Wells Fargo has announced a ten-point environmental commitment to more effectively integrate environmental responsibility into its business practices and procedures.
"We want to be a leader in this important area of corporate citizenship especially in processes and procedures for considering environmental issues in our commercial and business practices," said Mary Wenzel, the company's vice president of environmental affairs. "This commitment to ourselves and our stakeholders shows we're serious. We want to make sure Wells Fargo and our more than 80 businesses and 151,000 team members are committed to being environmentally responsible stewards in every community in which we do business."
Wells Fargo's environmental commitment is as follows:
- The company will provide $1+ billion in lending, investments, and other financial commitments over the next five years to environmentally-beneficial business opportunities including sustainable forestry, renewable energy, water resource management, waste management, energy efficiency, and "green" home construction and development. The company will solicit input from customers, industry groups and environmental groups during the process.
- To ensure the company’s environmental decision-making is thoughtful and thorough, it will adopt by year-end 2005 new environmental due diligence procedures and practices for middle-market and large corporate customers in environmentally-sensitive industries. The company will solicit input from customers, industry groups and environmental groups during the process.
- The company will adopt the Equator Principles, based on World Bank and International Finance Corporation guidelines, to improve environmental and social risk management in project financing. The company believes the Principles are an important framework for guiding large project developments in environmentally sensitive areas.
- The company will seek to expand opportunities for customers to qualify for energy-efficient mortgage products and will look for partnerships and other opportunities to encourage the construction and development of green homes designed to conserve energy and water, promote indoor air quality, and minimize environmental impacts.
- The company will increase efforts to conserve resources in its operations including companywide recycling and purchasing programs. The company will also collect data on energy and greenhouse gas emissions from all the facilities it owns and, where possible, those facilities it leases, to track and help minimize the effect on the environment from its operations.
- Senior managers will support and sponsor the company’s environmental commitment and explore business development opportunities.
- In addition to the company’s newly created Environmental Affairs Advisory Council -- made up of senior managers from across the company -- Wells Fargo will create an external Environmental Advisory Board to guide the company’s efforts, including customers in the energy and forestry industries, and environmental experts from academia and non-profit organizations.
- The company will increase corporate contributions of financial, human and social capital to selected environmental nonprofit groups in the communities in which it does business and hold itself accountable annually for measurable progress.
- The company will incorporate environmental commitments into the company’s vision and values and welcome the ideas of team members in the process.
- The company will communicate annually its achievements in meeting these commitments.
“Wells Fargo alone is ultimately responsible and accountable for its ethical behavior, business practices, lending decisions, risk management, and profitability,” said Wenzel. “The company cannot compromise its credit policy and credit decision-making -- including decisions on which companies or industry sectors it decides to do business with."