Envision Charlotte, powered by Smart Energy Now®

By Krista Van Tassel
May 8th, 2012

Vincent DavisI am excited to introduce you to a Vincent Davis, the Director of the Smart Energy Now® Community Partnership at Duke Energy. Wells Fargo has had the opportunity to work with Vincent’s team at Duke Energy through Envision Charlotte, a unique collaborative opportunity that seeks to make Charlotte, N.C., the most sustainable urban core in the U.S. As an active member of the Envision Charlotte team, Wells Fargo is helping the city meet its goal to reduce energy usage in our buildings.

As Director of the Smart Energy Now program, Vincent collaborates with large commercial building owners like Wells Fargo to evaluate and implement energy efficiency products and services. He took on the role in September 2010 and has been busy creating exciting ways to engage our team members in energy awareness. Vincent will tell you more about how his team leverages interactive technology, social media and education to stop energy waste (—KVT)

As we conclude our first Smart Energy Now campaign, “Flipping Out” (unnecessary lights), I was excited to be offered the opportunity to guest blog on the Wells Fargo Environmental Forum — . For those of you not familiar with Smart Energy Now®, it is a Duke Energy program with the goal of reducing uptown Charlotte, N.C., energy usage by 20 percent by 2016. Charlotte will also avoid 220,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by meeting our goal.

Simple and no cost changes in our daily habits, such as flipping out unnecessary lights and unplugging unused electronics, will account for a portion this goal. Smart Energy Now® is proud to be firmly supported by, and is a big part of, the Envision Charlotte initiative, a first-of-its-kind collaborative partnership in Charlotte’s center city to create the most environmentally sustainable urban core in the nation.

I had to take this photo! It's located on the doors at Two Wells Fargo Plaza in Charlotte, N.C.We are on our way! Walking through the lobby of a participating building in Charlotte, it is hard not to notice one of our interactive kiosks displaying live Charlotte energy usage, and we achieved high participation levels through fun, interactive games, like “Crab, You’re It!” (PDF*)—a reminder to turn off a light or a monitor that’s not in use—and our “Adopt a Light” stickers.

Even better is that Wells Fargo associates in Charlotte have stepped up in a big way. They leverage existing channels such as the Wells Fargo Charlotte Green Team, participated in our Energy Champion training classes, and contributed straight-forward ideas, such as using revolving door signage to reduce wasted energy. Did you know that using a standard door instead of a revolving door waste 8 times more energy?

This is just the beginning, and we know that the Wells Fargo associates will continue to take action in pursuit of reducing energy waste. We look forward to your continued leadership in upcoming Smart Energy Now® campaigns here in Charlotte! (Stay tuned for those.) Now that I know about this blog, I expect that the Smart Energy Now team will continue to check it out and look for great ideas like the vampire slayer campaign launched by the Vancouver Green Team.

If you’d like, you can stay tuned by following Smart Energy Now on Twitter, on our blog, or on our new LinkedIn forum.

* You will need Adobe® Reader® to view PDF files. Download Adobe Reader.

Krista Van Tassel

Krista Van Tassel

As Community and Team Member Engagement manager for Wells Fargo’s Environmental Affairs Team, Krista supports the company’s 70+ Green Teams, recognizing and promoting environmental innovator best practices, and engaging and educating team members about their role in helping the company’s sustainability efforts. She also manages Wells Fargo’s Environmental Solutions for Communities’ $3 million annual nonprofit grant program focused on helping make long-term sustainable economic investments in local communities where its customers and 264,000 team members work and live. Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2009, Krista worked in a variety of sustainability and marketing positions in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors. Krista earned her MBA in International Business at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

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Anonymouson June 7, 2012 at 11:30 am:

Hello Krista –

I saw your recent post in the Wells Fargo Environmental Blog, and wanted to reach out to you regarding something special that Wells Fargo in Charlotte has started. Wells Fargo in Charlotte is a pilot site for an energy saving system from my company, BigBelly Solar, Inc.. Just outside the Wells Fargo facility in Downtown Charlotte is a BigBelly Solar powered waste and recycling receptacle that is attracting a lot of very positive attention. I think there is a great opportunity to promote the great work in sustainability that Wells Fargo is doing, especially in the form of this pilot to reduce waste and greenhouse gasses in downtown Charlotte. I’d also like to tell you how this Wells Fargo pilot has led to a broader pilot of BigBelly Stations by the city’s Solid Waste Services Department in Downtown Charlotte. I think there’s a good story to be told in connection with the Envision Charlotte initiative as well. Do you have a few minutes to chat?

-Kind Regards,

Jon Atwood

PS. Georgetown University is also a big customer of BigBelly Solar. :)

MODERATOR’S NOTE: Just so you know, we removed some personal info from Jon’s comment to protect his privacy. Nothing else has been changed or altered in any way! For more details, please see our Comment Guidelines.

Krista Van Tasselon June 20, 2012 at 8:18 am:

@ Jon – Thank you for your support of our work with Envision Charlotte. Our corporate properties team is always looking for innovative ways to reduce waste in our operations and community. I’ll be sure to pass along your note so they are aware of the program. And I’m glad to hear that Georgetown is reducing waste as well.

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