SAN FRANCISCO, July 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Wells Fargo & Company
(NYSE: WFC) said today it has surpassed $1 billion in loans for Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(R)) certified buildings.
Since 2004, Wells Fargo has financed 19 LEED buildings in 10 states
with loans ranging from $10 million to $225 million for offices,
apartments, condominiums and schools, representing a range of financing
solutions. "Green" features include:
-- Green roofs covered with vegetation to help conserve energy
-- Storm water management systems that collect and recycle rain or gray
-- Water efficient landscaping
-- Air quality measures (more effective ventilation, using low-emitting
-- Built-in recycling areas in buildings
-- On-site renewable energy sources -- solar or geothermal
LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based green building rating system
developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for constructing
high-performance, sustainable buildings.
"We can help protect the environment by supporting the development of
energy efficient buildings," said Larry Chapman, head of Commercial Real
Estate at Wells Fargo, who attributes much of Wells Fargo's success in this
area to its experienced developer and investor customers. "Wells Fargo has
set ambitious lending targets and will continue to develop our expertise by
training our lenders about green building practices."
"We applaud Wells Fargo's leadership efforts," said Rick Fedrizzi,
President, CEO & Founding Chair of the USGBC. "Buildings are responsible
for 39 percent of CO2 emissions in the U.S., which directly impacts global
climate change -- however LEED buildings consume half the energy of
conventional buildings. Companies such as Wells Fargo and Thomas Properties
are outstanding examples for other organizations to follow."
Most recently, Wells Fargo loaned $42.7 million to Thomas Properties
Group, L.P. for the Four Points Centre, a 192,000 square-foot complex in
Austin, Texas, of two three-story buildings that are expected to earn LEED
"We believe that high performance buildings such as Four Points Centre
have a favorable influence on employee health, comfort, productivity,
recruitment and retention. These benefits have a significant impact on the
employers' bottom line," said Jim Thomas, CEO of Thomas Properties Group,
Inc. "High performance buildings will be the growth engine for real estate
for years to come."
Wells Fargo considers energy efficiency in its own operations. It
participates in the USGBC's Portfolio Program to create a prototype for its
retail banking stores that meets LEED standards. Its datacenters include
energy saving free-cooling systems and a number of its administrative
buildings, including headquarters, are Energy Star rated for top
performance in energy efficiency.
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with
$540 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage
and consumer finance through almost 6,000 stores and the internet
(wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally. Wells Fargo
Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the U.S., and one of only two banks
worldwide, to have the highest credit rating from both Moody's Investors
Service, "Aaa," and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, "AAA."
Commercial Buildings and Energy Facts*:
-- Commercial and residential buildings consume 39 percent of our nation's
-- 70 percent of energy consumed by commercial buildings is for heating
-- Last year, commercial sales of electricity exceeded 1.3 trillion
kilowatt hours of electricity averaging 9.36 cents per kilowatt
-- Since 2000, average US retail electricity prices for commercial
customers have risen 25 percent.
-- US commercial energy demand is expected to increase 32 percent by 2020.
-- Most U.S. electricity comes from non-renewable sources; about 2 percent
comes from non-hydro renewable sources such as wind, solar and
*Source: Energy Information Administration and Department of Energy
SOURCE Wells Fargo & Company