Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), in recognition of Earth Day, is encouraging its banking customers nationwide to make the switch to online-only statements.
That simple action can result in a net positive environmental impact compared to traditional banking with paper-based statements.
Since 2006, Wells Fargo customers who have selected to receive their banking statements only online have helped save more than 60,000 trees according to estimates made using the Environmental Defense paper calculator (edf.org/papercalculator/). These savings are real, provided customers do not print online statements at home. Since statements are easily accessible online for seven years, and fully downloadable, printing may not be necessary.
"We are focused on saving resources in our own operations and finding ways to work together with our customers to help protect our environment," said Mary Wenzel, director of Environmental Affairs. "We're highlighting online-only statements today because choosing them is an easy everyday action that nearly all of our customers can take. It is similar to bringing a reusable shopping bag to the grocery store - it's that simple and in aggregate can make a meaningful difference."
Pay It Green, an industry alliance organized to promote online banking, including online-only statements, estimates that an average household with online services could save seven pounds of paper, 60 gallons of waste water and five gallons of gas each year. (payitgreen.org/get-the-facts.html)
To encourage customers to make the switch, Wells Fargo is hosting a sweepstakes. Wells Fargo customers who make the switch and people, who enter the sweepstakes, become eligible for a chance to win* $10,000 for themselves and $10,000 for one of three environmental nonprofit organizations: Earthwatch Institute, Trust for Public Land and Nature Conservancy. Details about the sweepstakes are located at: wellsfargo.com/wfonline/statements_springsweep.
"At Wells Fargo, nearly 70 percent of all consumer checking accounts are managed online," said Joy Marshall, head of Online Banking for Wells Fargo. "Customers tell us that they value the convenience and savings of services such as online statements. Wells Fargo allows multiple statements to be viewed, paid and archived, which makes it easy for individuals and businesses to eliminate paper usage regarding their Wells Fargo banking accounts. Best of all it helps save energy and diverts waste from landfills, which is good for everyone."
Other ways Wells Fargo can help customers protect the environment through financial products and services include (partial list):
- Take advantage of full-spectrum online banking and bill pay products that can help further eliminate paper waste
- Use envelope-free ATMs. Our customers have helped us save more than 4,000 trees by choosing to make deposits at envelope-free ATMs edf.org/papercalculator/)
- Invest in companies with positive environmental track records
- Redeem Wells Fargo RewardsSM points for renewable energy certificates
- Use the Solar Home program, currently only available in California, to finance a new solar home
- Benefit from expertise in Environmental Finance, if you are a commercial customer. Since 2006, Wells Fargo has provided more than $4.5 billion in financing to support green business opportunities, including $1.6 billion in investments for renewable energy projects and $3 billion to support the development of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) "green" buildings.