Our mission at The Conservation Alliance is to harness the collective power of business and outdoor communities to fund and advocate for the protection of North America’s wild places. Today, we are announcing our decision to divest all assets from our longtime bank and financial partner, Bank of America, in order to align our investments with our values.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is currently under threat of oil and gas development, is one of The Conservation Alliance’s highest conservation priorities. For nearly two decades, we have awarded grants to organizations like Alaska Wilderness League, Audubon Alaska, and most recently the Gwich’in Steering Committee and Trustees for Alaska, for their collective efforts to permanently protect this landscape for its irreplaceable values. To the Gwich’in, the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is “the sacred place where life begins.”
Two dozen banks, including five of the six largest banks in the United States, have publicly pledged not to finance oil and gas projects in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This unified stance from the financial sector sends a strong message about the importance of protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Bank of America remains as the only major US bank unwilling to pledge not to finance oil and gas activities in the Refuge. After repeatedly asking them to reconsider their position, we have decided it is time for us to divest.
Increasingly, both consumers and business leaders understand that banks are part of a global supply chain that has an impact on our world. Do you know what kinds of businesses your current bank is funding? If you are banking with JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi or Bank of America, you are banking with the largest fossil fuel financiers in the world. You can find more information about how various banks stack up at banktrack.org, ran.org, and in this recent Outside article. If you aren’t happy with how your bank ranks, you may want to let them know your concerns or consider moving to a different bank altogether.
We have decided to move our banking to Bank of the West. No bank is perfect, but we are impressed with their move away from fossil fuels and support of groups like The Conservation Alliance, 1% for the Planet, and Protect Our Winters. We will regularly assess the financial institutions we work with to ensure our investments support our vision of a planet where wild places, wildlife, and people thrive together.
For our wild places,
Brady Robinson, Executive Director