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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, 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

2016 highlights

  • 52% reduction in water use since 2012, with more than one billion gallons of water saved through the use of smart irrigation systems.
  • 21% of total square footage in leased and owned buildings is LEED®-certified; completed over 580 projects totaling 26.2 million square feet of LEED project space.
  • 36% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2008.
  • 55% reduction in waste. Compared to 2015, we decreased landfill waste by 40 pounds per team member.
  • 31% increase in operational energy efficiency since 2012. Installation of LED light fixtures is expected to help us avoid more than $1 million in annual energy costs.
  • 58,631 hours volunteered on environmental projects.
  • 6,077 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.

2016 highlights

  • $15.6 million donated to nonprofits that support clean technology, environmental education, and strengthening community resiliency, with a total of $68.6 million since 2012.
  • $2 million awarded to 40 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 new clean technology start-ups selected for the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a five-year, $10 million environmental grant program to accelerate the commercialization of technologies that could reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings.
  • Completed the Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program, a five-year, $15 million initiative with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation designed to support projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment.  Accomplishments include more than:
    • 300 projects supported nationwide
    • 1 million trees planted
    • 900,000 community members engaged
    • 94,000 acres of habitat restored

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.

2016 highlights

  • Investing in environmental solutions, environmental loans, and investments: Since 2012, we have invested and financed more than $70 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.
  • “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 2012, Wells Fargo Securities financed nearly $1 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. 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 efficiency 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.