JPMorgan Chase Proves Business Can Lead On Climate Change

(3BL/JustMeans) JPMorgan Chase has a big global reach. It has offices and operations in over 60 countries in more than 5,500 properties that cover about 75 million square feet—about 27 times the square footage of the office space in the Empire State Building. When a company that big announces new environmental sustainability goals, it has an impact.

One of the global banking company’s new goals is to source renewable power for 100 percent of its global energy needs by 2020. JPMorgan Chase will meet the commitment by installing renewable energy technology across its branches and buildings, plus will be signing power purchase agreements with renewable energy projects. It will develop on-site solar power generation for up to 1,400 of its bank-owned retail and 40 commercial buildings around the world. The company executed a 20-year PPA—signed in November 2016—with a subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc. to support developing the 100 megawatt (MW) Buckthorn wind farm in Erath County, Texas. The project is expected to be in operation by the end of 2017, and will provide 75 percent of the company’s power usage in Texas and 13 percent of its overall usage in the U.S.

JPMorgan Chase is considering renewable energy installations on its corporate properties, including on its Polaris Corporate Center in Columbus, Ohio, its largest single-tenant office globally. The solar installation could be up to 20 MW of capacity, which is enough to power 3,280 homes and would offset 65 percent of on-site power usage. It is also considering a solar installation at its Legacy West Complex in Plano, Texas which could provide up to seven MW of power.

Another new commitment is to facilitate $200 billion in clean financing through 2025, the largest commitment to date by a global financial institution. The company has already facilitated and advised on large financings and strategic transactions in the renewable energy sector, including DONG Energy’s $3 billion initial public offering and Enbridge's $1.6 billion partnership with EnBW on the Hoe See and Albatross offshore wind farms in Germany.

JPMorgan Chase is already committed to reducing its energy use. It is currently conducting the largest LED lighting installation in the world, in partnership with Current, at about 4,500 of its Chase branches, which will reduce total energy use by 15 percent. To date, 2,500 branches have had LED lighting installed. It is installing building management systems across its Chase retail branches so lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and irrigation systems are synchronized with operational control. The BMS sensors, lighting control and software will reduce the electric and gas use at Chase branches by 15 percent and water use from irrigation systems by 20 percent.

JPMorgan Chase’s has set new goals at a time when the Trump administration has pulled out of the Paris climate agreement proving that where the federal government fails, business can lead the way.

Photo: JPMorgan Chase