Bank of America Goes Greener


Bank of America"s environmental initiatives include a special credit card and lower mortgages for energy efficient homes.©

Bank of America, the nation’s largest retail bank, announced last week that it will spend $20 billion on new environmental initiatives over the next decade.

Ninety percent of the committed money will go to fund commercial lending and investment banking for "green" projects. The bank, which joins a growing list of large U.S.-based companies working to reduce their own and their stakeholders" ecological footprint, hopes such lending will have a positive environmental ripple effect within the U.S. and beyond.

The bank will also spend another $2 billion on efforts to reduce its own impact on the environment and related consumer programs. One example is offering its customers a special credit card. A portion of every dollar spent with the card will go to projects helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also, borrowers can apply for reduced-rate mortgages for homes that meet energy-efficiency standards, or opt for a $1,000 cash rebate instead.

"We see the business opportunity to finance and encourage environmentally sustainable service and technology as a greener economy is created," Bank of America spokeswoman Eloise Hale told reporters, emphasizing that the bank’s decision to go green should help the company capture more new business moving forward.