Success Stories - Banking
Bank of America – Charlotte, NC
Bank of America employs 148,000 people. The company sponsors community outreach activities as part of its effort to establish corporate “environmental networks” designed to encourage employees to interact with surrounding communities. Activities included brown bag lunches featuring topics such as composting and electric vehicles and educational programs for children, including a poster contest and tree planting at local schools. Bank of America also reduced waste by investing in new technology that allows it to distribute employee and customer documents electronically. In addition, the company began developing a comprehensive waste tracking system to better assess its environmental performance. Furthermore, Bank of America collected more than 30,000 tons of corrugated material, paper, mixed plastics, metals, and glass for recycling. Finally, Bank of America does its part to close the recycling loop by investing in carpet, furniture, office supplies, copier paper, and stationery made from recycled products. To ensure that all employees understand the importance of buying recycled, Bank of America implemented the “Make it Second Nature” campaign to educate staff about the company’s waste reduction goals and encourage them to purchase recycled products.
Bank of America brings environmental consciousness right under its employees’ feet. In 2001, it began purchasing new products with recycled content, including carpeting for a new office building. By working with an office carpeting manufacturer and explaining its environmental concerns, Bank of America purchased carpet made of nylon face containing 82 percent recycled content and carpet backing containing 100 percent recycled materials. Furthermore, Bank of America partnered with DuPont to take back and recycle old carpeting. The recycled carpet is used in a variety of products including carpet cushion, sod reinforcement, and even automobile parts!
Bank of America’s 40 environmental network teams enable the bank to achieve impressive environmental results. On an ongoing basis, the teams provide employees with resources on environmental issues via a Web site, a monthly newsletter, and various events. Its office supply cleanup day, during which employees collected excess office supplies and arranged them in central supply rooms, was one of the many successful activities in 2001. During the day, employees also gathered old office equipment for refurbishment or donation to local nonprofit organizations. Throughout the year, many offices also participated in donate-a-phone programs, through which they collected hundreds of cellular phones and accessories for donation to victims of domestic violence.
Bank of America also began a new waste reduction campaign. By educating its employees to incorporate waste prevention activities into their daily tasks, the company saw a reduction in the numbers of forms used, a reduction in copying, and an increase in the development of online tools for employees. The bank also eliminated nearly 23 tons of paper use by subscribing to online magazines and newspapers, and partnered with Compaq in a computer take-back program that refreshes the computers every three years.
BankAmerica Corporation conducted many outstanding waste prevention activities, from reducing the use of shrink-wrap to reconditioning and reissuing office equipment to paper reduction. For example, BankAmerica saved 228 tons of paper and $500,000 by using 15-pound rather than 20-pound paper ATM envelopes.