A few years ago, Melanie Adamson’s teenage daughter said something rather shocking.
“She told me she didn’t think it was ethical to have kids,” says Melanie, a veteran marketing strategist with more than 20 years in the business. “She’s part of Generation Z, and they’ve got a lot of challenges to face. And when your kid tells you that, that’s not how you want to leave a legacy.”
Long a proponent of the environment and the leave-no-trace-mentality, Melanie took her daughter’s sentiment as a call to do more for the planet. In 2016, she launched Alder & Co., a climate technology marketing agency based in Portland, Ore., and the Bay Area.
“I don’t want to do anything that’s not contributing to the benefit of the planet,” Melanie says. “With Alder, I wanted to adjust what I do at work to meet the values I have personally.”
Climate tech includes any product or solution that reduces environmental impacts as a more sustainable alternative to what’s on the market. “That can mean anything from software that makes it easier to manage the electric grid, to new recycling technologies, to helping farmers use water and energy more efficiently,” explains Bettina Grab, Alder & Co. co-owner and zero-waste advocate.
Alder’s growing list of clients has included a national energy efficiency provider, a nonprofit energy district, and an energy-saving platform that uses behavioral science to engage users in energy-saving challenges. The agency’s campaigns have also supported:
- An innovative company that uses a centrifuge to separate metals from liquids, diverting thousands of tons of waste from landfills annually
- A fleet electrification startup whose technology minimizes idling for bucket trucks, eliminating their greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%
- A client who combines modern tech and naturally occurring processes to design home water reuse systems to be as beautiful as they are functional
A member of 1% for the Planet, whose members pledge at least one percent of their annual sales to environmental causes, Alder had been banking with a local credit union. But Alder needed a bank that could scale—their goal is to be the leading global agency for climate tech. Aware of fellow 1% for the Planet member Bank of the West’s commitment to sustainability, the team switched to the bank in fall 2021.
“We want every decision we make to be aligned with our values, and that includes banking,” Melanie says. “It was really the features and service—and the connection to saving the planet—that helped us make that decision.”
Learn more about Bank of the West’s actions on sustainability here.