Two banks, two visions

What does Bank of America have that Wells Fargo doesn’t? A conscience, apparently.

BofA, which like Wells Fargo is one of the four largest banks in America, has become a leader in the effort to minimize its impact on the environment, especially climate change. For example, it recently began offering an incentive bonus of $3,000 to any of its 185,000 associates who purchased a hybrid vehicle. It also has pledged to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases by 9 percent and to rearrange its investment portfolio to realize a 7 percent decrease in greenhouse gases.

Wells Fargo, on the other hand, is a leading financier of destructive oil, coal, logging and mining operations that contribute to global warming. It is a major underwriter of the coal companies that are blasting off mountaintops in Appalachia, and it is investing heavily in new, greenhouse-gas-spewing coal-fired power plants across the West.

Banks provide the capital fuel that drives the engine of business. If you bank at Wells Fargo and care about the earth, let your bank know what you think of its policies. Better yet, put your money with an institution that is acting responsibly.

Wherever you bank, investigate your institution’s investment practices to determine whether it is using your money conscientiously. Such individual actions are among the myriad ways you can make the world a better place.