March 17, 2015 -- Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced a $1 million commitment to support Imagine H2OTM, the leading platform for global water innovation, to support the organization’s programming to bring promising water innovations to market.
The global water crisis presents one of humanity’s greatest challenges. Yet despite water’s importance, and the water market exceeding $600 billion in sales, the water innovation economy needs a boost. Water innovators receive only about 1 percent of venture capital and angel investment dollars.
Imagine H2O, a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire and empower people to turn water challenges into opportunities, addresses that market failure through a series of programs in business, leadership and policy. Imagine H2O’s portfolio represents more than $1 in $10 of early-stage financing in the water sector, and Wells Fargo’s support will help the organization magnify this impact.
“While we are committed to sustainability in our operations and provide capital to clean energy business solutions at Wells Fargo, we understand that many of the environmental challenges we are facing cannot be solved short term,” said Mary Wenzel, head of Wells Fargo Environmental Affairs. ”This is why we are proud to foster water innovation and collaborate with Imagine H2O to help build more sustainable and resilient communities with long-term solutions.”
Imagine H2O is a recipient of a Wells Fargo Clean Technology and Innovation grant. The grant program began in 2012 as part of Wells Fargo’s commitment to provide $100 million to environmentally-focused nonprofits, colleges and universities by 2020. It is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and is strategically aligned with the company’s vision and values to foster economic development, especially in underserved communities, to accelerate the global “green” economy. The goal of the program is to inspire innovation from entrepreneurs and fund research entities working on critical environmental issues.
“This commitment recognizes Imagine H2O’s approach to identifying and accelerating water innovation,” said Scott Bryan, Imagine H2O Chief Operating Officer. “We will leverage this support, and commitments from other philanthropic partners, to scale Imagine H2O’s efforts to help innovators turn new ideas into powerful solutions.”
Imagine H2O will announce the winners of its 6th annual competition for water innovators at its annual gala event in San Francisco on March 18. The competition attracted over 100 entrants from 20 different countries offering scalable solutions to water and wastewater infrastructure challenges.
About Imagine H2O
Imagine H2O inspires and empowers people to solve water challenges and turn them into opportunities. In addition to financial support for the best ideas, the Imagine H2O Accelerator helps participating entrepreneurs turn their plans into transformational, real world solutions. To learn more about Imagine H2O's global ecosystem for water innovation and connect with water entrepreneurs from around the world, please visit www.imagineh2o.org.
About Wells Fargo
Since 2012, Wells Fargo has provided more than $37 billion in environmental financing to environmentally beneficial businesses. This includes $3.8 billion in financing for affordable housing and commercial properties in low- to moderate-income communities. Wells Fargo has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 24 percent from 2008 levels and increased energy efficiency by 24 percent, water efficiency by 38 percent, and waste diversion by 65 percent since 2012. The company also has made strategic environmental grants totaling $40 million through two environmental grant programs focusing on community-based environmental projects as well as clean technology innovation and advancement. Last year, the company launched Innovation Incubator (IN2) to support clean technology start-ups in commercial buildings.
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.7 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,700 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.