Green Teams’ 2013 efforts preserve environment; help community groups and yield cost savings

By Krista Van Tassel
February 10th, 2014

Many of you are aware of Wells Fargo Green Teams, our volunteer-driven groups dedicated to helping Wells Fargo conserve resources, reduce waste and promote environmental awareness at work and in the community. Last year was a banner year for our more than 70 teams.

From running energy efficiency campaigns and recycling programs to managing community volunteer events and supporting our LEED® certification work, our Wells Fargo Green Teams helped our company save money, support community groups and preserve the environment through their local projects.

Some results from 2013 include:

  • Helping Wells Fargo achieve our 65% waste reduction goal by hosting a number of recycling events and education campaigns to increase awareness and use of local options. These activities diverted an estimated 1 million pounds of personal and office waste from landfills, as reported by local waste haulers and Green Teams.
  • Delivering on our goal to increase energy efficiency by 40%. Locally run energy campaigns encouraged team members to turn off monitors, change out light bulbs and support US GBC LEED® certification efforts. Green Team-led campaigns in Charlotte, N.C., and Frederick, M.D., helped Wells Fargo save an estimated $62,000, as calculated by local estimated kWh savings and energy rates.
  • Reducing our Scope3 emissions through alternative transportation campaigns, which reduced gasoline consumption by more than 1,400 gallons, keeping roughly 12.6 metric tons of CO2 from the environment. These efforts helped us achieve our goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35% by 2020 based on our 2008 baseline results.
  • Increasing volunteer efforts with our Environmental Solutions for Communities Grant program. We set a philanthropy goal in 2012 to increase environmental giving to $100 million by 2020. In 2013, our Wells Fargo Green Teams gave more than $51,000 in additional sweat equity, which is calculated using a current volunteer wage of $22.14/hour. For more information view: http://www.independentsector.org/volunteer_time .
  • Achieving LEED certification in nine of our administrative buildings 2013. Active teams at each location helped Wells Fargo qualify for a LEED Innovation credit, the first of its kind and now a blueprint for other companies.

We prepared a video highlighting some of our Green Team projects to help you learn more about efforts to reduce waste and protect the environment through community volunteerism.

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Finally, I am excited to share some of the 2013 results from a few of our Green Teams.

Uptown Charlotte, NC –
The Uptown Charlotte Green Team hosted a national event with Stu Ostro, an award-winning meteorologist and expert on climate change and weather patterns from The Weather Channel, for Wells Fargo team members. The team also hosted a number of operational and community projects resulting in 325 volunteer hours, 410 lbs. of batteries recycled, 169 lbs. of plastic bags recycled, 857,000 lbs. of office paper recycled, 115,000 lbs. of cardboard recycled, and 30,000 lbs. of cans and bottles recycled. By helping set monitors to sleep mode or encouraging team members to turn them off completely, the team also helped raise awareness of energy issues for an estimated $31,000 in annual energy savings.

El Monte, CA –
The El Monte, Calif., Green Team in Southern Calif., helped bring eco topics to the community and their office. For Earth Day, the team participated in a Smart Gardening/Compost Workshop and Food/Clothing Drive to benefit an estimated 50 families in the underserved El Monte region. The team also supported a paper shred event that resulted in approximately 3,100 lbs. of paper diverted from landfills and proper recycling. Their Earth Day celebration also included an environmental storybook and t-shirt decorating book, which helped the team draw an audience of approximately 2,000 team and community members. The team further supported the campus-wide implementation of our Managed Print Program, which seeks to replace old printers with new, more efficiency models and reduce overall paper and print expenses. By installing LED lighting and dimming controls in offices, the team also supported our Corporate Properties work resulting in more than 50% energy savings annually. And, if that wasn’t enough for 2013, the team also will participate in the company’s Continuous Energy Improvement program, an effort to establish a local energy team that will help with future reduction projects and education.

Frederick, MD –
The Maryland Green Team hosted a number of community events, including a river clean-up, a tree planting and supporting two Rebuilding Together projects. By running a supply closet clean-up that provided office items to a local school and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, the team also focused on operational projects. For Bike-to-Work Day, outreach efforts increased participation by 50%. And, the team organized a Monitor the Monitor campaign to reduce energy usage on the Frederick, MD, campus by 98.2 kWh or approximately $1,525 in energy savings (more than $31,000 annually), or the equivalent of 153 lbs. of CO2 (or an estimated 211 metric tons of CO2 annually).

Salt Lake City, UT –
Based in Salt Lake City, the Utah Green Team hosted many events designed to raise awareness of environmental issues at the office and in the community. Some of their best operational efforts included a focus on double-sided printing and paper reduction, battery recycling, and energy conservation through the Kill-A-Watt program. The team also brought community education to campus, promoting ride share discounts with UTA Trax passes and sponsoring both an Eco Fair and a Diversity event, which reached an estimated 300 team members. The team also helped beautify campus by hosting an Earth Walk clean-up and installing 20 “green” parking spaces for team members who carpool or drive fuel efficient vehicles.

St. Louis, MO -
The St. Louis, Mo., Green Team based within the Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA) won the RCGA’s Green Business Challenge  award for the third year in a row. The team supported $200,000 in Wells Fargo environmental grants to Operation Brightside, the St. Louis Zoo, the Missouri Botanical Garden and the local chapter of the USGBC by providing more than 1,000 volunteer hours for these organizations and others. At the WFA campus, which houses more than 5,000 team members, the Green Team helped boost energy efficiency by 4.3%, reduced water usage by 10%, and increased the waste diversion to 65.85%, by introducing compost for the kitchen and yard waste.

Salem, OR -
The Green Team for Salem, Ore., launched in 2013 and helped Wells Fargo achieve LEED® certification for their property. The team also helped support the community by participating in the SOLVE Beach and Riverside Clean Up in September. And, the improved office sustainability by focusing on recycling, developing a site-wide recycling and compost program, and collaborating with corporate properties to improve signage, bin placement and education through the quarterly “Trash Talk” newsletter.

 

Tags:   california   Charlotte   green team   Maryland   Missouri   Oregon   volunteer   
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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