In 2015, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were launched by the United Nations. The SDGs, successors to the Millennium Development Goals, are a universal set of targets and indicators designed to help countries end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda.

SDGs overview (logos)

The goals are principally focused on wide-reaching action by states, business and civil society. And they resonate strongly with Triodos Bank and our essence as a values-based bank that has been working on this agenda since our founding in 1980.

Triodos Bank is clear about the path we want to take to use money consciously as a catalyst for sustainable change. And while we have our own path to take on a journey to a sustainable, low carbon and inclusive future, we welcome a framework that enables us to communicate better with our fellow travellers. The SDGs do just that. They provide powerful language to communicate integrated sustainability goals that are more urgent now than ever.

It was clear throughout 2018 that the SDGs have gathered significant momentum among businesses, government and civil society alike. The goals play an increasingly important role for wider society and have the potential to be a powerful and positive agent of change in the financial industry. That’s why Triodos Bank was one of 18 Dutch financial institutions to invite the Dutch Government and Central Bank to continue to make a concerted effort to help deliver the SDGs. The initiative was the first in the world to bring national pension funds, insurance companies and banks together around a shared SDG agenda, and included a report recommending priorities to maximise ‘SDG investing’.

Triodos Bank and the SDGs

The goals clearly articulate objectives that must be addressed at a global level. They reflect the importance of a joined up, integrated approach to the multiple challenges we face – an approach that closely reflects our own. But the SDGs, like us all, are not perfect. For example, nurturing personal development, education and inspiration are a core part of Triodos Bank’s mission. We lend to and invest in thousands of projects in the cultural sector as a result. And we continue to believe this cultural aspect is both core to developing a more sustainable society and largely absent from the SDGs.

This is the third year that Triodos Bank will include the SDGs in its reporting. We consulted extensively during the year, with business and industry experts, to develop our thinking and practice on how best to report against the SDGs. We do this in three distinct ways:

  • Via the mapping exercise that follows in this appendix, including updates where we have made specific progress
  • By linking relevant content throughout the report to specific SDGs, and
  • By identifying and reporting against a number of specific targets, which underpin each of the SDGs.

We started by mapping what we do against the SDGs and where our work is directly relevant to an SDG and a specific indicator. While we highlight how we intend to further this work in the future, specific indicators of how this will be achieved are available in other parts of the report – in the strategic objectives section, for example – and not duplicated here.

The table below lists the SDGs and Triodos Bank’s contribution to them against three categories highlighting the depth of involvement in relation to each goal. Where our activity is less core to our main work we describe the work we do in this area and our wider perspective on that goal in one column.

Where relevant we also highlight SDG targets (e.g. ‘1.5 resilience to external shocks’ below) that underpin each of the goals. We have selected targets that are closest to our activity and aspirations, for readers with a more detailed interest in the specifics of each goal. These targets have been identified, in part, through collaborative work among businesses across sectors, with the support of the Global Reporting Initiative and United Nations Global Compact.

Level 1 – Baseline activity to ensure we are not harming these goals
Level 2 – Direct activity we take to positively influence them; and
Level 3 – Where Triodos Bank is already, or can in the future, play a catalysing role helping to stimulate the lasting systemic change that the goals demand.

This last point is important because Triodos Bank aims to work with the SDGs to genuinely ‘move the dial’ on the goals. In creating this table, we have considered the spirit behind each goal and its supporting indicators, as well as the text itself, to produce a clear view of how Triodos Bank’s activity maps against them. We hope it helps our stakeholders better understand how our work relates to the SDGs and we welcome your feedback.

