainability

I wrote my white paper, “The Four Dimensions of Sustainability” a couple of years ago now, but I still see examples that confirm to me that it applies as well today as it did then.

Earlier this month, speaking at the Responsible Business Summit in New York, I had the pleasure of listening to Alex Liftman, Global Environmental Executive, Head of Sustainability for Bank of America speak about embedding sustainability into business.

Alex talked about the culmination of many months of effort around the recently announced corporate goal of a 15 percent global green house gas (GHG) emission reduction by 2015.  Adding the existing reductions, over the course of 11 years, according to Alex, the company will have reduced carbon emissions by 30 percent!   This is all the first dimension of sustainability – direct emissions reduction

But what Alex also highlighted were the  second and third dimensions -the direct and enabled impacts a company’s products and services have on customers’ sustainability.  Alex described Bank of America’s commitment to loan $20 billion in their Environmental Business Initiative to support their customers’ sustainability by providing  the finances required to develop sustainable solutions.

Inform and Influence is the fourth dimension.   Alex started her presentation by saying “We think there is a lot we can do to address global climate change.  It is our primary focus in environmental sustainability.”  Not a lot of room for doubt there about the position of the company on that position!  Clearly expressed company positions will inform and influence stakeholders and I love to hear companies express their positions on climate change so succinctly.

As Alex said, there is doubtless more to do , but I applaud the way Bank of America has embedded sustainability by applying these principles across all four dimensions of its impact.

Want to learn more about how Bank of America has taken on this effort? Click here.


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