Major US bank promotes green transport

A leading US high street bank is offering cash incentives to employees who purchase a hybrid vehicle.

American dream? An increasing number of US companies are offering incentives to staff prepared to switch to hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius

American dream? An increasing number of US companies are offering incentives to staff prepared to switch to hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius

Bank of America is offering $3,000 to up to 21,000 staff working in Los Angeles, Boston and its home town of Charlotte in North Carolina to offset the additional cost of buying a hybrid.

The bank has already set itself, and is meeting, energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets and is building what it claims will be the world's most environmentally friendly skyscraper as a new base.

Its lending guidelines prohibit it from financing projects which will damage biodiversity or fund illegal logging and it has made significant inroads into cutting waste produced by its offices.

"Given the size of our commuting associate base, the hybrid program expands our commitment to the environment and helps our associates to participate in making a difference while cutting down on their commuting costs," said Anne Finucane, head of the company's environmental council.

"We are pleased to be one of the first corporations offering this benefit and strengthening our long-standing leadership on environmental issues."

The company will evaluate the pilot, factoring in participation levels and demand to assess how it could be rolled out to the full associate base.

The pilot mirrors the Internal Revenue Service's hybrid vehicle tax credit program and will apply toward a hybrid vehicle as defined by the IRS.

Other companies to have introduced similar measures in the US include Timberland, which also offers a $3,000 incentive to employees to drive a hybrid, and internet search engine Google which offers $5,000 cash to purchase fuel efficient cars and $2,500 to lease them.

Google's incentive applies to any car which does over 45 miles per gallon, not just hybrids.

Sam Bond

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