On November 16, 2017 JPMorgan Chase & Company announced a $900,000 investment to support sustainable infrastructure projects in Detroit, Michigan.
“Detroit’s Lower Eastside neighborhoods have benefited significantly from the revitalization of our community’s businesses,” said Donna Givens, Chief Executive Officer, Eastside Community Network. “Thanks to JPMorgan Chase’s ongoing financial support and employee volunteering, we will be able to further expand the scope of our organization’s work to help with the development of small businesses along Mack Avenue.”
In addition, the firm is retrofitting over 70 percent of Chase branches in the city with LED lights and new Building Management Systems. As part of the firm’s $150 million commitment to Detroit’s long-term economic recovery and building on its commitment to advance sustainable solutions for clients and across its operations, these investments are designed to boost Detroit’s continued economic recovery.
“Sustainable infrastructure is critical to the efficient and continuous operation of small businesses and to revitalizing commercial activity throughout Detroit,” said Matt Arnold, Global Head of Sustainable Finance, JPMorgan Chase. “We firmly believe that sustainability lies at the heart of long-term economic growth and we are excited about bringing our expertise in advancing environmentally sustainable solutions to Detroit.”
“The City of Detroit Office of Sustainability applauds JPMorgan Chase for its leadership in energy and sustainability through their branch retrofits and support of Detroit non-profit organizations,” said Joel Howrani Heeres, Director of Sustainability, City of Detroit. “By expanding the scope of the green infrastructure and green building practices it is engaged in throughout the city, JPMorgan Chase serves as an example of sustainable business in Detroit making an environmental impact that will benefit all Detroiters.”
Highlights of the firm’s sustainability investments in Detroit include:
- Branch Retrofit: As part of JPMorgan Chase’s collaboration with Current, powered by GE to conduct the world’s largest LED lighting installation and to install Building Management Systems across branches, the firm is retrofitting 13 branches in Detroit. The retrofits of branches across Detroit will cut lighting energy consumption by 50 percent, electric and gas consumption by 15 percent and water consumption from irrigation systems by 20 percent.
- Eastside Community Network: To help tackle the lack of affordable move-in-ready retail space for small businesses that struggle to manage pollution from storm water, JPMorgan Chase is supporting the acquisition and rehab of vacant commercial properties along the Mack Avenue commercial corridor to revitalize and expand local retail and commercial businesses and attract new businesses to the area. In addition, JPMorgan Chase is supporting the efforts of Eastside Community Network to utilize the vacant space between commercial properties for the development of green infrastructure that can mitigate drainage fees.
- The Nature Conservancy: JPMorgan Chase is supporting The Nature Conservancy’s work with the City of Detroit and other partners to create a first-of-its-kind Special Purpose District, akin to a Business Improvement District. The creation of a Special Purpose District would provide more cost effective stormwater management services to local businesses and multiple community and environmental benefits to businesses and residents, therefore supporting business retention, growth and employment generation in the dynamic Eastern Market area of the City.
- Jefferson East: JPMorgan Chase is working with Jefferson East to accelerate the incorporation of green building practices, such as the completion of new green parking lots in vacant land adjacent to commercial properties, into developments along the Jefferson corridor to create commercial spaces that aid minority small business owners,
This new funding announcement builds on past collaboration between JPMorgan Chase and the Eastside Community Network, The Nature Conservancy and Jefferson East through the firm’s Service Corps program, which sends top-performing employees from around the world on assignments that allow them to put their skills and expertise to work on behalf of select nonprofit partners. To date, JPMorgan Chase employees have worked with 21 organizations in Detroit through the Service Corps program.
“We are excited to collaborate with JPMorgan Chase on an initiative that can help ensure the sustainable development of Detroit’s east Jefferson corridor,” said Joshua R. Elling, Executive Director, Jefferson East. “Sustainable infrastructure is key to the corridor’s long-term growth and to the creation of equitable economic opportunities for our residents and businesses.”
In July, JPMorgan Chase announced a commitment to source renewable power for 100 percent of its global energy needs by 2020 and to facilitate $200 billion in clean financing through 2025. This includes retrofitting about 4,500 branches with new technology to cut energy consumption. As part of this commitment, the firm is using its financial resources, insights and expertise to help communities in Detroit and other cities better manage sustainability challenges.
“JPMorgan Chase has been a bedrock supporter for The Nature Conservancy’s work to develop financing structures that deliver environmental and social benefits,” said Valerie Strassberg, Director of Urban Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, Michigan.
“Building on the foundational guidance we received from the bank’s Detroit Service Corps team last year, this additional support will allow our team to move beyond concept to meaningful analysis and implementation of a stormwater management mechanism at a scale that could be a national model,” she concluded.
Photo of Detroit’s People Mover system via Adobe Stock.