SDGs overview (logos)

No poverty

Relevant target: 1.5 resilience to external shocks (for individuals and families)

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Our policy is to avoid predatory lending and to undertake good due diligence when making decisions about which inclusive finance institutions to invest in.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

We invest in financial institutions working for Inclusive Finance in emerging markets, so they can serve people to build their assets gradually, develop small and medium-sized enterprises, improve their income earning capacity, create employment and provide a financial cushion for the future. In 2018 we provided inclusive finance for 11.1 million savers and 19.2 million borrowers in emerging markets, via 103 financial institutions. We have pioneered Fair Trade finance including partnering with key players such as Oxfam and Fairtrade Iberica and Fairtrade Belgium. Through the Triodos Foundation, donations are made to Fair Trade organisations such as Comercio Justo in Spain.

Triodos Bank has an active role in eradicating urban poverty in Europe, financing organisations devoted to care and social inclusion of homeless people, such as Emmaus in the UK which re-houses and provides employment for disadvantaged people. It is also advising charities in the UK on Social Impact Bonds that raise social investment to tackle homelessness nationally. It also finances the construction of new emergency hostels in Paris to offer decent accommodation for homeless people.

In The Netherlands we finance Eigen Schuld, a theatre performance about the social problem of poverty. The challenging play is written by young people and performed in school classes.

Co-workers are also involved directly in local initiatives. In Belgium, for example, the Triodos Bank branch in Brussels supports a local organisation, Comité de la Samaritaine, to help provide vulnerable people in the local community with access to decent housing and food.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We integrate climate concerns and social issues, by advising these financial institutions on how to incorporate environmental issues in their business. This makes both the institutions and the entrepreneurs that they finance, and their families, more resilient to outside shocks.

Where appropriate we responsibly exit from investments in institutions that build their capacity to the point where they do not need our support anymore, so we can focus again on helping other institutions serving those most in need.

Zero hunger

Relevant target: 2.4 ensure sustainable food production

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

We do not finance intensive agriculture and, instead, only and exclusively finances sustainable and organic agriculture.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

We specialise in financing sustainable food production through our lending and investing activity. During 2018, there was a noticeable decrease in lending to projects producing meat (of 12%) and a similar increase in lending to fruit and vegetable projects. This indicates a positive trend given the environmental cost of meat production over fruit and vegetables.

Our investment activity focuses around the Triodos Organic Growth Fund (EUR 55 million) which invests in mature, privately owned, sustainable consumer businesses. In addition, the Triodos Groenfonds (EUR 885 million) invests in ‘green’ projects including sustainable food and agriculture.

We are the financial partner for social organisations delivering services for people struggling to meet their nutritional requirements, in Europe.

For example, in Spain we finance Pont Alimentari connecting restaurants and hotels with families at risk of exclusion. The project takes unused food from the former and delivers it to people struggling to access adequate daily nutrition (see SDG 1).

In Belgium, we finance Belvas, a certified organic and Fairtrade Belgian chocolate manufacturer and the first in northern Europe to build an ecological chocolate factory.

Also in Paris, we finance the construction of an urban farm, La Ferme du Rail, managed by four non-profit organisations dedicated to social integration through employment. Organic food grown on the farm will be served in local restaurants and used by social enterprises.

The Hivos-Triodos Fund finances Twiga Food in Kenya. They bring the harvest of small-scale farmers directly to market vendors in Nairobi, pay the farmers a fair price and prevent food waste.

The Triodos Foundation, Triodos’ grant-giving arm, supports the Dutch organisation Urban Greeners and other innovative initiatives that focus on nutrition and biodiversity.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

At a systemic level our finance aims to inspire the financial sector, by showing that sustainable organic and Fair Trade agriculture can be successfully financed in European and emerging markets.

We also work with others (see also SDG 17) to promote sustainable food production. During 2018, we continued to work with partners to develop ‘true cost accounting’ for finance, food and farming, for example.

Good health and well-being for people

Relevant target: 3.5 drugs and substance abuse

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

We only finance health care providers with a human-centred approach to care ensuring health and well-being, particularly for the elderly, people with learning and physical disabilities and other disadvantaged groups such as those recovering from drugs and substance abuse.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

We lend to large numbers of health care organisations whose emphasis is on quality of care, including clinics specialising in addiction treatment. Nos Pilifs, a Belgian farm and Siza in The Netherlands, provide support for people with disabilities, for example.

