Bank passes $2bn mark for green building finance

A major banking and insurance firm has announced that it has lent more than $2bn for green building projects.

Wells Fargo has financed a range of LEED buildings in 19 states throughout the US

Wells Fargo has financed a range of LEED buildings in 19 states throughout the US

Wells Fargo & Company, the parent company of Wells Fargo Bank, has dished out the cash to fund buildings which have been certified under the US Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) scheme.

Of the buildings Wells Fargo has financed, 28% have achieved the minimum LEED rating, 37% are LEED-silver, 21% are LEED-gold and 9% have been given the LEED-platinum rating - the highest rating available.

"Our success is a result of doing business with experienced developers and investors," Larry Chapman, head of Commercial Real Estate at Wells Fargo, said.

"Current market conditions provide us with the opportunity to further demonstrate our unwavering commitment to our commercial real estate customers.

"Together we can achieve long-term value for our businesses and our society through the development of high-performance, resource-saving buildings."

Since May 2007, the company has doubled its commitments for LEED buildings from $1bn to $2bn, increasing the number of LEED buildings it has financed by 125%.

In the last 18 months it has expanded its reach for financing LEED-certified buildings into eight new states and increased the type of buildings it has financed to include community centres, data centres and even a cold storage facility.

It has continued to finance offices, industrial buildings, shops, schools and homes.

Reacting to the announcement, Rick Fedrizzi, president of the US Green Building Council, said: "We applaud Wells Fargo's leadership efforts.

"Buildings are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions in the US, which directly impacts global climate change - however LEED buildings consume half the energy of conventional buildings."

Wells Fargo is also set to build new banking stores which will use about 20% less energy and 40% less water than conventional buildings of the same type.

Kate Martin



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