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Wells Fargo Targets 35% GHG Cut, $30bn in Green Investments

Wells Fargo is targeting a 40 percent increase in its energy efficiency, 35 percent cut to absolute greenhouse gas emissions, and $30 billion in loans and investments to support a “greener” economy, all by 2020, the company announced.

The GHG goal, which uses a 2008 baseline, revises the company’s previous target of a 20 percent cut by 2018. According to its interim report on corporate social responsibility for 2010, Wells Fargo reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by five percent in that year, bringing it to a total reduction of 12 percent since 2008.

The company has also announced targets of a 65 percent waste diversion rate and LEED certification for 35 percent of buildings. In the interim report, it stated a “near-term goal” of upgrading at least 40 percent of existing retail banking stores to LEED standards.

Wells Fargo did not announce a baseline for the new efficiency target.

The $30 billion of investments will go to projects including wind and solar power, energy efficient buildings, environmental innovation, and environmentally responsible public financing. According to the 2010 interim report, in that year the company provided over $1.3 billion in environmental loans and investments. The new announcement commits Wells Fargo to more than double that rate of annual investment.

Wells Fargo also said it will engage suppliers to enhance its environmental performance through increased accountability and transparency in its supply chain, and will engage its 70 million customers by encouraging them to participate in paperless banking services and financing for energy efficient home improvements

And the bank announced that it is aiming to make $100 million in grants by 2020, both for clean technology projects led by non-profits and universities, and for “grassroots” environmental initiatives. Community projects will include tree-planting and maintenance of public open spaces. Wells Fargo is also aiming to increase employee involvement in environmental stewardship.

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