Bank of America announced on Monday a 10-year, $50 billion goal to provide loans to environmentally friendly energy projects. BofA has been criticized in the past for its dealings with coal companies and today’s plan shows their support for green energy. The company also pledged to reduce its energy and paper consumption at its own operations by 2015. The bank will also give out $100 million in grants to nonprofits and other groups promoting clean energy.
“For a company in a sector that is challenged for revenue growth, this a real opportunity to create top-line revenue and to continue to develop the financial markets for renewable energy”, said Cathy Bessant, the bank’s technology and operations executive and chair of its environmental council.
Bessant noted that coal “still comprises such a huge percentage of overall energy that reducing reliance on carbon-based fuels will take a huge combination of global public policy, U.S. domestic policy and continuing to expand the markets for renewables, which is what this commitment is all about.”
Bank of America isn’t the first bank to make a cleaner environment a priority with Wells Fargo pledging $30 billion in loans and investments and Goldman Sachs pledging $40 billion.