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Environmental Sustainability

Sustainable communities

We’re accelerating the planet’s transition to a lower-carbon economy and helping to reduce the impacts of climate change on our customers, team members, communities, and business.

We are committed to doing our part to accelerate the transition to a lower-carbon economy and reduce the impacts of climate change. We do this by increasing our operational efficiency; advancing clean technology; innovation; and other environmental solutions. We engage our customers, team members, suppliers, and community partners in our efforts to reduce waste, conserve resources, and support resilient communities.

 Climate change 

We recognize the growing concerns related to climate change and will continue to do our part to find solutions. Statement on Climate Change

Making change within Wells Fargo

We’re committed to fostering a culture of environmental stewardship, and to finding new ways to minimize energy consumption and to use renewable sources of energy within our company. Operating with greater efficiency can help us achieve cost savings, enhance our team member experience, minimize our impact on the environment, manage risks associated with environmental performance, and set a positive example for others.

We focus our efforts on:

  • Reducing our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing our use of renewable energy
  • Water conservation
  • Reducing waste, with a focus on paper
  • Deploying “green” building” design into our new and existing buildings to integrate leadership and continuous improvement into our operational performance
  • Engaging team members in environmental activities and leveraging their skills

2015 highlights

  • 47% reduction in water use since 2012, with 400 million gallons of water and more than $3.6 million in utility costs saved during through the use of smart irrigation systems.
  • 20% of total square footage in leased and owned buildings is LEED®-certified; recognized in 2015 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as the “green” building leader among financial institutions for our implementation of LEED standards.
  • 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2008.
  • 55% waste-diversion rate.
  • 26% increase in operational efficiency since 2012.
  • 67,142 hours volunteered on environmental projects, representing more than $1.5 million in volunteer time.
  • 5,000+ team members were members of 40 Wells Fargo Green Teams.

Taking action within our community

One of the ways we help create more resilient communities is by supporting nonprofits, universities, and other organizations focused on community-based environmental projects and innovative clean technologies.

2015 highlights

  • $12.3 million in grants contributed to 472 environmental nonprofits, for a total of $53 million since 2012.
  • $2 million awarded to 50 organizations as part of our Clean Technology and Innovation program for their work in finding solutions in renewable energy, energy-efficiency, “greener” buildings, alternative transportation, sustainability, agriculture, and water.
  • 10 clean technology start-ups selected for the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a 5-year, $10 million environmental grant program to accelerate the commercialization of technologies that could reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings.
  • 61 nonprofits received a total of $2.5 million from the Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program which funds projects in sustainable agriculture and forestry, water quality, land conservation, and the building of healthy urban ecosystems.

Results: 2015 environmental grant recipients

  • Planted more than 450,000 trees
  • Reduced more than 13,000 tons of CO2
  • Restored more than 15,000 acres of habitat
  • Avoided more than 22.5 million gallons of effluent runoff
  • Installed solar arrays capable of generating more than 65 kilowatts per year
  • Engaged more than 15,000 students and more than 235,000 community members
  • Invested more than $120 million in clean technology startups

Supporting a lower-carbon economy

We provide a range of resources and support that enable our customers and communities to adapt to climate change, conserve resources, improve efficiency and reduce energy costs, and create jobs — all of which lead to more resilient, sustainable communities.

2015 highlights

  • Investing in environmental solutions, environmental loans, and investments: Since 2012, we have invested and financed more than $52 billion in renewable energy, clean technology, “greener” buildings, sustainable agriculture, and other environmentally sustainable businesses. We seek to finance and support environmental businesses that are developing solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change, leading the way to a more sustainable future.
  • Solar and wind energy: Across Wells Fargo’s lending or investing portfolio, our solar and wind energy projects have produced more than 22 terawatt hours of electricity. Projects owned in whole or in part by Wells Fargo generated 10% of wind and solar photovoltaic energy produced in the U.S. in 2015.
  • “Green” and affordable housing: Since 2012, we have invested more than $4.5 billion for “green” affordable housing and commercial properties in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods that can benefit from lower utility bills, improved air quality, increased green space, and other environmental attributes.
  • “Green” bonds: Wells Fargo Securities managed or co-managed more than $2 billion in “green” bonds to help municipalities and universities finance their environmental sustainability initiatives. Wells Fargo Securities is a member of the Green Bond Principles, a set of voluntary guidelines for the issuance of “green” bonds.
  • Promoting responsible investing: Wells Capital Management, a part of Wells Fargo Asset Management, is a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.

2020 Goals

Business practices and culture

  • Purchase renewable energy to power 100% of our operations by 2017 with a transition to long-term agreements that fund new sources of “green” power by 2020
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% reduction (2008 to 2020)
  • Increase energy effiency by 40% (2012 to 2020)
  • Earn LEED certification across 35% of our square footage in leased and owned buildings
  • Reduce water use by 65% (2012 to 2020)
  • Achieve waste diversion rate of 65% (2012 to 2020)
  • Enhance sustainability of our supply chain
  • Increase team member involvement in sustainability initiatives

Products and services

  • Continue to finance and invest in sustainable business opportunities, and develop new products and solutions to address environmental needs
  • Further integrate environmental and social risk management into our business processes


  • Provide $65 million in philanthropic giving to critical environmental needs such as clean technology and environmental education

Green Teams

Wells Fargo Green Teams are grassroots, volunteer-driven networks dedicated to helping Wells Fargo conserve resources, reduce waste, and promote environmental awareness at work and in the community.