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Bank of the West Creates First Disappearing Billboard for a Disappearing Habitat

Designed to leave no trace, the art installation highlights Bank of the West’s work with Sustainable Surf to restore sea kelp forests

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 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 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 Bank of the West. Not only do they restrict the financing of activities that are harmful to the planet, they are 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 more about sustainable finance or sign up for the 1% for the Planet Checking Account, visit

About Sustainable Surf

Sustainable Surf is a California-based nonprofit founded in 2011 that uses the power of surfing to inspire the radical transformation needed to protect ocean health and reverse climate change. Globally recognized programs, like SeaTrees and the ECOBOARD Project, are “onramps” for brands and individuals to have a direct and measurable impact. For more information, please visit:

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.


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