New climate action checking account now available

Posted: 22 July 2020 11:44 am

Planet Earth against black background

Track your carbon footprint and help fight climate change with Bank of the West’s 1% for the Planet Account.

San Francisco-based Bank of the West has announced the launch of its 1% for the Planet Account — a first-of-its-kind checking account designed for climate action. The checking account features a biodegradable debit card and a carbon tracking tool. Plus, Bank of the West donates 1% of net revenues made from this account to environmental nonprofits.

At a glance

Name: Bank of the West 1% for the Planet Account.
Features: Carbon tracking tool that tells you the carbon impact of every purchase you make with your debit card, 100% biodegradable debit card, Bank of the West donation to environmental nonprofits for 1% of net account revenue.
Fees: No monthly fee with one qualifying deposit a month (otherwise $10 a month).
Limitations: Account isn’t available nationwide as Bank of the West only serves residents in western states.

Bank of the West has already made strides toward a more sustainable planet by refusing to finance any companies in the fossil fuel, big tobacco and unsustainable palm oil industries. But now it’s taking it a step further by launching its first climate-focused checking account.

“The 1% for the Planet Account allows consumers not only to bank with a group that is progressive on energy policy and is striving to meet the demands of the Paris Accord, but also that donates 1% of the account’s revenue to address climate change at no cost to the consumer,” said Ben Stuart, chief marketing officer at Bank of the West, in announcing the account.

The 1% for the Planet Account, an upgrade of Any Deposit Checking, has no minimum balance or direct deposit requirements, meaning you can get started today with $0. There’s a $10 monthly fee, but it’s waived when you make at least one direct deposit, mobile deposit, ATM deposit or in-branch deposit a month. And when your debit card expires, you can throw it in the compost thanks to its 100% biodegradable PVC design. However, Bank of the West mentions the EMV chip, magnetic strip, ink and hologram aren’t biodegradable.

Aside from donating 1% of net revenue to nonprofits, this account’s most notable feature is its carbon tracking tool. The tool is built into the Bank of the West mobile app and uses the Aland Index — a cloud-based service for carbon impact calculations — to measure the potential carbon impact of any purchase you make with your debit card.

“Whether you’re a long-time supporter of environmental causes or prioritizing them for the first time, the 1% for the Planet Account is an easy way to give back at no expense to you,” said 1% for the Planet CEO Kate Williams.

The downside? Bank of the West is primarily located in western states, so you may not be eligible if you live outside of its service area.

Photo: Getty Images

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