While in The Netherlands we finance Ben Oude NijHuis, an affordable, small-scale home for elderly people centred around nurturing human dignity.

In the UK, we finance Whiteley Village, which was set up 100 years ago, and is the country’s first purpose-built retirement village and a leader in promoting community living among its residents.

In France, we financed the acquisition of a medical retirement home by a mid-size group, Medicharme, to guarantee its continuation and to improve care for dependent, elderly people in the North of France.

In numbers, 41,000 elderly people in Europe benefited from care provided by initiatives financed by Triodos Bank in 2018, representing 21 days of health care financed for each Triodos Bank customer.

The Triodos Sustainable Pioneer Fund (EUR 247 million) invests in equities issued by listed companies, including medical technology firms that are pioneers in the theme of ‘healthy people’.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We can contribute more powerfully by financing scalable projects and we can further contribute to the debate about how to serve elderly people’s financial needs in the future.

Quality education

Relevant target: 4.4 upskill youth and adults 4.7 promote sustainable development knowledge and skills

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Our approach is to only finance education initiatives – from kindergartens to adult education – that benefit individuals’ personal development and society in terms of social cohesion in general, and sustainable economic development in particular.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

We lend to, and invest in, education initiatives that benefited 680,000 individuals in 2018.

They include projects like Kids Allowed that delivers progressive childcare services, as well as a primary school set up as a community benefit society to serve a remote Highland community in Scotland.

In Spain we lend to AUPEX which provides access to education for around 150,000 people in Extremadura, particularly for elderly people in rural areas. Around 3,000 teachers are involved in 220 small towns and villages.

We give dozens of conferences about ethical banking at schools, high schools and universities every year, including participating in the ‘Bank voor de Klas’ initiative in The Netherlands.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We can contribute to the overall education ‘mix’ by focusing our finance on diversity in the education system – through progressive educational establishments and initiatives that serve the excluded.

We also provide long-term support and participate in initiatives beyond our role as a bank directly, through initiatives like HERA (Higher Education and Research Awards) in Belgium. The awards explore how masters students integrate sustainable development principles into their work and recognise the importance of integrating sustainability concerns, in a holistic way, at an important stage in their development.

We want to continue to co-create innovative projects such as Educativos Ecológicos, (educational organic gardens) launched by Triodos Foundation in Spain to promote crowdfunding for projects and an annual prize recognising landmark initiative.

Co-workers in all countries regularly accept invitations to explain to students how sustainable finance and economics work for a better society.

Gender equality

Relevant target: 5.1 end discrimination against women

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

We treat all individuals equally, and particularly include people who are often excluded. In practice this leads to an explicit focus on making access to finance available to women.

We value a diverse community in Triodos Bank itself, including gender. In 2018 49.3% of Triodos Bank co-workers were women and 39% of management positions were held by women.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

We finance financial institutions in developing countries and emerging economies that demonstrate a sustainable approach toward providing financial services to those traditionally excluded. In 2018 these institutions served 19.2 million loan clients, of which 82% were female.

For over 30 years Triodos Investment Management has partnered with Women’s World Banking, a global non-profit providing low-income women with access to financial tools and resources to build security and prosperity. We are a co-investment manager for the Women’s World Banking equity fund (EUR 34 million).

We also lend directly to organisations working to end discrimination and promote equal rights, like HeaWomen Survivors of Gender Violence, in Spain.

Triodos Bank also promotes respect for rights of the LGBTI community by financing initiatives like Fundación Triángulo, which works in rural areas in Spain. During 2018 we also facilitated donations from Spanish customers to Oxfam, to go to the ACPU in Uganda. The cooperative supports the production of coffee on land owned by women, empowering them economically and socially in their communities.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

The greatest contribution we can make is to both promote and extend healthy gender diversity as an important pre-condition for our work as an institution ourselves and in how we apply the money entrusted to us, both in Europe and in developing countries.

