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Bank of America to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent

Bank of America said today that it wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent from 2011 to 2015 by using less energy, a goal the Charlotte-based company described as ambitious.

Bank of America said the plan involves its operations in more than 40 countries.

“Reducing our emissions not only lessens the environmental impact of our global operations, but enhances our efficiency and delivers tremendous value for our company and shareholders,” Catherine Bessant, the bank’s Environmental Council chairwoman, said in a statement. ”Continuing to achieve a GHG reduction of this magnitude requires fundamental changes spanning our entire organization, from our global real estate portfolio to the individual workspaces our employees occupy.”

Bank of America said 90 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions come from energy consumption. The plan calls for, among other things, educating employees on how to use less energy.

The bank also said today that 20 percent of its workplace real estate portfolio will be certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system by 2015, up from 11 percent, or 13.2 million square feet, that is LEED-certified today.

The company is also giving reimbursements of up to $3,000 apiece to eligible U.S. employees for the purchase of hybrid or compressed-natural-gas vehicles.

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