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Advancing Sustainability Advancing Sustainability Advancing Sustainability
Integrated Approach

Advancing Sustainability

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In conversation with Marisa Buchanan, Deputy Global Head of Sustainable Finance, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Jane Gilbert, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Miami, on what it means to be a resilient city and how the private sector can support cities’ efforts.

Marisa Buchanan


Marisa Buchanan

Jane Gilbert


Jane Gilbert


A growing number of cities and companies have Chief Sustainability Officers, but your title is Chief Resilience Officer. What is the difference between “resilience” and “sustainability”?


They are both distinct and inextricably linked. Sustainability is about protecting resources and ecosystems now and for future generations. My position was funded through the 100 Resilient Cities program, which saw not just climate change increasing the shock and stresses on cities globally, but also two other major forces: urbanization and globalization. We’ve certainly seen all three factors hitting the City of Miami


What does it mean to be a resilient city?


Urban resilience is about the capacity of the individuals, communities, businesses and institutions within cities to not only adapt and bounce back from a shock but also to thrive no matter what kinds of stresses they experience. Our cities are going to continue to face increased challenges, so we need to learn how to work together across sectors — in partnership with our business community, financial institutions and nonprofit community — to build that resilience.

For example, climate change is an interdisciplinary challenge and it needs that kind of response. Our advisory committee charged with making policy recommendations about how to address rising sea levels includes a very diverse group of stakeholders — including a developer, architect, land use attorney, emergency manager, marine biologist, entrepreneur, county resilience officer and community activists.


Hearing that reminds me of my role here at JPMorgan Chase: I often describe myself as a “dot connector.”


Exactly! Sometimes I call myself the Chief Silo Buster.


What can businesses do to support cities’ resilience?


It’s critical for them to be thinking not just about how their own operations are resilient, but also about the surrounding community. After a disaster, for example, businesses need to make sure they are up and running quickly, but also that their employees can get to work. As a business, you should not underestimate the role you play within your community. Think about how you can leverage the resources you have at hand, whether it’s a service you provide or engaging your employees.


What can the financial sector, in particular, bring to the table?


A lot. The work you do to educate people about financial savings is critical to economic resilience. The investments you make in community development and affordable housing, and how you tie those to transit-oriented development and access to jobs. Making sure your services are up and running quickly after a disaster is critical. And how you’re working to place your investments in terms of clean financing is also a great way to show leadership.

Sustainability in Our Business and Across Our Global Operations

As a company with clients and operations around the world, JPMorgan Chase is in a unique position to leverage our expertise to promote sustainable business practices and help clients capitalize on opportunities created by the transition to a more sustainable global economy. In 2017, we announced two new commitments aimed at advancing sustainable solutions for our clients and within our operations.

Renewable Energy

JPMorgan Chase will source renewable energy for 100 percent of its global power needs by 2020. The firm has offices and operations in more than 60 countries across over 5,500 properties, covering approximately 75 million square feet — about 27 times the square footage of the office space at the Empire State Building.

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of JPMorgan Chase’s global power needs will be renewable energy by 2020

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capacity on-site solar installation is being developed at the firm’s largest single-tenant office, equivalent of 3,280 homes

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new lightbulbs are being used to retrofit our branches with LED lighting

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of our lighting energy consumption will be cut down, that’s equivalent to removing 27,000 cars from the road

Clean Financing

JPMorgan Chase will finance client projects and companies to facilitate new energy, transportation, waste management, water treatment and technology innovations:

  • $200 billion in clean financing through 2025
  • Advising clients in the renewable energy sector on leading strategic transactions and raising capital
  • Underwriting debt to promote investments in sustainability for clients around the globe, including businesses and governments
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Partnership Spotlight

Building Resilient Cities: For cities to realize their potential as engines of economic opportunity, they must develop effective urban resilience strategies, partnerships and projects — all of which are required to sustain long-term economic growth. That’s why JPMorgan Chase is putting our expertise and resources to work to help cities advance sustainable solutions.

For example, in 2017 we provided $900,000 in support for innovative, community-based sustainable infrastructure projects in Detroit, which will also help boost the city’s continued economic recovery. Our support will help advance The Nature Conservancy’s work with the City of Detroit and other partners to create a first-of-its-kind Special Purpose District for stormwater management, akin to a Business Improvement District.

We are also working with Jefferson East to accelerate the incorporation of green building and stormwater management practices into the development of commercial spaces that aid minority small business owners. In addition, we are supporting Eastside Community Network’s efforts to utilize open green space on the Mack Avenue commercial corridor to reduce stormwater runoff and help small businesses develop green infrastructure that can mitigate their drainage fees.

In addition, we are making our own facilities in Detroit more energy efficient by retrofitting over 70 percent of Chase branches in the city with LED lights and new building management systems.

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