Wells Fargo Celebrates Earth Day 2012 With $25K ‘Go Paperless’ Sweepstakes

Wells Fargo’s Online Statements Sweepstakes encourages customers to switch to paperless statements in support of Earth Day 2012. Customers have the chance to win $25,000 or one of 20 $1,000 prizes.

Eligible statements include those from checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, home equity loans and lines, personal loans and student loans. No purchase or payment is required to enter.

The contest runs through May 31, 2012. Winners will be selected on or about June 29, 2012 and posted on or about September 10, 2012.

Since the Fall of 2007, Wells Fargo has awarded cash prizes to 192 individuals and businesses in Online Statements Sweepstakes it runs annually. You can see a complete list with all winners from all years here.

Wells Fargo retains digital copies of checking and savings statements for seven years. e-Statements for credit cards and lending products are only stored for 24 months.

Key Question: Why can’t online statements be stored indefinitely so customers could access them anytime in the future? In this digital age where server space is cheap, why is there any need to slap expiration dates on e-Statements?

In addition to the sweepstakes, Wells Fargo has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant 50,000 trees at California’s Six Rivers National Forest. Six Rivers National Forest extends 140 miles south from the Oregon-California border, crossing through or near the Smith, Klamath, Eel, Trinity, Van Duzen and Mad rivers.

Wells Fargo will also be handing out tree seedlings to residents in Joplin, Missouri, the town recently devastated by a tornado. Working with the Joplin Tree Recovery Campaign, Wells Fargo hopes to restore community trees lost in the twister. The tree seedlings will be distributed Saturday, April 21, 2012.

To date, Wells Fargo has helped to plant more than 120,000 trees in forests of greatest need.

According to December 2011 estimates using the Environmental Paper Network Paper Calculator, Wells Fargo says customers have saved over 223,000 trees by eliminating 649 million paper statements. This translates into an environmental savings of over 55 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, or the equivalent of removing over 5,000 cars from the roads each year, Wells Fargo says.

According to PayItGreen.org, if just 20% of households switched to paperless statements, electronic bills and payments, 1.8 million trees would be saved annually.

“This Earth Day and every day, we encourage all of our customers to switch to paperless statements and notifications for the positive environmental impact, as well as the convenience and increased security,” said Martha Smolen, SVP/Wells Fargo Internet Services Group.

Wells Fargo made no mention of the significant cost savings banks realize when customers switch to online statements.

Wells Fargo has $1.3 trillion in assets, more than 9,000 retail locations and 12,000 ATMs serving one in three U.S. households.

As of 2011, all deposit-taking ATMs in the Wells Fargo network are now entirely Envelope-Free.

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