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Fifth Third Bancorp Vice Chairman & CEO Kevin Kabat (right) accepted a 2013 Power Partner Award.
Our employees were a catalyst for our Company to pursue greater environmental awareness several years ago. Their activism within our walls led to the creation of an environmental sustainability program in 2011 and set off a chain reaction of progress and successes.

In 2013, we worked to reduce our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, increase our use of green building practices, support renewable energy, expand recycling and help our communities become more sustainable.

Energy Consumption & Emissions

As a large operator of facilities, we made investments that allowed us to use energy more efficiently. Key 2013 projects included upgrading HVAC equipment and related systems at three of our largest buildings. These investments, along with other factors, helped reduce our energy use compared to our baseline year of 2007. In 2013, electricity consumption at facilities where Fifth Third receives an energy bill fell 46 million kilowatt-hours (19 percent) relative to 2007. These facilities also reduced natural gas consumption by 210,000 million British thermal units (43 percent) relative to 2007. Based on the average emissions factors for electric power and natural gas in the United States, these energy savings correspond to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 43,000 metric tons (27 percent) relative to 2007 emissions from these sources.

We also improved the methods we use to estimate our greenhouse gas emissions at locations where we are not directly billed for energy consumption (typically leased locations). Also, as part of our 2013 submission to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), we had our Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions independently verified to ensure the integrity of our methodology. This helped increase our CDP Disclosure Score to 86 on a 100-point scale. We continue to monitor climate change-related developments as we work to improve our ability to manage the risks and opportunities related to climate change.

Green Building

In 2013, 12 of our banking centers earned Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®) recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC), including six that earned LEED Silver. This increased our number of LEED certified facilities to 17. As we work to make all of our newly-planned, newly-built banking centers LEED certified, we became a corporate member of the U.S. Green Building Council and we began preparing two LEED Volume applications to more fully integrate LEED into the company’s business practices.

Renewable Energy

We supported renewable energy by purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) and financing renewable energy projects and companies. First, we purchased 60 million kilowatt-hours of RECs. Equivalent to 30 percent of the electricity consumption for which we are billed directly, the RECs are associated with the Lost Creek Wind Project in Missouri, a state where we do business. This purchase led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to recognize Fifth Third Bank as a Green Power Partner and as a member of EPA’s Green Power Leadership Club. We were also ranked as the 29th largest purchaser of green power in the EPA’s September 2013 Fortune 500® Partners List. Our purchase also helped the City of Cincinnati be recognized as a 2013 Green Power Community of the Year.

Second, we expanded our financing for renewable energy in 2013 by providing in excess of $40 million to finance the construction and operation of utility-scale solar farms in North Carolina and Tennessee, including the 2.3-Megawatt Franklin Solar Farm. The electricity produced from these projects was sold to Duke Energy and the Tennessee Valley Authority.


Fifth Third Bank (North Carolina) Funded a 2.3-Megawatt Solar Project

In 2013, Fifth Third Bank (North Carolina) provided $4 million in construction financing to Charlotte-based Argand Energy Solutions, LLC to support the 2.3-Megawatt Franklin Solar Farm in Louisburg, N.C. This utility-scale solar project covers 12 acres northeast of Raleigh, consists of roughly 7,700 solar panels and will generate enough energy annually to meet the needs of more
than 250 homes.
Argand Energy Solutions President & CEO Erik Lensch said, “These types of projects are a win-win for everyone—the landowner gets income, the county gets more tax revenue and North Carolina benefits, as companies like Argand hire and train more workers for solar installations.”
Fifth Third Bank (North Carolina) Funded a 2.3-Megawatt Solar Project

Waste Reduction and Recycling

Fifth Third continued efforts to reduce its waste footprint and increase recycling availability. In 2013, we introduced recycling to 1,045 banking centers. This significant expansion brought recycling and increased environmental awareness to 85 percent of our banking centers nationwide.

Among our headquarter facilities, the Madisonville Campus in Cincinnati continued to increase its landfill diversion rate to 28.5 percent compared to 2011 levels. This performance and strong employee engagement led the campus to be named a finalist and the winner of the People’s Choice Award in the 2013 Green Business Awards co-sponsored by the Cincinnati Business Courier and the USGBC Cincinnati Regional Chapter.

Madisonville Campus Recycling Program

Fifth Third Bank’s Madisonville campus launched a comprehensive recycling and composting program in November 2011. In 2013, the amount of waste sent to the landfill decreased 27% compared to 2011.

Madisonville Campus Recycling Chart

Advancing Sustainability

Fifth Third continues to expand its involvement in regional sustainability efforts. A founding member of the Greater Cincinnati Green Business Council, we served as vice chair in 2013 and helped prepare a toolkit to introduce small and medium-size companies to the benefits of benchmarking the energy performance of their facilities.

We also continued to participate in Green Umbrella, the regional sustainability alliance for greater Cincinnati. Through these and other efforts, Fifth Third is helping to show businesses and organizations that improving environmental performance can provide economic and quality of life benefits that strengthen our communities.

And while this is a growing focus for us in our headquarters market, we are following in the footsteps of our affiliates and employees who have supported local environmental efforts for many years. Many supported environmental events in April to acknowledge and celebrate Earth Day. Many also incorporated sustainability into the Company’s all-employee effort to fight hunger in May by creating, cultivating or harvesting community gardens that provide wholesome, locally-grown food to markets and shelters.