U.S. lender Wells Fargo has disclosed that all its electricity consumption globally will be from renewable energy sources this year. The lender had earlier committed to purchasing renewable energy with a view to having all its global operations powered by green sources before the end of 2017. Wells Fargo has also put plans in place that will ensure that there are long-term agreements with regards to green energy.
Currently Wells Fargo’s operations occupy real estate space measuring square feet of over 90 million and this includes branches, corporate offices and data centers. To meet its goal of powering its operations using green energy, the lender bought Renewable Energy Certifications of over 2 million MWh in 2017.
Besides turning to renewable energy for its own operational uses, Wells Fargo has continued to support green energy and technology development as a lender. Since 2012 the lender has provided financing worth over $70 billion for businesses and projects that are environmentally beneficial. This includes a carport solar system in the Kern High School District. Last year over 8% of all solar photovoltaic and wind energy produced in the United States was obtained from projects which were wholly owned or partly owned by Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo has also promoted renewable technology and energy through philanthropy. The lender for instance partners with the NREL – National Renewable Energy Laboratory to support innovation in the clean energy sector. At its properties some of the renewable energy is obtained from solar panels that have been installed. The lender intends to continue on-site generation as well as purchasing power from clean energy producers.
Since 2008 Wells Fargo’s environmental-sustainability efforts have seen the lender reduce energy waste by 30% and energy consumption by 34%. Wells Fargo has also reduced water use by 56% and carbon emissions by 42%.
The lender’s achievements with regards to renewable energy coincides with the launch of a new robo-advisor platform by Wells Fargo. This will allow customers to access low-cost investing that is a blend of technology and human advice. The minimum investment amount for this self-directed investment product is $10,000 and an annual advisory fee of 0.50% will also be charged. One of the pioneers of robo-investing is Merrill Lynch as it has existed for a decade now and today boasts of over 2.3 million accounts and assets worth $166 billion.