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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 low-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.

We recognize the growing concerns related to climate change and will continue to do our part to find solutions. We support the transition to a low-carbon economy, as outlined in our Climate Change Issue Brief (PDF) and have made progress on adopting the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). We follow industry best practices in sustainability, and actively engage with the U.S. Green Building Council, e-Stewards®, and the Climate Group’s RE100 to improve our own operational performance and collaborate with multiple stakeholders to advance innovation and sustainability in the built environment. To help guide environmentally responsible financing in our lines of business, we're signatories of the Equator Principles and the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investing, and we're a member underwriter of the Green Bond Principles.

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

2018 highlights

  • 59% reduction in water consumption since 2008
  • 28% of total square footage in leased and owned buildings is LEED® certified
  • Met 100% of our global electricity needs with renewable energy
  • 48% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2008
  • 40% reduction in waste since 2010
  • 36% reduction in energy consumption since 2008
  • 119,750+ 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.

2018 highlights

  • $30.1 million in grants to nonprofits that support clean technology innovation, environmental education, and strengthening community resiliency in 2018, with more than $68.3 million since 2012.
  • 5 early-stage, clean technology startups selected for Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), bringing the total to 25 companies in the program by the end of 2018. IN2 portfolio companies receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding from Wells Fargo, along with technical assistance and validation from experts at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
  • Expanded the IN2 grant program to advance technologies that address the interconnection of food, water, and energy.
  • Approximately $23 billion provided to finance sustainable businesses and projects; with 63% toward low carbon opportunities.

Supporting a low-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.

2018 highlights

  • Sustainable finance commitment: In 2018, we announced a sustainable finance commitment to provide $200 billion in financing to sustainable businesses and projects by 2030, with more than 50% focused on clean technology and renewable energy transactions. In addition to the financial pledge, we committed to transparency and more robust reporting as well as increased engagement with others.
  • Solar and wind energy: Wells Fargo is a leading tax equity investor in utility-scale solar and wind in the U.S. Wells Fargo tax equity projects represented 9.5% of total wind and solar generation capacity nationwide as of Dec. 12, 2018. Wells Fargo’s Corporate Trust Services team has supported over 70 transactions in support of the renewable energy market.
  • Alternative transportation: Auto Services provided more than $1 billion in financing for hybrid and electric vehicles, an increase of nearly 50 percent since 2014.
  • Green buildings: In 2018, our Commercial Real Estate group provided more than $6 billion in commitments to support buildings intended to meet green building standards such as LEED® and CALGreen.
  • Green Bonds and sustainability-linked loans: Together, Wells Fargo Securities (WFS) and Wells Fargo Bank N.A. underwrite Green Bonds and revolving credit facilities with sustainability-linked pricing.  In 2018, WFS served as a Joint Lead Arranger on the first U.S. syndicated revolving credit facility to incorporate a sustainability-linked pricing grid.
  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing: At Wells Fargo Asset Management, ESG investing has been identified as one of our firm’s key strategic initiatives. We have over 500 investment professionals contributing research capabilities and investment expertise. To promote 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 Investments.
  • Engagement:
    • Wells Fargo sponsored the Global Climate Action Summit, the Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit, and became a founding member of the U.S. Alliance for Sustainable Finance.
    • Innovation Incubator (IN2) is a dedicated philanthropy program that seeks to speed up the commercialization of clean technology. The program works in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, universities, and incubators while leveraging our own facilities where clean technologies are beta tested. The program has directly supported 30 businesses that have gone on to receive $142 million in external follow-on funding such as venture capital and hundreds more startups through our 55+ channel partners across the country.
    • We are working with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) to uncover more ways that we can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The project, called Bank 2030, is a part of the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI), which is convened by CISL’s Centre for Sustainable Finance. The Bank 2030 project will showcase innovative thinking and strategic leadership, as well as highlight opportunities not yet grasped and, as important, the barriers there are to allocating more capital to economic activities that would reduce GHG emissions.
    • Through philanthropy and engagement, we are supporting CDP’s Matchmaker program, which helps cities overcome barriers to financing municipal green infrastructure projects.  Our grant supports this work in cities nationwide, helping match cities with financiers, including impact investors.

2020 Goals

Business practices and culture

  • Continue to purchase renewable electricity to meet 100% of our global operations needs
  • Transition to long-term agreements that fund new sources of green power by 2020
  • Sustain or increase our 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2008 levels
  • Reduce energy consumption 40% (2008 to 2020)
  • Achieve LEED® status for 35% of buildings (by square footage in leased and owned buildings)
  • Reduce water consumption 65% (2008 to 2020)
  • Reduce total waste stream 50% (2010-2020)
  • Enhance sustainability of our supply chain
  • Achieve 250,000 team member commitments to improving sustainability

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)