Wells Fargo Invests $37 Billion in Environmental Finance
Last week Wells Fargo released its 2014 Corporate Responsibility Interim Report. In this ninth annual report, we share our progress and performance in addressing critical environmental, social and economic issues in our communities.
The report outlines where we are with regard to our environmental goals established in April 2012. As of the end of last year, we are well on our way towards achieving, and in many cases exceeding, all of these goals, including financing a total of $37 billion to environment businesses since 2012, surpassing our $30 billion goal six years early. The total includes loans and investments in “greener” buildings, clean technology, and $3.8 billion in “greener” affordable housing and commercial properties in low- to moderate-income communities.
Wells Fargo began developing expertise and deploying capital to the renewable energy sector in 2006. Today Wells Fargo is an established leader in renewable energy and clean technology, serving a wide variety of companies in these rapidly growing sectors of our economy. Our Global Clean Technology Commercial Banking Group and Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance teams have extensive expertise in renewable energy development and deep relationships across the clean technology sector. We estimate that the clean, renewable energy projects owned in whole, or in part, by Wells Fargo produced 11% of U.S. solar photovoltaic and wind energy generation in 2013.
Since setting new goals in 2012, Wells Fargo has achieved a 24% increase in energy efficiency, 38% increase in water efficiency, and 18% increase in waste diversion (recycling rate). And from our baseline year of 2008, we’ve reduced our absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 24%, and are on track to meet our goal of 35% savings by 2020.
Promoting a “greener” environment
We’ve also continued to expand our “greener” buildings program at Wells Fargo, achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®)-certification for 18% of the total square footage across Wells Fargo owned and leased buildings.
And, we made strategic environmental grants totaling $40 million through two environmental grant programs – the Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program and the Clean Technology and Innovation grant program – focusing on community-based environmental projects as well as clean technology innovation and advancement.
I’m excited about our accomplishments and look forward to continued progress in our sustainability journey. But, we can’t do it alone. We’d love to hear from you. Use the Leave a Comment box below to tell us what you think about our environmental progress.