Wells Fargo Makes Largest Corporate Renewable Energy Purchase
October 3, 2006
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) said today it will buy renewable energy certificates (RECs) to support generating 550 million kilowatt-hours of clean, renewable wind energy a year for three years. With this action, Wells Fargo becomes the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the United States according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"This purchase further demonstrates our company's commitment to both environmental stewardship and environmental leadership and it reflects the desire of our team members to do what's right for our customers, our communities, and our company," said John Stumpf, president and COO.
Palo Alto leads United States in renewable energy use. Palo Alto has the highest percentage of renewable energy users in the country according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 2005 Top Ten list. With 13.6% of utility customers enrolled in the city's renewable energy program, known as PaloAltoGreen, Palo Alto is leading the United States green energy. Palo Alto's participation rate is more than 10 times better than the national average of 1.3% participation for green pricing programs. Environmentalism without tears: Arguing climate change to an energy executive. Earlier this month I had the opportunity to make a pitch to "Mike," a top executive of a major energy company, about climate change and green energy. Mike said he didn't believe humans are influencing climate or that green energy is a key factor in the future business of his firm, "EnergyCo." I tried to persuade him otherwise, not by focusing on the science of climate change but on economics and market opportunities. It's not that science isn't important—I just didn't want to get caught up in an argument about core beliefs, which is akin to arguing over religion.
"Wells Fargo is a leading example of how corporate America can reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity use," said Kathleen Hogan, Director of the Climate Protection Partnership Division for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Wells Fargo is now the top corporate purchaser among EPA's Green Power Partners to purchase clean, renewable energy. EPA applauds Wells Fargo for its purchase and hopes other U.S. corporations follow their lead."
"Our commitment to this purchase is not just good for the environment, it's good business," said Don Dana, head of the company's Corporate Properties Group, which has achieved energy savings of up to 20 percent at many Wells Fargo locations. "Energy conservation is one part of the equation. The second is supporting generation of cleaner, alternative sources of energy. Combined, these efforts will result in a healthier environment and a stronger economy."
Wells Fargo supports renewable energy and energy efficiency in its business practices and operations. Wells Fargo recently invested in a Texas-based wind farm and has provided $720 million in financing to develop Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design[i] (LEED) certified buildings. The company implements energy efficiency measures in its existing and new buildings. For example, replacing cooling equipment at Wells Fargo Plaza in Phoenix with high-efficiency equipment reduced the building's energy consumption by nearly 30 percent. Two Wells Fargo buildings in San Francisco have been designated as ENERGY STAR buildings (among the top 10 percent of energy-efficient buildings in the country.) In California, Wells Fargo has been recognized for its 20 percent reduction in energy use at its administrative buildings, a reduction it has sustained since 2001.
Wells Fargo's RECs are supplied by 3 Phases Energy, a national renewable energy marketing and development company. The nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions' Green-e® program certifies and verifies the RECs. With Green-e certification, Wells Fargo has an independent assurance that its renewable energy certificate purchase supports generation from 100-percent new renewable resources that meet strict consumer and environmental protection standards. The three-year purchase agreement begins October 1, 2006.
Wells Fargo is committed to being environmentally responsible in every community in which it does business. Well Fargo integrates environmental responsibility into its business practices and procedures, and has pledged $1 billion in lending and other financial commitments to support environmentally beneficial business opportunities.
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $500 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance to more than 23 million customers from more than 6,200 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has the highest possible credit rating, "Aaa," from Moody's Investors Service and the highest credit rating given to a U.S. bank, "AA+," from Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.
About EPA's Green Power Partnership
EPA's Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program helping to increase the use of green power among leading U.S. organizations. The program encourages organizations to purchase green power as a way to reduce the risk of climate change and environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500 companies, local, state, and federal governments, trade associations, as well as colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower.
This is a modified news release from Wells Fargo.
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