Sustainable Operations

Operating as a good corporate steward of the environment is not only the right thing to do, but it's also essential to supporting a high quality of life for our employees, customers and communities. After meeting our 2020 goals for energy, water and carbon emissions reductions early, in 2017 we set even more ambitious, science-informed targets for 2035 — a 75% reduction in carbon emissions and energy use, and a 50% reduction in water use. Additionally, in May 2019 we set a goal to achieve 100% renewable energy use by 2025.

In addition to these specific goals, our comprehensive sustainability program takes a holistic approach to good environmental stewardship, leveraging green building standards, resource conservation and state-of-the-art intelligent building design.

Building Performance

We continue to upgrade our physical spaces with more efficient equipment, such as LED lighting and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. In 2018, we explored connected devices, including smart thermostats and sensors with real-time smart analytics. This will help us to better foresee and control any operational issues that may arise.

Intelligent Buildings
PNC was an early adopter of LEED certification for both our branch and office environments, and continues to design and retrofit buildings to maximize energy efficiency, enhance occupant comfort and efficiently use building materials to reduce resource consumption. To achieve greater operational efficiency, PNC plans to leverage an intelligent building software platform to save energy and improve building performance. The software will integrate energy, building and smart equipment data into a central platform to deliver insights, trends and actionable reports to improve building performance and operations. In 2018, the Innovation and Performance group researched and vetted software vendors and will pilot the program in 2019.

Water Use
In 2018, PNC completed 15 water audits. We found that our retail operations represent most of our water use, mainly due to year-round irrigation at bank branches in the South. Based on the findings, we will pilot water efficiency upgrades at 20 sites in Florida in 2019. The pilot will include replacing traditional irrigation controllers with weather-based smart irrigation controllers, and replacing old, inefficient irrigation equipment with high-efficiency models.

New Commissioning Program

We created a new commissioning (Cx) program to increase the efficiency of new and renovated buildings. The program fulfills PNC’s objectives to track, monitor and improve the Cx process to meet its business needs and the requirements of rigorous green building criteria. The updated standards and process will ensure our systems are designed efficiently, installed appropriately and operating as intended, based on the latest industry standards.

Employee Commuting
In 2018, we completed an employee commuting survey to update the metrics we use to calculate a portion of our Scope 3 emissions (indirect emissions that occur in a company's value chain, both upstream and downstream). We previously relied on information from a 2011 survey to calculate average miles traveled, mode of transportation and commute days. We were impressed with the results from the 2018 survey, as we saw large shifts in commuting patterns compared to the 2011 data.

There was a decrease in the number of trips made by solitary drivers, which went from 84% to 69%. At the same time, there was an increase in other modes of transportation, including walking, cycling, riding public transportation and carpooling/vanpooling. This resulted in a 27% reduction in commute-related greenhouse gas emissions. The Innovation and Performance group plans to use this information to help inform employee commute decisions.

Reducing Waste

Finding new use for what we no longer need is an important part of our commitment to being a good environmental steward. While it's easy to simply throw something away, we'd prefer to put that something to good use, particularly if it helps us decrease the company's overall waste.

Furniture Donations
In 2018, we donated, sold or recycled 658 tons (100%) of our excess furniture. Of that, 59.9% was recycled, 28.8% was donated, 9.5% was sold and 1.8% was relocated internally. By donating this furniture, which equated to $275,000 of in-kind charitable donations to 11 different organizations, we diverted it from landfills and subsequently reduced our carbon emissions by 1,361 metric tons.

Grounds to Grow On
In 2018, we began a pilot program with Grounds to Grow On, returning our used coffee pods to the vendor to recycle the plastic cup and foil lid and compost the used grounds and paper filter. The pilot has been successfully implemented for each coffee machine in The Tower at PNC Plaza at our Pittsburgh headquarters campus. In 2019, we plan to expand the pilot to our other major buildings in downtown Pittsburgh.

We have been composting at our Pittsburgh properties for a number of years, but ensuring that the collected compost is clean continues to be a challenge. In 2018, our composting audits showed that, though PNC employees did successfully compost many items, non-compostable items were also found in the compost bins. This information will inform more frequent audits and additional employee education campaigns.

PNC's Environmental Performance

PNC met its 2020 30% reduction goals for energy consumption and carbon emissions ahead of schedule and is on track to meet its 2020 30% reduction goal for water consumption.

  Carbon Emissions



Reduction since 2009




How did we meet these goals?
  • Green building initiatives
  • Updated lighting
  • HVAC improvements
  • Extensive analysis of energy data using traditional analytics techniques
2035 Reduction Goals*




How do we plan to meet these goals?
  • Employee education and engagement
  • Green and intelligent buildings
  • Advanced machine learning techniques on our energy data
*We measure our water consumption against a 2012 baseline.

What Makes Us Different
Makes Us Stronger.

2020 Corporate Responsibility

Summary of Our Efforts »

Download 2020 CR Report

Learn More About CR

Stakeholder Engagement »

Download previous Reports and Newsletters »

In May 2019 we set a goal to achieve


renewable energy use by 2025.


PNC has reduced its carbon emissions by


since 2009.

Recognized for our Efforts

Corporate Awards & Recognition


  • Most Powerful Women in Banking, American Banker (2021)
  • Best Overall Bank for Students,, (2021-2022)
  • Best Private Banks, Global Finance World (2022)
  • No. 3 Paycheck Protection Program Lender in U.S. (2021)
  • U.S. Best Bank, Euromoney Awards for Excellence (2020)

Corporate Responsibility

Our Communities & Responsible Business Practices

  • Outstanding Community Reinvestment Act rating in every evaluation since the law was enacted in 1977
  • 100 Most Sustainable Companies, Barron’s (2022)
  • America’s Most Responsible Companies, Newsweek (2021)

Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion


  • 100% Score on Disability Equality Index® (DEI®) Best Places to Work™ (2021)
  • Top 50 Employers, Equal Opportunity Magazine (2021)
  • Top 50 Employers, CAREERS & the disABLED Magazine (2021)


  • Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality, Human Rights Campaign, for 10 consecutive years (2022)
  • Top LGBTQ+ Friendly, Black EOE Journal (2021)
  • Best-of-the-Best Corporation for Inclusion, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and National Business Inclusion Consortium, (2021)


  • Best of the Best Top Veteran-Friendly Companies, Top Veteran-Friendly Supplier Diversity Programs, U.S. Veterans Magazine (2021)


  • Gender-Equality Index, Bloomberg (2022)
  • Top Companies for Executive Women, Best Companies for Multicultural Women, Best Companies for Working Mothers, Seramount (2021)
  • 50 Out Front: Best Places to Work for Women & Diverse Managers, Diversity MBA Magazine (2021)
  • Top 70 Companies for Executive Women, National Association for Female Executives (2021)
  • Best Finance Companies for Women, Fairygodboss (2021)