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