The banking world isn’t often thought of for their commitment to the environment, but Wells Fargo is working hard to change that perception. In addition to offering their customers the expected financial services, Wells Fargo has made it a priority to operate in a socially, environmentally and economically responsible manner. From green banking options to an environmental grant program to environmentally responsible buildings, Wells Fargo’s approach to doing business is less about financial gain and more about creating a positive impact on customers, communities and the environment.
While many banks lend money to individuals, businesses, and organizations, Wells Fargo goes beyond simply financing. Instead, the lending institution has created programs to increase lending to and investments in non-profits and projects that are working to protect the environment. Through the Environmental Grant Program, Wells Fargo hopes that by 2020, they will have given $100 million in grants to environmentally minded non-profits. Through two grant programs, the Environmental Solutions for Communities Grant program and the Clean Technology and Innovation Grant program, Wells Fargo is supporting community based non-profits and encouraging clean tech research. Also by 2020, Wells Fargo intends to provide $30 billion in financing to business opportunities that help the environment.
A Wells Fargo banking customer is encouraged to participate in “green” banking. Through the use of technology, and with careful thinking about environmental impact, Wells Fargo has created ways for customers to reduce their personal environmental impact simply by banking smarter. Some of the many options offered to customers include paperless banking with online statements and e-bills; paperless ATM receipts and envelopes; the PayItGreen calculator, which helps customers determine their financial paper footprint; remote deposit technology; and lending options designed to reward customers who are going green. The sustainable banking model Wells Fargo has created will impact they way banking is done far into the future.
Wells Fargo has taken numerous steps to support local communities and protect the environment with the use of innovative banking services, but they have also incorporated sustainability and social responsibility into their everyday operations. This financial institution has big environmental goals and is committed to setting an example through measurable practices. Already, Wells Fargo has worked extensively to make all of their buildings greener. The company has earned recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, with 19 of their office buildings meeting LEED standards, in addition to Energy Star standards. Wells Fargo set a goal to ensure all of their retail banking branches will receive LEED recognition, and 35% of all Wells Fargo buildings earn LEED certification by 2020. Additional steps taken to reduce their environmental impact as a company include installing solar panels in their Denver branches, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 12% since 2008 and a further reduction totaling 35% by 2020, increasing energy efficiency and reducing waste.
In the world of finance, the focus is often on accumulating or protecting wealth. In light of the recent problems in the banking industry as a whole, avoiding financial institutions that are involved in scandal or questionable practices is also a concern for many customers. Wells Fargo is a financial institution that has taken a different approach from other institutions, and it is paying off handsomely for customers, for non-profit organizations and for the future of our natural resources. Backed by a rock solid company statement on their vision and values, which includes their long held beliefs on social responsibility, business ethics, a commitment to the environment and investment in local communities, Wells Fargo is able to clearly demonstrate that they are a financial services company with a commitment to being the best stewards in not only the corporate world, but in the natural world as well.
Visit http://www.wellsfargo.com for banking services, and http://www.wellsfargo.com/about/csr/ea for information on their environmental policies, grant programs and social responsibility.