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Environmental report summary

Triodos Bank’s largest positive impact comes from financing sustainable and innovative projects and entrepreneurs. But the organisation also has a responsibility for its own environmental impact as an institution.

The basic principle of the organisation’s environmental policy is the trias energetica.

This means that Triodos Bank keeps its energy consumption to a minimum, that it uses renewable energy or renewable resources where possible, and that it compensates the environmental impact of generated energy. In this way it minimises and compensates for its environmental impact. Triodos Bank is a climate-neutral organisation (CO2 neutral).

The year at a glance

The contract with the energy supplier in The Netherlands was renewed in 2013. All the energy purchased by the Dutch offices is 100% renewable and entirely generated by wind farms.

In 2013 energy consumed by computers was minimised via ‘thin clients’, hardware which uses less energy than conventional computers. In the UK office, 60% of the workstations are already based on thin clients; in Belgium the figure is 65%. Where possible, thin clients were also introduced in other offices during the year.

The average CO2 emissions for the commercial fleet of cars, which all meet high sustainable performance levels, decreased from 115g in 2012 to 107g in 2013. In 2013, air travel increased by 8% per FTE (compared to a decrease of 4% in 2012). A pilot project using video conferencing to link all the branches was launched in September 2013 with a view to reducing the current need for air travel. These facilities are being used on an increasingly frequent basis.

The total commuting distance travelled per FTE increased by 1% in 2013. Triodos Bank co-workers travelled 37% of the total commuting distance by public transport, compared to 42% in 2012. Car use for commuting increased by 13% per FTE.

The use of office paper increased by 1% per FTE in 2013, and the use of printed paper decreased by 29% per FTE and 32% per client.

In 2012 Triodos Bank moved into new premises in the UK. The lease contract for the old premises expired on 1 September 2013; 80% of the furniture and fixtures from this office was donated to other organisations for reuse. The remaining 20% was fully recycled, ensuring that no material went to landfill.

Prospects

In 2014 measures to improve the environmental performance of Triodos Bank as an institution, will include:

  • a further reduction in the environmental impact of commuting and business travel. To this end, Triodos Bank is launching a project to consider both issues together and identify measures and recommendations to reduce the organisation’s environmental impact in both. With the exception of flights, Triodos Bank performs well in the area of transport compared to similar organisations; however, it is important that it regularly evaluates its policy and continues to look for further improvements.
  • Preparations have been underway for a number of years to build a new office for the Dutch branch. Important steps in this process are expected in 2014, with the goal of constructing a building that meets the highest possible sustainability standards.
  • Triodos Bank will perform a baseline measurement in 2014 for all the buildings Triodos Bank uses. Based on this, Triodos Bank will prepare a list of ways to improve its energy and environmental performance.