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Climate-Friendly Debit Card: Meet the First Carbon-Tracking Bank Account

Bank of the West compostable
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Bank of the West is making a big move in sustainability — by launching a 1% for the Planet debit card that helps people offset the impact of their shopping decisions.

Banks are major corporations, and that makes it hard for them to be sustainable, especially larger banks that invest in the fossil fuel and coal industries. But last week, Bank of the West took a strong environmental stance with a new initiative: a first-of-its-kind 1% for the Planet bank account.

Bank of the West will begin partnering with different 1% for the Planet organizations to which cardholders can give back. Also, the 1% for the Planet card itself will be 100% biodegradable.

“Our belief is that you can’t do anything about lowering your carbon impact unless you understand what it is,” Bank of the West wrote in the press release.

How the Account Works

  • Account-holders get a biodegradable debit card and can open an account with no monthly fee
  • Bank of the West donates 1% of net revenue from the account to Protect Our Winters
  • Users get access to a unique carbon-tracking tool that shows the carbon impact of every purchase made
bank of the west co2 footprint
The 1% for the Planet card app interface

Users can also view their data on a line graph that will show the carbon impact of all the purchases made monthly so they can better track their impact.

With this new card, you can essentially calculate the exact carbon footprint of your spending, which we think is pretty cool. Your carbon footprint (also known as CO2 emissions) is reported in pounds. To find out how to offset your carbon footprint, check out this nifty tool.

Bank of the West Partners

The first participating organization partnering with Bank of the West is Protect Our Winters (POW). Bank of the West also teamed up with Swedish company Doconomy to create its tracking tool.

Doconomy also created the Aland Index, the world’s leading climate impact index for payments and financial transactions. The index is recognized by the United Nations Climate Change Secretary and uses the merchant code and type of goods/services purchased to calculate carbon impact.

The card is available now. The carbon-tracking tool will be accessible in the bank’s mobile app or online. 

If you’re interested in a 1% for the Planet account, be sure to read the fine print and see if it’s a fit for you.

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