Means&Matters
Stories of Money and sustainability

Ice Axe Expeditions: All My Trips Have a Purpose

Jan 15th 2021

In 2018, polar adventurer Doug Stoup led a team on a ski trek across the frozen Arctic Ocean. It’s the kind of adventure Doug, founder of Ice Axe Expeditions, has been guiding for the past 20 years.

But on this trip, something was different. The ice the team skied across for almost a third of the trip was just over a week old.

If we had been there 10 days prior, we would have been swimming to the North Pole,Doug says.

Doug routinely sees dire signs of the worsening climate crisis on his trips—so he’s committed to help combat it. Ice Axe Expeditions:

  • Collects data for climate change research using lightweight beacons Doug designed,
  • Launched Ice Axe Impact School in 2018, a sustainability-focused educational program,
  • Donates 1% of annual sales to support environmental nonprofits through 1% for the Planet,
  • Requires clients to raise money for charity for each trip, resulting, to date, in $15-20 million in contributions.

“All my trips have to have a purpose,” says Doug, who’s also an ambassador for the climate nonprofit Protect Our Winters. “I want every one of those clients to become ambassadors and say, ‘Keep this place clean and pristine for future generations.’”

Other banks are investing in fossil fuels, and that’s not a good thing for the future of our world. I want my money to be in the right place.

For Doug, caring for future generations also means ensuring his money in the bank doesn’t harm the planet. That’s why he chose Bank of the West—a bank that shares his sustainability values.

“Other banks are investing in fossil fuels, and that’s not a good thing for the future of our world”, he says. “I want my money to be in the right place.”

Learn more about Bank of the West’s actions on sustainability and diversity here.

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