After recently announcing plans to retrofit 4,500 Chase branches across the US in partnership with Current, powered by GE, JP Morgan has pledged to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2020 and facilitate $200 billion in clean financing through 2025 — the largest commitment by a global financial institution to date.
“Business must play a leadership role in creating solutions that protect the environment and grow the economy,” said Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan. “This global investment leverages the firm’s resources and our people’s expertise to make our operations more energy efficient and provide clients with the resources they need to develop more sustainable products and services.”
To achieve its 2020 goal, JP Morgan says it will prioritize transactions that add new renewable energy to grids on which it consumes power, which will include a combination of onsite projects, Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and reductions in energy consumption.
The banking giant has plans to develop solar generation for 1,400 bank-owned retail outlets and 40 commercial buildings globally; it is currently piloting an installation of solar panels at Chase branches in California and New Jersey and is considering installations at The Polaris Corporate Center in Columbus, Ohio, which could produce up to 20 megawatts (MW) of capacity and offset 65 percent of on-site power usage. Solar installations at the Legacy West Complex in Plano, Texas could provide 7MW of renewable power.
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In addition to solar, JP Morgan is also looking to install large capacity fuel cell technology at the firm’s commercial sites starting with the Metrotech Center in Brooklyn, New York, with small capacity fuel cells planned for retail sites.
In 2016, JP Morgan agreed to clean energy transactions totaling $15 billion, including adding $3 billion to DONG Energy’s IPO and a $2 billion tax equity for wind, solar and geothermal initiatives. Projects already lined up for 2017 include acting as a bookrunner for Apple’s $1 billion green bond offer.
PPAs will be issued in select markets in the US to offset the firm’s traditional power consumption by 40 percent. A 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with a subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc. has already been executed to support the development of the 100 MW Buckthorn wind farm in Erath County, Texas. Once completed, the wind farm will provide electricity for approximately 75 percent of JP Morgan’s power consumption in Texas and 13 percent of overall consumption in the US.
Reducing energy consumption is also an important component of JP Morgan’s expanded sustainability strategy and the firm will roll out a series of energy efficiency initiatives to drive down energy use. In partnership with Current, powered by GE, JP Morgan is currently conducting the world’s largest LED lighting installation. Around 4,500 Chase branches will be retrofitted with new lighting technologies, cutting total energy consumption by 15 percent.
Twenty-five hundred branches have already been retrofitted with LED lighting to date for a total of 1.4 million new lightbulbs, which has slashed energy consumption by 50 percent. The installation of Building Management Systems (BMS) and sensors will also help to reduce branch electricity and gas consumption by 15 percent and water consumption from irrigation systems by 20 percent.