Not long ago, I became a Bank of America customer, with mixed emotions. You know, the faceless corporation, the rumors of unethical practices, the exhaustion of trying to figure out where their (and my) money truly goes. Ultimately, I gave in to inertia and convenience. So I’m happy to hear that BOA is launching a 10-year, $20 billion green initiative to support sustainable business and fight climate change. If it’s greenwashing, at least it’s $20 billion worth of greenwashing.
Here are the details, according to the press release:
- $18 billion in lending, advice, and market creation for commercial clients, with a focus on initiatives like LEED-certified developments, smart growth, carbon trading, and sustainable technology;
- new products for individual customers including an eco-friendly credit card, green mortgages, and small-business loans that encourage fuel-efficient technologies;
- a $1.4 billion commitment to achieve LEED certification in new BOA facilities and a $100 million investment in energy conservation at its existing facilities;
- a $50 million donation to non-profits focused on forest preservation, energy conservation, and affordable green housing.
“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, in that same press release.
Suddenly my lazy walk to the corner ATM feels a little less shameful.