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Wachovia Financial Centers to Go Green

Wachovia Corporation plans to open "green" banking offices in Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, and Riverside

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Green Banking Offices in California

Wachovia Corporation plans to open its first eight "green" banking offices in Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, and Riverside counties in California, starting in November 2007. The offices are part of a larger green building plan the financial services firm launched this month.

Wachovia, based in Charlotte, NC, plans to build at least 300 green financial centers, in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards, by the year 2010. California offices will begin opening in 2007, and by the end of 2008, every new Wachovia financial center opened throughout the US will be built to LEED specifications, says the company.

According to Wachovia, the 300 green financial centers will reduce energy use by at least 20 percent, decreasing harmful greenhouse-gas emissions by 6,000 tons per year. The new buildings will reportedly consume 25 percent less water than traditionally built branches, and provide a healthier, more productive environment for customers and employees through use of low-toxin building materials and better indoor air quality.

Wachovia plans to implement an employee recycling program in each branch for paper, plastics, aluminum and glass. Branches also will feature preferred parking for low-emitting vehicles, bike racks, and commuting information such as safe bike routes and public transit maps. In addition, Wachovia will purchase Renewable Energy Certificates to offset the power use of its green branches and boost investment in renewable energy.

Wachovia expects to save up to $80,000 in construction costs for each of the new financial centers over a traditionally constructed branch, in addition to a reduction in operating costs of about 20 percent in the first year, according to the company.

Edited by Carolyn Allen
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