Wells Fargo Sustainability Report: GHGs Fall Another 6%
This means that last year, the company reduced its GHG emissions by a further 6 percent from the 2008 baseline. In its 2011 CSR report, Wells Fargo said it had cut emissions 12 percent since 2008. The company is aiming for a 35 percent cut by 2020.
But the interim report offers little update on the environmental impacts of Wells Fargo’s operations.
The report provides what the company calls an “abbreviated overview” of the CSR programs, activities and future commitments that Wells Fargo has identified as most material to its business and key stakeholders, covering 2012 data for the parts of US operations that represent most of its economic, environmental and social impacts. (Wells Fargo publishes a full CSR report every two years.)
Even given the report’s interim nature, however, some stakeholders may be disappointed by the paucity of data. The company does not report how any of its major operational metrics – such as absolute GHG emissions, energy efficiency or LEED-certified space – have changed in the past year.
The report says that from 2008 to 2012, Wells Fargo increased energy efficiency by 18 percent, on its way to a 40 percent rise by 2020 – but doesn’t say how that energy efficiency is measured. The 2011 CSR report presents two efficiency metrics: kWh per square foot and kWh per team member.
The interim report also says that in 2012, Wells Fargo’s LEED square footage in its leased and owned buildings stood at 5 percent. Judging from a comparison of the two reports, this was a one percent increase from 2011. The company is targeting 35 percent certification by 2020.
From 2008 to 2012 Wells Fargo increased its water efficiency by 26 percent, en route to a goal of 45 percent, and increased its waste diversion rate by 61 percent, against a goal of 65 percent. The report appears to suggest that the end-date for these goals is 2020, although it’s far from clear.
One year ago, Wells Fargo unveiled a new environmental commitment with a number of goals for 2020, focused on three areas – reducing the environmental impact of its operations, accelerating a “greener” economy and encouraging stronger communities. It now says it is on track to meet or exceed 13 of its 19 key sustainability goals, in areas that include environmental financing, community development, foreclosure prevention, supplier diversity, and community service.
The company has a goal of enhancing its environmental management system and strategy to comprehensively track, measure and reduce its environmental footprint, although it has not set a target date for completion of this project. In FY2012, the company implemented an automated greenhouse gas tracking and measurement tool and expanded the scope to include all its leased and owned facilities worldwide. It has also aligned its EMS with the core elements of the ISO 14001 standard.
Currently, 12 percent of Wells Fargo’s receipt-eligible ATM transactions result in an e-receipt, with more than 100 million e-receipts sent to date. Another 32 percent of ATM transactions result in the selection of the “no print” option. All retail banking stores accept paperless withdrawals, and 88 percent of withdrawals now use this electronic option.
The company says it is on track to meet a goal of investing $30 billion in environmentally sustainable businesses. In FY2012 it made $6 billion in environmental loans and investments, including to green buildings and renewable energy projects, and since 2005, has provided more than $20 billion in capital to “greener” buildings and businesses and to renewable energy projects.
The company has set new goals of providing environmentally focused nonprofits with $100 million in grants and increased volunteerism, and providing $1 billion in financing to environmental initiatives in low- to moderate-income communities, both by 2020. In 2012, Wells Fargo increased donations to environmental nonprofits by 80 percent over 2011, with nearly $8 million in grants.
It has also set a goal of fostering a culture of sustainability by increasing team member environmental stewardship in the office and in communities. Currently 7,000 team members participate in 70 Wells Fargo Green Teams, up 30 percent over 2011.
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