Clean water and sanitation

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

Clean water and sanitation are topics relevant around the world. While this is not a core loan or investment theme, much of our finance takes care of both, not least through entrepreneurs financed through inclusive finance and SME lending and in sectors such as organic agriculture which support water conservation and water health. We invest, via the Triodos Sustainable Pioneer Fund (EUR 247 million) in listed companies such as Hong Kong-based Beijing Enterprises Water Group, a water and sewage/waste-water treatment company that contributes to the availability of clean drinking water and the cleaning of waste water.

We also finance research to save water, through projects like Zinnae, which explores urban gardening with less water, and cooperative organisations such as Enginyeria Sense Fronteres, which promotes access to water in developing countries. In Spain, we finance Waterologies, a company developing sustainable water filtration technologies, including specialised portable kits for clean water in emergencies. And, in 2018, we financed Ongawa, an organisation which is primarily focused on providing clean drinking water for disadvantaged people in Africa and South America.

Affordable and clean energy

Relevant target: 7.2 increase share of renewables globally

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Our policy is not to finance fossil fuels and exclusively to finance renewable energy initiatives in the energy sector.

We also buy energy from renewable sources to power all the buildings that we work from within our own network.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

We finance sustainable energy via direct lending in all the countries where we operate and investments through Triodos Green Fund (EUR 885 million) and via Triodos Renewables Europe Fund (EUR 83 million).

As well as considerable impact in Europe, Triodos Bank has financed more renewable energy initiatives in Europe than any other financial institution, each year for the last three years.

Triodos Bank extended its wind energy financing to off-shore wind energy projects through its international Energy & Climate Desk. In Belgium the bank was the lead arranger of the deal to finance SeaMade, a 487 MW Offshore Wind Farm. It also co-financed Northwester 2, a 219 MW Offshore Wind Farm. Both projects are in the Belgian North Sea. While in Germany we co-financed our first two offshore windparks during 2019. The projects were also managed by an international team of colleagues for the first time.

Triodos’ renewable energy projects also extend to emerging markets, such as hydro projects in Nepal.

Triodos Bank has developed a detailed programme to reduce the environmental impact of its own activities; it is both carbon neutral itself and uses 100% renewable energy in its buildings.

In Belgium, Triodos supports the development of affordable energy by financing Duwolim who provide social loans for energy-saving renovation works on private homes or buildings of non-profit organisations. Duwolim provides both an affordable loan and expert advice.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

As well as its direct impact as a financer, Triodos Bank acts as an opinion leader in the energy space, including engaging in debate about the urgent importance of a low carbon economy and how to move towards it. In 2018, Triodos Bank was one of a group of financial institutions to implement a groundbreaking new methodology – co-created by the financial industry for the financial industry – to measure the carbon emissions of loans and investments.

We can contribute further in the future by extending our work into new areas such as energy storage, energy efficiency finance and electric vehicle infrastructure via Triodos Bank’s European network of energy finance experts.

Innovation in 2018 included financing the world’s first river current turbines farm, in France. This new technology has a very low environmental impact compared to hydropower avoiding enclosing and diverting water.

We collaborated on a white paper ‘New Pathways’ – arguing for concrete changes to build a more just and sustainable financial future, and actively communicated about them throughout the year. Since its publication there has been significant progress made at a European level on sustainable finance. This includes draft legislation on transparency and disclosure of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and impacts on all financial products. There is more open debate and exploration on levying additional capital charges for assets which could increase climate risk. And we continue to be an active participant in the debates in this field together with other organisations.

Triodos Bank is closely involved, as a lead negotiator, in developing a Dutch Climate Agreement. As part of the agreement banks, and other Dutch financials, have committed themselves to reduce CO2 emissions on their balances.

