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Environmental Sustainability

Sustainable communities

We’re accelerating the planet’s transition to a low-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, and 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, which includes, finding new ways to minimize energy consumption and investing in renewable sources of energy to power our operations. Operating with greater efficiency helps 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 the business community.

We focus our efforts on:

  • Reducing our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing our use of renewable energy
  • Water conservation
  • Resource efficiency, with a particular focus on paper
  • Deploying “green” building design into our new and existing corporate properties
  • Engaging team members in environmental activities and leveraging their skills

2017 highlights

  • 59% increase in water efficiency since 2008
  • 28% of total square footage in leased and owned buildings is LEED®-certified
  • 47% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2008
  • 33% reduction in waste stream since 2010
  • 36% increase in operational energy efficiency since 2008
  • 83,827 sustainable team member commitments since 2016

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.

2017 highlights

  • $22.5 million donated to nonprofits that support clean technology, environmental education, and strengthening community resiliency in 2017, with more than $91 million since 2012.
  • 20 early-stage, clean technology startups selected for Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) participation received up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding from Wells Fargo, and, on average, attracted an additional $4 million from investors.
  • $20 million expansion of the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) grant program that will further accelerate the commercialization of technologies that could reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings.
  • Launched the Resilient Communities grant program, a $10 million, four-year initiative with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation designed to help communities minimize the impacts of extreme weather events through conservation and capacity building. In 2017, $2 million was awarded to eight nonprofits.

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.

2017 highlights

  • Investing in environmental solutions, environmental loans, and investments: Since 2012, we have invested and financed more than $83 billion in renewable energy, clean technology, “greener” buildings, sustainable agriculture, and other environmentally sustainable businesses. We seek to finance and support businesses that are developing solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change and leading the way to a more sustainable future.
  • Solar and wind energy: Projects owned in whole or in part by Wells Fargo generated 8.1% of wind and solar photovoltaic energy produced in the U.S. in 2016.
  • Clean technology: Wells Fargo’s Global Clean Technology Group, which was established in 2009, continued to provide deep clean tech industry expertise to support businesses around the world that manufacture, market, and develop clean technology products and services such as electric and low-emission vehicles, clean energy production, smart grid applications, and water efficiency.
  • “Green” and affordable housing: Since 2012, we have invested more than $5 billion for improvement of brownfields and for “green” affordable housing and commercial properties in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods that can benefit from lower utility bills, improved air quality, improved and expanded green spaces, and other environmental attributes.
  • Green bonds: Since 2013, we have financed nearly $1.3 billion in corporate and municipal green and sustainability bonds (based on ‘bank share’ methodology) to help municipalities, universities, and corporations finance their environmental sustainability initiatives.
  • Promoting responsible investing: Wells Capital Management, Galliard Capital Management, and Rock Creek Group, representing all investment advisors within Wells Fargo Asset Management, are signatories of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.

2020 Goals

Business practices and culture

  • Meet 100% of our global electricity needs with renewable energy
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% (2008 to 2020)
  • Increase energy efficiency by 40% (2008 to 2020)
  • Earn LEED certification across 35% of our square footage in leased and owned buildings
  • Increase water efficiency by 65% (2008 to 2020)
  • Reduce total waste stream by 50% (2010-2020)
  • Enhance sustainability of our supply chain
  • Increase team member involvement in sustainability initiatives

Products and services

  • Provide $200 billion in financing to sustainable businesses and projects (2018-2030) with more than 50 percent focused on clean technology and renewable energy transactions that directly support the transition to a low-carbon economy
  • 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 (2016-2020)