Wells Fargo named Robyn Luhning as its first chief sustainability officer, the bank said Monday in a press release.
Luhning will serve as the point person for the bank’s efforts to help stem climate change. She’ll be in charge of Wells Fargo’s environmental, social and governance disclosures — particularly, ensuring their transparency.
To that end, the bank said in March 2021 it would set and disclose interim financed emission targets for its oil, gas and power portfolios by the end of this year.
Wells Fargo reported more than $8.8 billion in financing for oil, gas and pipeline projects as of the end of 2021 in a regulatory filing last month. That marked an 18.6% decrease from roughly $10.5 billion a year earlier.
At the same time, the bank reported a 36.2% year-over-year increase — to more than $4.7 billion, from about $3.5 billion — in what it labeled tax-advantaged renewable energy securities, the filing showed.
Wells Fargo last year became the last of the six largest U.S. banks to commit to achieving net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 in its own activities, as well as client projects it finances. The bank also promised to deploy $500 billion in financing toward sustainable businesses and projects by 2030.
"Sustainability and addressing climate change are business imperatives at Wells Fargo and require a dedicated, elevated focus," Bill Daley, the bank’s vice chairman of public affairs, said in Monday’s press release. "Robyn’s strong background in corporate responsibility, stakeholder engagement, and environmental and social risk management make her well‑suited for this new position."
Luhning joined Wells Fargo in 2011 as senior vice president for environmental and social risk management and later served as the bank’s head of reputation risk oversight, according to her LinkedIn profile. More recently, she worked as chief operating officer for the bank’s public affairs unit and, in December, became interim president of the Wells Fargo Foundation and head of social impact and sustainability for the bank.
In addition to her ESG disclosure duties, Luhning, in her new role, will oversee Wells Fargo’s institute for sustainable finance, which encompasses climate-associated philanthropy and advocacy, according to Monday’s press release.