Decent work and economic growth

Relevant targets: 8.3 …encourage the growth formalisation and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including access to financial services
8.4 improve …global resource efficiency in consumption and production ...decouple economic growth and environmental degradation
8.9 …implement policies to promote sustainable tourism
8.10 strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions encourage and expand access to banking …and financial services for all

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Triodos Bank considers how the mission of an organisation translates into the organisation itself before considering a loan or investment. It has over 20 years’ experience financing microfinance and inclusive finance initiatives in emerging markets. As well as only financing the green economy in Europe, including developing lending in the sustainable tourism sector, all our banking products and services take the environment into consideration.

Our finance often leads to job creation and frequently, due to the sustainable focus of all our finance, to work that benefits the excluded – from people with disabilities to ex-offenders.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

The inclusive finance activity we describe in SDG 1 above is delivered via Triodos Investment Management connecting thousands of investors with Microfinance and SME institutions in developing countries. Inclusive finance is also relevant in The Netherlands where we work with Qredits, a Dutch initiative providing microfinance loans, mentoring and online tools to support entrepreneurs.

Triodos Bank integrates resource efficiency and environmental concerns in products with a purpose; including sustainable mortgages, credit cards for spending on sustainable products and pensions linked to front-running sustainable companies

We are continuing to extend lending to certified green sustainable tourism projects, or those working towards it, across Europe.

Enric Majoral, in Spain, uses 100% fair-mined certified gold. A well-established jewellery brand, it promotes fairer labour conditions in a high impact industry.

In France, we concluded a first partnership with France Active, a mission-driven organisation, that provides microfinance products to small entrepreneurs, as well as equity funds to social entrepreneurs. Triodos Bank took a share in the capital of France Active Investissement and will participate at its board meeting to collaborate more closely and increase the organisation’s positive impacts.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We intentionally look to finance companies that can act as a catalyst for deep-seated change within their industries, as inspirational examples of what’s possible in the circular economy. Dick Moby, producers of sustainable sun glasses are one example.

We partner with others who share this agenda, including co-founding the Sustainable Finance Lab.

And we celebrate and encourage front-runners in social and sustainable entrepreneurship, through initiatives like the Heart Head prize; an awards programme delivered in a number of countries where we operate.

During 2018 we continued to participate in an industry-led review setting out how the UK government can grow a broader culture of social impact investing.

Industry, innovation, and infrastructure

Relevant targets: 9.3 ...increase access of small-scale …enterprises …to financial services
9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

While we typically do not finance large-scale infrastructure projects, Triodos Bank promotes an inclusive, sustainable economy and fosters innovation; indeed, Triodos Bank itself is an example of innovation in the banking sector. Our work for the inclusive finance sector supports efforts to increase access of small-scale enterprises to financial services, including affordable credit.

Acusmed, in Spain, develops acoustic and environmental projects as part of new, more inhabitable cities (see SDG 11). They contribute to innovate solutions for buildings, roads and railways.

Also in Spain, we have financed Protisa, producing 100% recycled toilet paper in the Canary Islands. This industry has considerable potential to reduce the use of natural resources and avoid CO2 emissions, while fostering healthy local economies.

Reducing inequalities

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

Our collective work is designed to contribute to a fairer and more equitable economy in Europe and around the world. One way we do this is via investment funds that promote inclusive finance, targeting small and medium-sized businesses in emerging markets. We also aim to be a reference point for values-based banking, working alongside partners in networks like the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), to promote and help deliver a fairer, more equitable society.

We have a comprehensive approach to inequality which includes financing groups in risk of social exclusion. We have, for instance, doubled our lending to migrant integration projects in 2018.

This work also translates into loans to businesses and organisations that serve and employ people with disabilities or who are otherwise at risk of exclusion. We actively finance refugees through a number of initiatives across Europe.

We finance WhatsCine, in Spain, a company that has developed pioneering technology to provide access to cinema and television for people with audiovisual disabilities in an inclusive way. In The Netherlands we finance ‘Specialisterren’ enabling people with autism to excel as software testers.

