Wells Fargo hits renewables milestone

Solar panels stand at the Enbridge Inc. Sarnia Solar Farm in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, on Friday, July 21, 2017. The Sarnia Solar Farm, which became fully operational in the fall of 2010, was at the time one of the largest photovoltaic solar farms in the world. It was also Enbridge's first ever foray into solar energy, costing $400 million. Photographer: James MacDonald/Bloomberg
Solar panels stand at the Enbridge Inc. Sarnia Solar Farm in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, on Friday, July 21, 2017. The Sarnia Solar Farm, which became fully operational in the fall of 2010, was at the time one of the largest photovoltaic solar farms in the world. It was also Enbridge's first ever foray into solar energy, costing $400 million. Photographer: James MacDonald/Bloomberg

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) has announced that 100% of its global electricity consumption for 2017 will be met with renewable energy.

The milestone means the financial institution has met the first part of its commitment to purchase renewable energy to power all global operations by the close of the year, with a transition to long-term agreements that fund new sources of green power by 2020.

To meet the demand for its more than 90 million square feet of real estate, including data centers, corporate offices and branches, Wells Fargo purchased more than 2million MWh of 2017 vintage Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

“Like so many of our customers, Wells Fargo strongly supports accelerating the development and production of renewable energy,” said Wells Fargo chief executive Tim Sloan.

“Meeting our global electricity requirements with 100 percent renewable energy demonstrates our leadership in operational efficiency, and we are committed to continuing to innovate our products and services and provide financing for our customers’ renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology projects.”

Wells Fargo properties currently generate a portion of their electricity demand through solar panels.

To help meet the banking firm’s commitment to develop new forms of generation to power its operations by 2020, the company will explore expanding its capabilities in a variety of areas, including on-site generation, Directed Power Purchase Agreements, utility-sponsored programs and other mechanisms.

“Making longer-term strategic commitments to purchasing energy from diverse generation sources will require a major shift in the way we think about and approach energy procurement,” said Curt Radkin, senior vice president in Wells Fargo’s Corporate Properties Group.

“It helps us manage long-term expenses, reduce the environmental impact of our energy consumption and enhance our team member experience.”

“But we see it as a risk-mitigation strategy that will benefit Wells Fargo over time while minimizing our carbon footprint for the benefit of our communities and the environment in general.”

Wells Fargo’s renewable energy commitment is one of several 2020 goals focused on environmental sustainability.

As of the close of the second quarter, the company is on track to achieve all of its sustainability goals.

Since 2008, Wells Fargo has reduced absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 42%, water use by 56%, energy consumption by 34% and waste by 30%. The company has also achieved LEED certification for 24 percent of its real estate portfolio.

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