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Bank of America Executives Speak of Company’s Role in the Environment

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While the federal government’s stance on issues such as climate change and environmental regulation may be shifting under the new Administration, guests attending the Role of Business in the Environment panel event at the McDonough School of Business on April 12 were assured that Bank of America’s commitment to addressing environmental issues will not waver.

Alex Liftman, Global Environmental executive at Bank of America, spoke to a robust crowd of Georgetown students, faculty, and staff, as well as industry practitioners and local community leaders, about the central role that environmental and social priorities play in how the Bank conducts business. Ms. Liftman spoke about how the company has provided $70 Billion in financing for low-carbon and other sustainable business activities since 2007, and the pioneering role Bank of America has played in the growth of the green bond market.  

Joining Ms. Liftman on the panel was Sarah McAvoy, Global Funding executive for Bank of America, who offered attendees in-depth knowledge on how green bonds were developed and ultimately issued by Bank of America. In November of last year, Bank of America issued its third corporate green bond of $1 billion. Since 2013 it has issued more than $2 billion in corporate green bonds. McAvoy, a Georgetown alumnus, spoke in detail about the current state of other environment and social financial products and services, particularly from the investor’s perspective.

Several McDonough students posed questions to Ms. Liftman and Ms. McAvoy, touching on topics ranging from how rising leaders could advocate for the environment with their future employers, to how success is measured for financial products such as green bonds, to what the next frontier will look like for these kinds of pro-environment instruments.

The discussion was moderated by Global Social Enterprise Initiative Executive Director Leslie Crutchfield, who guided the dynamic and fruitful conversation. Ms. Crutchfield framed the discussion by pointing out how Bank of America is a prime example of how a major global company can be a force for good and create shared value, by introducing innovative new products and services that drive both bottom-line and environmental results, as well as through its robust philanthropy, policy and employee engagement programs. The event was part of the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) lecture series, which GSEI hosts with Bank of America.

For more information about the bank’s environmental and sustainability efforts, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/environment.