Commercial, Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Commercial, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 23, 2017 - By Megan Corsano

Fifth Third Bancorp announces 100% RE goal

Fifth Third Bancorp announced on June 21 its commitment to purchasing 100% renewable energy by 2020, along with a list of other sustainability efforts.

Along with the renewable energy goal, the financial services company committed to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 25%, and reduce water usage and landfill waste by 20% by the same goal of 2020.

“Formalizing our operational sustainability goals is part of our broader commitment to make Fifth Third an environmental sustainability leader,” Brian Lamb, executive vice president and chief corporate social responsibility and reputation officer, said in a statement. “By announcing these goals, we seek to raise awareness that considering sustainability issues can lead to better outcomes for our customers, our employees, and our communities.”

According to their 2016 sustainability report, Fifth Third Bancorp initiated a $4 million LED lighting retrofit project at more than 100 locations that contributed to a 10% reduction in energy consumption compared to 2014. In 2016, the company also purchased 30% of its energy from a wind power facility in Deaf Smith County, Texas.

The company's recent recycling efforts have also impacted its sustainability success. In 2016, Fifth Third's largest campus diverted 88% of its waste from the landfill even as the company introduced a "Recycling 2.0" initiative in renovated offices to improve further, according to the report. 

News of Fifth Third Bancorp’s sustainability program continues the trend of large banks shifting toward not only financing clean energy but also using it themselves. In September 2016, Bank of America announced its goal to power its operations through 100% renewable energy by 2020. In May, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50%, also by the year 2020. 

More recently, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. signed a PPA in early June with a wind farm in Pennsylvania, reflecting its dedication to a goal of 100% renewable energy procurement. The company predicts that the agreement will result in a reduction of more than 200,000 tons of greenhouse gases per annum.

Editor's note: This article was amended at 12:40 p.m. ET on June 27 to clarify that the results of the company's LED retrofit contributed to Fifth Third's overall reduction in energy consumption, and to correct details about its recycling efforts. 

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