Bank promises to use only renewable energy

Source: Benjamin Hulac, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, August 1, 2017

JPMorgan Chase & Co. unveiled a two-pronged sustainability plan  to lower emissions and support renewable energy.

The Wall Street bank said it will power its operations worldwide from renewable sources by 2020. The decision applies only to its facilities.

In a statement that does not mention climate change, JPMorgan said it would also finance $200 billion worth of “clean” projects. It’s unclear how that is defined.

The bank said it would install solar panels at various branches; a fuel-cell apparatus in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and a solar array in Plano, Texas, and it said it would place “thermal energy blankets above the ceiling tiles” at other branches, all within three years.

JPMorgan is not the first bank to make an all-renewable commitment, which tends to be easier to achieve than overhauling a company’s lending practices, since it typically doesn’t relate to the bank’s clients.

Friday’s announcement, for example, says nothing to indicate the bank is changing its loan policies for the fossil fuel or utility industries.

Bank of America Corp. said it would power its buildings entirely with renewables by 2020, and Amalgamated Bank said it would reach that mark this year (Climatewire, Sept. 20, 2016).

JPMorgan, along with the asset manager BlackRock Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other rivals, has started to look more closely at the financial risks of climate change (Climatewire, April 3).