Investing in environmental solutions for stronger communities

By Mary Wenzel
April 23rd, 2012

Wells Fargo Environmental Forum — readers, I am proud to share with you a new enhanced environmental commitment that outlines our vision for where we can have the greatest positive impact on our environment and details a comprehensive set of goals that we aim to make progress on between now and 2020. It includes three focus areas:

  1. Encouraging stronger communities: Where we live.
  2. Accelerating a greener economy: Where we do business.
  3. Reducing the environmental impact of our operations: Where we work.

Stepping stones through the woodsThe imagery that comes to my mind when I think of the sustainability journey that Wells Fargo has been on since we announced our first environmental commitment in July of 2005 is one of stepping stones through the woods—sometimes the steps from stone to stone are small, sometimes you move more sideways than forwards, and sometimes they require a giant leap to get from one stone to the next.

The process of developing this new commitment was a little like that, as well. Our commitment was developed over the course of a year with input from you, our customers, team members, shareholders, and environmental thought leaders. It also involved gaining support from business leaders across our company to develop a comprehensive set of goals. Through the process of engagement and dialogue we were pleased to learn that while priorities and opinions vary, concern for the environment is an underlying value we all share.

Some of the highlights of the feedback we received from our stakeholders are that you want us to focus on areas that are material to our business—and where we have the greatest opportunity to demonstrate leadership. You also want to see how we are contributing to solutions that address important community and societal needs. You want us to be more open in our dialogue about these important issues. And finally, we heard and responded to the desire for clear goals and metrics that we can measure progress against.

Future posts here on the blog will highlight more of the feedback we received and show you how it was incorporated into our commitment.

While it took a year to develop, establishing the commitment is the easy part. Hard work is ahead as we carry out our commitment, and we will need to work together with all our stakeholders to truly make a difference.

However, we believe that, because this commitment is a comprehensive set of goals that are “owned” across the company by many lines of business and organizations, we will be able to make significant progress, including many of those giant leaps forward.

Tags:   communities   economy   environment   Environmental   environmental commitment   green   greener   impact   thecommunity   
Mary Wenzel

Mary Wenzel

Mary is head of Wells Fargo’s Environmental Affairs and is responsible for developing strategies and driving organizational change in support of the company’s sustainability efforts. Her areas of focus include environmental philanthropy, operational sustainability, environmental and social risk management, clean technology financing and lending, integration of environmental policies and process into company operations, community development initiatives and customer, and team member engagement, among others.

Read More Posts by Mary e


Joe Liszewskion April 24, 2012 at 11:14 am:

Great post Mary. We are particularly interested in the commitment to programs that bring people together to plant and care for city trees. Over 94% of Californians live in an urban area and our urban forests are vital the the health of people and cities.

Joe Liszewski
California ReLeaf

Bill Dempseyon April 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm:

Great piece Mary- I would like to discuss our company and how we could partner. Our site is -Bill Dempsey, President, Recycling Perks

MODERATOR’S NOTE: Just so you know, we removed some personal information from Bill’s comment to protect his privacy. Nothing else has been changed in any way!

Scott Ankenyon April 26, 2012 at 11:14 pm:

Mary, What if you could give each one of your employees and customers a personalized action green to follow that will show each person how to reduce their carbon footprints by 1/3 and save $2000 per year from their costs of living?
All without leaving their home or online account!
Would that be helpful to all 3 targets of your environmental mission?
As a business leader in the World, you can help just such a solution get rolled out to millions of people. The impact would be felt through the world,for generations, and inspire more good than imagined.
If you are interested, please look at

Alexon June 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm:

Hi Mary, This program is awesome, Do we have any videos on this? to promote Wells Fargo’s environmental leadership?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Your questions and comments really matter to us! We're glad you want to join the conversation and connect with other readers. All we ask is that you keep some simple guidelines in mind:

  • Stay on-topic. Only comments that are related to the subject of the blog entry will be posted.
  • Be respectful. It's okay if you disagree with a post or comment, but please, no personal attacks or offensive language.
  • Maintain your privacy and confidentiality. Please do not provide any of your specific account details or other personal information! If you have immediate service needs, please contact your bank representative or Customer Service.
  • Wells Fargo team members: In the interest of full disclosure, if you are a current employee of or are associated with Wells Fargo, please make note of your affiliation.