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Bevis Watts, UK Managing Director of Triodos bank, speaks to WDC about his passion for the ocean

Triodos Bank support Whale and Dolphin Conservation by donating £40 whenever a new customer opens a current or savings account, their balance reaches £100 and WDC is selected as their chosen charity.* We caught up with Bevis Watts, UK Managing Director at Triodos, about his love of diving, his passion for the ocean and why Triodos is committed to supporting marine conservation charities like WDC.

You’re an avid diver. How did you get into the sport and what do you love about it?
I’ve been fascinated by the ocean for as long as I can remember and diving was always something that I was curious to explore. I learned to dive in my early twenties (some 20 years ago) and have been a regular diver and become a Divemaster since then. For me, it’s a meditative experience, because of the silence and your very present connection to nature. I’m never happier or freer than when I’m snorkelling or diving—it’s special and a privilege.

Any memorable moments you’d like to share?
In 2015, I was able to spend 11 days at sea following the whale migrations along the coast of Baja California. When we arrived in the San Ignacio Lagoon—where gray whales migrate to give birth—I had an incredible moment when a calf came right alongside our small boat. It’s amazing to me that these intelligent creatures, who can probably still remember being hunted to near extinction, came so close to us and even pushed their calves up to say ‘hello’. It was a moment where I hoped that they had forgiven us: in some profound way the experience was representative of how nature is willing to work with humanity to find a common positive future.

Why do you care so much about ocean conservation and marine life?
The oceans are part of us; climate change and pollution is making these ecosystems warmer, more vulnerable and acidic, threatening all types of marine life and the ability of our planet to regulate itself and sustain ourselves. I’ve seen this first-hand as a volunteer survey diver in the Philippines where many of the coral reefs are threatened. Since the oceans absorb over 25% of all fossil-fuel related co2, their saturation has an enormous impact on our ability to reverse global warming.

How else are you active in caring for our oceans?
I always try to do something positive with my time in the water. I’ve previously volunteered to map and monitor coral reefs, spent time photographing whale sharks for research in the Indian Ocean and tagged flat-backed turtles to observe population changes in Australia. I’ve also dived on a Crown-of-thorns clearance in the Seychelles. I always try to do one litter pick on each dive trip I make, it’s incredible the amount of junk that ends up in our oceans, given how central they are to our planetary ecosystem and our survival. Being conscious of what we’re buying and what we’re disposing of is the most important contribution we can all make.

Why does Triodos Bank work with WDC?
In the last few years, we’ve run an affiliate program with a select number of partners, including WDC. These partners are highly aligned to our vision of a more sustainable planet and a more just society, and by working together we’re amplifying our presence. WDC does amazing work through their campaigning and conservation projects, and their passion for the aquatic ecosystem resonates with Triodos’ commitment to using money for positive environmental impact. By working together, we’re maximising the value of our individual efforts.

In what other ways does Triodos Bank promote sustainable oceans?
We only use customer deposits to fund organisations that have a positive environmental or social impact. In the UK, one of our current focal points is the circular economy: trying to turn waste into usable material, especially plastics that may end up in the oceans. Customers like Resource Futures and Magpie Recycling Co-operative are typical of the organisations we work with. In Europe, we support a number of marine consultancies like DS Consultoría Ambiental Marina who specialise in marine ecology. Both personally and professionally I would like us to do more in this area.

By taking an active role in supporting initiatives that have environmental, social and cultural benefit, Triodos Bank is bringing together a movement of people dedicated to positive change. By banking with Triodos your money really can help change the world.

As an added bonus, if you open a Triodos Current Account or savings account via once your balance reaches £100 Triodos Bank will donate £40 to WDC.

*Full terms and conditions can be found on the webpage

This offer is limited to one donation per new customer (one donation made in the event of joint account opening) not one per account opening. This offer may be changed or withdrawn without notice at any time. Triodos Bank reserves the right to decline any application. The current account can be opened by any UK resident aged 18 or over who meets the eligibility criteria.