After signing a recent power purchase agreement, Fifth Third Bank is the first Fortune 500 company and first bank to contract for 100% renewable power through a single project – and it’s all happening here in North Carolina. Hertford County will be the home of a new 80-Megawatt (MW) solar facility owned by Mooresville’s SunEnergy1 that will generate the same amount of energy Fifth Third expects to use across its ten-state footprint. The energy produced by the Aulander Holloman solar facility will help avoid 144,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually – the same level of emissions produced by 21,600 homes or 30,800 passenger vehicles.
Environmental sustainability is a core element of Fifth Third’s commitment to corporate social responsibility. As Tom Heiks, president of Fifth Third Bank in the Carolinas, described, “fundamentally, Fifth Third believes in the value of sustainability and many of our customers do as well.” To do its part to support this long-held principle, Fifth Third announced several sustainability goals last summer to help protect the planet for future generations. According to Heiks, a bold aspect of that announcement was becoming 100% reliant on renewables by 2022 – a goal they’ve now reached four years ahead of schedule. The other goals, also targeted for completion by 2022, include: reduce energy use by 25%, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25%, reduce landfill waste by 20% and reduce water usage by 20%.
Not only does Fifth Third have an internal commitment to improving the company’s environmental impact, but it has been instrumental in financing and providing capital to solar developers across the country. As the number two state in the nation for solar energy, that has no doubt made an impact in North Carolina. In fact, Fifth Third has loaned approximately two billion dollars since 2012 to solar developers, with many of those dollars going to the more than 200 projects Fifth Third has financed here.
As we work to advance an “all-of-the above energy” strategy to power North Carolina’s competitive economy, it’s exciting to see an NC Chamber Cornerstone Member take these steps. You can learn more about Fifth Third’s power purchase agreement here or by checking out this infographic.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs