Banking giant Wells Fargo & Co. plans to reduce its U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2018, compared to a 2008 baseline.
The company, which last year joined the EPA Climate Leaders program, also plans to install solar systems on 10 of its retail banking locations in Denver, according to a press release. The solar photovoltaic systems are estimated to generate a combined 300,000 kilowatt hours annually.
Instead of retaining the energy, the company will sell the electricity generated as renewable energy credits, said Stephanie Rico, a spokeswoman for the company.
As Wells Fargo integrates its merger with Wachovia, about 16 Wachovia stores converting to the Wells Fargo brand already have attained LEED status from the U.S. Green Building Council.
As another benefit from the merger with Wachovia, Wells Fargo plans to incorporate system-wide a program that Wachovia started called “Turn it off.” The energy awareness and efficiency program is expected to reduce energy consumption 6-9 percent at each location.
In other efforts, the company is buying more energy efficient office equipment and evaluating energy consumption of its suppliers. The company also is finding ways to make its data centers more efficient and installing light sensors in various facilities.
Since 2007, Wells Fargo has provided financing for more than 150 commercial-scale solar projects on other companies, Rico said. Electricity generated from those installations generally are sold as RECs, she said.
In 2006, Wells Fargo committed to what at the time was the largest-ever purchase of RECs for its own operations, aiming to offset 40 percent of its electricity consumption.