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Press Relases March 6, 2007

Bank of America Announces $20 Billion Environmental Initiative

Several of the bank’s green initiatives will directly support Conservation International’s land conservation and carbon offsets programs

Bank of America

For more than a decade, Conservation International (CI) has been working with Bank of America on developing innovative market-based initiatives to benefit the environment. That tradition continues in 2007 with the bank's March announcement of a 10-year, $20 billion initiative to support the growth of environmentally sustainable business.

The new commitment aims to help combat global climate change by providing financial support that can catalyze “green” economic growth. Under the program, Bank of America will commit $18 billion to bolster its commercial clients who want to make energy-efficient improvements in the workplace and develop environmentally sustainable products and technology.

Bank of America also has committed to strengthening its own energy efficiency programs, in part by ensuring that the corporation’s new buildings and branches are constructed in accordance with LEED green building and design certifications. For individual banking customers, the company also is developing products that can help consumers consider the environmental impact of their purchases and offset or minimize their carbon emissions.

CI's Center for Environmental Leadership in Business (CELB) worked with representatives at Bank of America to support the development of their strategy. In turn, several of the bank’s green initiatives will directly support CI’s land conservation and carbon offsets programs. For example, Bank of America will make an annual donation to CI’s projects for all customers who use an Environmental Home Equity Visa Access Card. Customers will also have other opportunities to offset their own impact on the environment by donating to CI’s carbon projects through a number of innovative products.

"Bank of America's expansive initiative integrating sustainability into the company's operations, lending practices, and customer relationships is a leadership example of how the private sector can take actions that benefit the environment and business," said Peter Seligmann, CI's chairman and CEO. "CI's work with Bank of America to develop this strategy continues a decade-long partnership to develop pioneering actions that support conservation."

Environmental Leadership for Decades

CI’s relationship with Bank of America began in 1991, when the company supported debt-for-nature swaps in Mexico and Brazil that allowed select government debt to be forgiven in exchange for support for conservation. Bank of America has contributed more than $1 million to support CI’s efforts since then and has helped leverage more than $2 million of debt in debt-for-nature swaps. Some highlights include:

  • In 1994, Bank of America and CI introduced the first "Vanishing Species" checks, displaying endangered species from CI's hotspot areas. Bank of America contributes 50 cents to Conservation International for each box of checks sold.

  • In 2005, the bank committed funds to support CELB’s Energy & Biodiversity Initiative. The initiative brought together conservationists and leading oil companies, including BP, ChevronTexaco, Shell, and Statoil, to develop practical tools for integrating biodiversity protection into the entire lifecycle of oil and gas operations.

  • In 2006, Bank of America pledged its support for a developing inter net-based tool that will help companies assess the impact of their operations on areas of key biodiversity.


To order CI/ Bank of America checks, call the toll free number on the Bank of America reorder form in your check box, or contact your local Bank of America banking center.

For more information on Bank of America visit

Katrin Olson
Manager, Corporate Communications, CELB


Conservation International’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business (CELB) provides a new forum for collaboration between the private sector and the environmental community. Created in partnership with Conservation International (CI) and the Ford Motor Company, CELB operates as a division of CI and is governed by a distinct executive board of leaders from the business and environmental communities-engaging the private sector worldwide in creating solutions to critical global environmental problems in which industry plays a defining role. For further information about CELB, please visit


Katrin Olson
[email protected]

© CI, Tim Killeen
Climate change is among the greatest threats to biodiversity today.

© Bank of America
Bank of America contributes 50 cents to CI for each box of its "Vanishing Species" checks sold.

 Photo credits for banner image: (Zebras in Botswana) © CI, Chris Brooks