Making Sustainability Our Business

Photo credit: © Steven Gnam for The Nature Conservancy

Making Sustainability Our Business

In honor of the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, we are highlighting our ongoing work to build a more sustainable future for our clients, consumers and the communities in which we live and work.

In 2014, JPMorgan Chase hosted its inaugural Sustainability Summit, providing a forum for senior executives from more than 90 Fortune 500 client companies to share insights on the nexus between financial markets and sustainability. In addition, the firm joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a CEO-led organization of companies focused on promoting sustainability in business. Daniel Pinto, CEO of the Corporate & Investment Bank, serves as the firm's Council Member.

“As a global financial institution, we can use our insights and expertise to help clients identify business risks and opportunities –and deploy capital in new and innovative ways to help them finance their sustainability objectives.”

Matt Arnold, head of the firm’s Social & Sustainable Finance group.

Managing environmental and social risk
We recognize that the success of our clients – and, by extension, our company – depends on effective risk management, including consideration of environmental and social issues. Our Environmental & Social Policy Framework maps out our approach to environmental and social risk management and our strategy on issues such as biodiversity, human rights and climate change.

In addition to effective risk management, we are also focused on the opportunities created by the transition to a low carbon economy.

Environmentally focused deals
Leveraging our expertise in the debt capital markets, in 2014, we underwrote more than $2.2 billion in green bonds, which enable capital-raising and investment for projects with environmental benefits, such as clean water, green buildings and renewable energy. Additionally, we committed and arranged $1.8 billion in capital for wind and solar projects in the U.S. during 2014, bringing the total raised for renewable energy since 2003 to $13 billion—including $7 billion of the our own capital.

We recognize that our efforts alone will not be enough to address these complex issues –and that by collaborating with communities, nonprofits and other stakeholders we can achieve greater impact.

Building market capacity
We hosted our inaugural Sustainability Summit in November 2014, providing a forum for senior executives from more than 90 Fortune 500 client companies to share insights on the nexus between financial markets and sustainability.

Also in 2014, JPMorgan Chase joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a CEO-led organization of companies focused on promoting sustainability in business. Daniel Pinto, CEO of the Corporate & Investment Bank, serves as the firm’s Council Member.

JPMorgan Chase provided founding sponsorship for NatureVest – an initiative of The Nature Conservancy focused on developing investment opportunities that protect and restore land and water ecosystems. NatureVest, supported by our sponsorship and financial expertise, has already closed three innovative transactions, spanning agriculture, land preservation and marine protection. For example, NatureVest facilitated an $80 million debt swap for the government of the Seychelles in exchange for its commitment to enhance marine conservation and climate adaptation projects.

How the firm works with clients and nonprofits is only part of the equation. With more than 250,000 employees in 60 countries, the firm is also working to ensure we’re running our operations in a sustainable manner.

Making our operations more sustainable
We strive to manage our office buildings, branches and data centers in an efficient and sustainable manner. We have committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent below our 2005 baseline by the end of 2020. We also purchase carbon offsets for all employee travel.

In addition, there are initiatives underway to build out solar-generating capacities at U.S. retail branches, improve efficient water use, procure sustainably-certified paper, maximize recycling and create employee awareness on this issue through participating in initiatives like Earth Hour.

And employees are making positive strides as well. Several Volunteer Leadership Groups have been partnering with The Nature Conservancy to identify and organize environmentally-focused volunteer opportunities in their communities.

Visit here for more information on the firm's sustainability strategy and achievements.