What does it take to be one of the greenest banks in the world?
A $344 million investment in solar panels for veterans' homes and a $1.4 billion loan to a San Francisco solar energy company helped Bank of America become the second greenest bank the world over, according to a recent report from Bloomberg Markets.
Overall, banks' clean energy investments went up 5 percent to $260 billion in 2011, but some doubt that the investment will remain as high in the future, as a U.S. Treasury funding program that provides grants for up to 30 percent of renewable energy projects comes to an end, according to Bloomberg Markets.
BofA could use the positive publicity from its green efforts, after its reputation took a hit thanks to an unpopular plan to charge customers to use their debit cards and its role in the housing crisis. The factors combined with others helped to make it the seventh most hated company in America, according to a 24/7 Wall St. report from January.
But the green banks rankings may also be bad news for another oft-derided financial institution: Goldman Sachs. The investment bank dropped 16 spots, falling from second to eighteenth in the green bank rankings.
The Wall Street giant has been under heightened public scrutiny since a New York Times op-ed by a former executive portrayed the Goldman's internal culture as primarily self-serving, pushing the bank's reputation to lows similar to where it was during the height of the financial crisis .
Here are the 10 greenest banks in the world, according to Bloomberg Markets: