Sustainable Finance & Ocean Health: Bank of the West’s Disappearing Billboard

Bank of the West, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, is bringing awareness to the urgent need to protect kelp forests with its latest marketing campaign, “Before it Disappears.” Bank of the West commissioned artist Andres Amador to create a sand billboard on Dillon Beach in Northern California to bring attention to the threat climate change poses to coastal ecosystems and the role finance can play in advancing a more sustainable future.

“When you deposit money in the bank, it goes out into the world to finance things,” said Ben Stuart, Head of Growth & Transformation and Chief Marketing Officer at Bank of the West. “Putting your money into institutions that align with your values is one of the most impactful actions you can take as a consumer or business. Our Money Matters survey found that only 23 percent of Americans know what their bank finances. We hope ‘Before It Disappears’ raises awareness about the connection between banking and the environment.”

In some parts of California, more than 90% of kelp forests have disappeared over the past 10 years. Kelp forests play a critical role in protecting the planet by helping to sequester carbon and reduce the impact of climate change. Through Sustainable Surf’s SeaTrees program, Bank of the West has helped fund the restoration of over 3,000 square feet of wild kelp forests along the Palos Verdes peninsula.

“At Sustainable Surf, our mission is to protect ocean health, and we take a systems-to-change approach,” said Michael Stewart, Co-founder and Director at California-based nonprofit, Sustainable Surf. “Where we bank can either support or detract from our goal. That’s why we switched to the Bank of the West. Not only do they restrict the financing of activities that are harmful to the planet, but they are also actively funding initiatives, like our SeaTrees project, that make a measurable positive impact in the world.”

Bank of the West offers the 1% for the Planet Checking Account, which gives back to environmental non-profits, like Sustainable Surf, through the 1% for the Planet organization at no cost to the customer. Additionally, the mobile app associated with the account includes a carbon tracking tool to educate consumers about the estimated carbon impact of their debit card purchases.

To learn about sustainable finance or sign up for the 1% for the Planet Checking Account, visit

See other stories like this from Bank of the West: Video: California Dairy Farmer Turns Manure Into Clean Energy and a New Business Model

Tags from the story
, , ,
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.