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Bank of the West Becomes First Bank to Join The Conservation Alliance

March 11, 2020

Media Contact

Alexa McRoberts
Verde Brand Communications

Bend, Oregon

The Alliance Welcomes Environmentally Conscious Bank at Highest Membership Tier

Bank of the West joins The Conservation Alliance as a Pinnacle Member, joining the organization’s effort to fund and collaborate with grassroots conservation organizations in North America. Bank of the West is the first bank to join The Conservation Alliance and the seventh Pinnacle Member of the organization.

Bank of the West’s initiatives align with The Conservation Alliance’s values and mission to protect North America’s wild places, exemplified in policies that restrict the financing of fossil fuels, big tobacco, palm oil and other activities harmful to the planet. Additionally, Bank of the West has committed $1 billion to finance clean, efficient, and renewable energy projects.

In an effort to advance land and water conservation, San Francisco-based Bank of the West initiated membership conversations with The Conservation Alliance in August 2019.  During a six-month vetting process, The Conservation Alliance staff and board reviewed Bank of the West’s policies to ensure the relationship would be in sync with the organization’s mission and funding priorities. The Alliance concluded their due-diligence in January, and announced Bank of the West as a new Pinnacle Member during Outdoor Retailer and Snow Show in Denver, Colorado.

Bank of the West is the first Pinnacle Member to join The Conservation Alliance since 2012.  Other Alliance Pinnacle Member companies include Patagonia, The North Face, Merrell, REI, Clif Bar and KEEN.  The Conservation Alliance aims to grow its grant fund to exceed $2 million in 2020. The Pinnacle Membership program is a key strategy toward reaching that goal.

“The Conservation Alliance was founded and is led by the outdoor industry, but we know there are other like-minded companies, in other industries, that want to help us achieve a bigger vision,” said Hans Cole, Chairman of The Conservation Alliance Board and Director of Environmental Campaigns and Advocacy at Patagonia. “Bank of the West is the type of business we hope to attract as we expand our alliance into new industries: they have a powerful voice and they are taking meaningful actions to protect our threatened wild places.”   

“This is the decade to reverse climate change. Banking decisions can play a key role in the solution,” said Ben Stuart, Chief Marketing Officer at Bank of the West. “At Bank of the West, we are making bold choices about what we do and don’t finance on behalf of the environment, and we are teaming up with organizations, like Conservation Alliance, that are taking action to protect our planet.”

“We were impressed by Bank of the West’s decision to withdraw support for companies that are detrimental to our environment,” said Brady Robinson, Executive Director at The Conservation Alliance. “It is rare to see this level of commitment from a financial institution and we are proud to welcome them as a new member.”

The Conservation Alliance, which makes grants to grassroots organizations working to protect wild lands and waters throughout North America, aims to grow its grant fund to exceed $2 million in 2020. The Pinnacle Membership program is a key strategy toward reaching that goal. 

About Bank of the West

At Bank of the West, we know money deposited in a bank has the power to finance positive change. So we are taking action to ensure our activities help protect the planet, improve people’s lives, and strengthen communities. We are redefining banking for a better future by focusing on areas where we believe we can have a real impact: supporting energy transition, helping enable women entrepreneurs, and financing innovative start-ups. As the bank for a changing world, Bank of the West is committed to sustainable finance along with our parent company BNP Paribas. Through Digital Channels and offices across the U.S., Bank of the West provides financial tools and resources to more than 2 million individuals, families and businesses.

© 2020 Bank of the West. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. Doing business in South Dakota as Bank of the West California.

About The Conservation Alliance
The Conservation Alliance is an organization of like-minded businesses whose collective contributions support grassroots environmental organizations and their efforts to protect wild places where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Alliance funds have played a key role in protecting rivers, trails, wildlands and climbing areas throughout North America. Membership in the Alliance is open to all companies who care about protecting our most threatened wild places for habitat and outdoor recreation. Since its inception in 1989, The Conservation Alliance has contributed more than $23 million, awarded more than 700 grants, helped to protect more than 73 million acres of wildlands; protect 3,575 miles of rivers; stop or remove 35 dams; designate five marine reserves; and purchase 17 climbing areas. For complete information about The Conservation Alliance, visit