Please join me in welcoming our newest guest blogger Wells Fargo Regional Communicator for Oregon and S.W. Washington Tom Unger. A 20-year veteran of the company, Tom manages internal and external communications. He’s a New York native who has worked in journalism and corporate communications for more than 33 years and has earned close to 30 communications awards. (KVT)
Lil’ darling, here comes the sun (power)! Who would have thought something as hot as the sun would be the inspiration for such a cool way to improve public places?
Oregon Region Community Affairs Manager Bernie Kronberger and I recently attended an event at City Hall, hosted by Mayor Charlie Hales, where he thanked Wells Fargo and a few other businesses for providing seed money to start the Solar Forward fund to install solar power systems at public sites.
Mayor Hales shared his excitement about Portland joining as a community to put solar on some of its most beloved public spaces – it is both a simple gesture and a powerful expression of our shared future.
I couldn’t agree more. Our participation in the Solar Forward fund is part of Wells Fargo’s ongoing work to help make our communities, our workplaces, and our economy more environmentally sustainable.
The city will use donations from community members and businesses to install new solar power systems in local public sites, including community centers, libraries and schools. A southwest Portland community center was one of the first sites to receive a system and the Oliver P. Lent Elementary School will receive its system when more funds are raised.
Renewable energy provides benefits to the community, from maintaining healthy air to the economic opportunity created for Portland’s small businesses and workers, according to Susan Anderson, director of the City’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.
Since 2005, Wells Fargo has provided more than $21 billion in environmental finance to support sustainable buildings and renewable energy projects nationwide. This includes investments in more than 260 solar projects and 34 wind projects that generate enough clean renewable energy to power hundreds of thousands of American homes each year.
We have a lot of work ahead of us, but – together with leaders like Bernie, our customers, our communities and the cities like Portland – we can make positive changes. I hope this is a trend other companies will get behind to lend their financial support for more sustainable and healthy communities.