Lessons from Wells Fargo's green team program

The green team recognized that these empty bags and liners needlessly created extra landfill waste, and also represented wasted staff energy. They talked with the janitorial manager who was delighted to support their effort to change this policy. They also hosted numerous education sessions where they raised awareness of the problem and encouraged colleagues to share trashcans. Emails, posters and recycling stations outfitted with clear signage brought the message to everyone at the Vancouver center. To date, as a result of this project, the green team has saved 21,000 plastic bags.

Lesson Learned: Communication was key. The team made sure they had support at all levels, and kept everyone who would be affected informed and up-to-date about the project.

In Charlotte, the Wells Fargo green team wanted to tackle energy use, and team members worked with Environmental Affairs to acquire Kill-A-Watt EZ meters. They created an energy task force within their green team and are in the process of assessing energy use floor by floor in the Wells Fargo corporate offices there.

On each floor the team records areas of “energy opportunity” and reports back about them. When all the data is collected, team members will aggregate their findings and share them with the facilities team, who will then correct inefficiencies found in the lighting, heating, and cooling systems. This project allows employees to see real-time energy use in kWh and dollars spent to forecast other areas for reduction. It fits into the larger local partnership, Envision Charlotte, with its goals of a 20% energy reduction rate for the city by 2016.

Lesson Learned: Allow your employee engagement programs to partner with other local initiatives. When Wells Fargo employees participate in their green team’s energy reduction project they also become a part of Envision Charlotte’s citywide goal.

Successful employee engagement takes long-term commitment and continuous education.

People from across Wells Fargo in varied departments and different roles have come around in terms of understanding of, support for, and participation in employee engagement programs. As more and more team members embrace the concept, the green teams continue to grow in terms of numbers of participants and the significance of their undertakings. As the green team program at Wells Fargo progresses, the projects individual teams take on are becoming more pro-active, ongoing and long-term.

This year the office of Environmental Affairs is collecting strategic plans from each green team for 2013. This will continue the growth in quantity and quality of employee engagement at Wells Fargo.