Has your bank recently offered you paperless statements and online banking? Whether you have considered it or not, these are great eco-friendly ways of dealing with your finances; cutting down on waste from paper and greenhouse gases from production and transportation. Many financial institutions have recently taken a step further in their interest in promoting the environment. Just this month, Wells Fargo announced that it would be joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Climate leaders program and adopting The Carbon Principles, becoming the latest addition to a number of banks who have already made the commitment. The Carbon Principles, established earlier this year, were a team effort by financial giants Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley to assess carbon risk as well as the energy industry’s changing needs for future growth and their ability to provide affordable energy.
Bank of America has also recently announced that they will financing $2.5 million in a major solar energy project, in conjunction with Borrego Solar Systems, in constructing a solar electric system at one the fastest-growing breweries in the country, Stone Brewing Co. The project is estimated to save the company $3 million in energy costs in just the first five years. This is just one of the many financing projects that Bank of America will be undertaking under their new $20 billion environmental initiative.
Another bank making headlines in the environment is The Bank of New York Mellon, who has just been appointed this month to be the Voluntary Carbon Unit (VCU) registry provider by The Voluntary Carbon Standard Association. As the registry provider, The Bank of New York Mellon’s role will be to issue, hold, trade, and retire VCU’s, which represent greenhouse gas reductions. This is will ensure that The Voluntary Carbon Standard’s registry project will hold registry participants accountable.
Banks today are not just taking steps to incorporate environmental practices in their culture, but also have social responsibility when it comes to financing and investing. They are finally helping others take the initiative in protecting the environment. Perhaps that is something consumers need to consider the next time they are choosing an institution for banking or asset management.