If Texas were an independent nation, it would have the 10th largest GDP on earth. Within this booming economy, the financial services industry takes many forms including banking, insurance, and real estate. An estimated 36 financial services companies from 13 countries either established or expanded operations in Texas between 2009 and 2014. Financial service leaders are also actively involved in conservation— from helping communities recycle paper to aiding private landowners in adopting conservation easements, the financial industry is banking on the environment.
The largest bank headquartered in Texas and one of the largest in the country, Comerica has racked up awards in sustainability, such as a Climate Registry recognition for excellence in greenhouse gas management. Comerica’s Shred Days are signature community events in Dallas and Houston, where the company partners with Iron Mountain to collect, shred, and recycle paper documents for free.
Every ton of recycled paper saves about 7,000 gallons of water. Managing paper waste, in other words, helps both businesses and the communities they belong to. Additionally, with identity theft being one of the fastest rising crimes, secure recycling is more important than ever.
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Comerica is keenly aware of these facts. “Shred Days help protect people from identity theft, support environmental preservation, and serve our most vulnerable community members,” says Scott Beckerman, Senior Vice President and Comerica’s Director of Corporate Sustainability. In 2019 alone, Comerica Shred Days yielded more than 300 tons of pulped and recycled paper, and since 2011, the event has collected over 2,000 tons of paper. That’s the equivalent of saving 34,000 trees or conserving 26 swimming pools of water.
Bolstered by an internal environmental policy statement that looks to every employee and applies to the entire company, Comerica is committed to reducing climate change business risks while identifying opportunities to mitigate the impact of rising global temperatures. Each year, the firm tracks its progress in environmental sustainability areas most relevant to its business, including greenhouse gas emissions, water, waste and paper use, environmentally-beneficial (green) lending, environmentally responsible procurement, and sustainability engagement and communication.
In 2018, Comerica reduced its greenhouse gasses over 40 percent, double the projected goal for 2020. The company is hoping to be at net-zero emissions by 2050.
“In the U.S., businesses will continue to lead sustainability initiatives,” Beckerman says. “Our role is to support that leadership through both reductions in our own environmental footprint and perhaps even more importantly, supporting customers as they green their operations and work in new areas which address a greening economy.”