Tales of a Midwest Lutheran on the East Coast

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wells Fargo Listens!

This just made my day.

A few weeks ago I sent an old Visa card that we use through Wells Fargo BACK to the their headquarters. I sent it there a) because I had gotten a new one and b) nearly credit card, including those from WF are made of PVC plastic, a cheap and toxic material that is hazardous at all stages of its "life." Now that I was through with it, I didn't just want to throw it away and have it leech toxicness into one of seven (or more) toxic waste dumps within New Jersey. Thanks to a tip from Annie Leonard's fantastic book The Story of Stuff, I send my old card back to the "manufacturer" with a letter detailing the noxious effects of PVC. I also challenged them to live up to their professed commitment to the environment. I did my part for this one time, and that was that. Next thing please.

Until today.

Here is (parts of) a letter I just received from WF:

Dear Lydia Nelson: 

Thank you for returning your VISA card to Wells Fargo Bank, since you now have a new one... Your letter expressing your concerns about the PVC, which can be contained in plastic cards, was referred to Wells Fargo Customer Connection for review and response. 

Our Vision and Values addresses the fact that Wells Fargo has an environmental commitment to run our company as efficiently as possible, reducing paper and energy use. We have set a goal to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, have a comprehensive recycling program, and are using energy-saving design elements in our new banking stores. Your feedback, encouraging Wells Fargo to lead the charge in stopping the use of PVC in our credit and debit cards, has been forwarded to the appropriate management personnel, in order to be considered when making future business decisions.

We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to make us aware of your concerns and for providing an opportunity to improve our service. (The rest is about how to contact them for further questions).

HOW COOL IS THAT!!! Can YOUR bank do that? Thanks, Wells Fargo, for responding for one person trying to make a small difference in the world. Hopefully someday soon we be one step closer to ridding ourselves of PVC.

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