Wells Fargo & Company announced this week that it has provided $23 billion in financing in the first year of its $200 billion sustainable finance commitment; the company says 63% of the 2018 funding went toward low-carbon solutions such as green buildings, renewable energy and clean technologies, while the rest supports business and projects focused on sustainable agriculture, conservation, recycling, resource management and other environmentally beneficial activities.
The Wells Fargo announcement came as part of its 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report. In 2018, Wells Fargo also published a “sustainable finance accounting methodology” to give transparency into how it accounts for its progress toward its financial goal and the types of transactions it includes.
Three-quarters of US asset managers say their firms now offer sustainable investing strategies, up from 65% in 2016, according to recent survey results from Morgan Stanley Institutue for Sustainable Investing and Bloomberg. Eighty-two percent said it is possible to maximize financial returns while investing sustainably, and 89% said sustainable investing is here to stay.
In terms of its other sustainability goals, Wells Fargo says it has “played a role” in important global and national stakeholder gatherings such as the Global Climate Action Summit and Bloomberg’s Sustainable Business Summit, and became a founding member of the US Sustainable Finance Alliance.
The report was published at the midpoint of the company’s timeline for achieving its 2020 corporate responsibility goals, established in 2016. Wells Fargo says it has already exceeded a number of the goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% and meeting 100% of global electricity needs with renewable energy since 2017.