In Belgium we finance ‘65 degrés’ an inclusive fine-dining restaurant providing high-quality food in Brussels, while integrating and training people with learning disabilities in its workforce.

Sustainable cities and communities

Relevant targets: 11.1 …access for all to …affordable housing
11.4 …protect and safeguard the world’s cultural …heritage
11.7 by 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older people and people with disabilities

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

We do not finance unsustainable housing and have a proactive policy to finance social and sustainable housing as well as arts and culture projects.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Around 5.6% of our lending is in social and co-housing providing affordable homes for often excluded groups, including housing associations across Europe.

We also renovate and refurbish culturally significant buildings and monuments, like Amsterdam’s Stadsherstel, or converting the former Savoy cinema in London into the Hackney Arts Centre. The historic Republiek building in Bruges, and Hansa House in Belgium are other notable examples.

We also directly finance ‘smart city’ projects to build more sustainable cities. One example is the Skypark Hotel in Berlin. This innovative project uses neglected parking levels on top of houses to build useful space – in this case, a hotel. The project is constructed from modular, reusable wooden containers.

In the UK we financed the North Camden Housing Co-operative in London helping to complete redevelopment of apartments to the passive house retrofit standard.

In France, we finance homes for elderly people, in or close to city centres operated by values-driven experts in elderly care. These homes promote the well-being of vulnerable people, integrate them in the life of the city and prolong independent living.

The Spanish Triodos Foundation renewed and extended its Organic Educational Gardens project in 2018 (see SDG 4) to include the concept of Social Agriculture. A crowdfunding and blog platform fosters greater contact between the urban population and nature, as well as between rural and urban areas.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We can contribute most powerfully by financing scalable, inspirational projects that change the perspective of the housing and arts and culture industries. These projects show that social, environmental and cultural objectives can and should be integrated in developing sustainable housing for the whole community.

We can also respond to urgent challenges in society. For example, refugees with the legal status to stay in The Netherlands for five years can now access a mortgage via a special product developed with the Triodos Foundation and a partner (see also SDG 17).

We also focus on rural communities by supporting alternative finance for local renewable energy developments, such as Coigach Community CIC, a community interest company raising money via our UK crowdfunding platform to own and operate a 500-kW wind turbine in the Highlands of Scotland.

We can also work with partners to advise on how best to attract and apply finance for sustainable infrastructure projects in cities.

Responsible consumption and production

Relevant targets: 12.2 sustainable management …of natural resources
12.5 reduce waste generation
12.6 encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Our products and services (see qualitative elements in the GABV scorecard) have responsible consumption ‘built in’.

We positively look to finance companies focused on reducing waste generation, and promoting reuse and recycling. We also encourage listed companies to act more sustainably, and actively promote responsible consumption.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

The efficient use of natural resources is at the heart of much of our finance. We only finance organic agriculture projects, for example, and proactively look to finance businesses operating in the circular economy. The farms we finance in Europe, produced the equivalent of 32 million organic meals in 2018. As well as direct lending we have an Organic Growth Fund (EUR 55 million), which invests in mature, independent, sustainable consumer businesses.

We proactively finance waste reduction and recycling businesses, including a number of zero-packaging shops in Belgium.

Through Triodos Investment Management’s Research department, we engage with large companies, including front-runners such as Wessanen, encouraging them to improve their sustainable practices, including by voting as an investor through Triodos Bank’s Socially Responsible Investment funds (EUR 1,481 million).

In Spain in 2018, we financed Ecoalf Recycled Fabrics, a new fashion/lifestyle brand that creates clothing and accessories made entirely from recycled materials. The brand does not compromise on quality and design using innovative materials, including fabric made from fishing nets.

In France, we financed the first plant of Elixir project that aims to reduce both social inclusion and waste. It produces soups and juices under the brand ‘Sains & Saufs’ made of food waste and prepared by people with disabilities.

We have adopted sustainable practices as an integrated element of our business from the start. And integrate sustainability into our reporting cycle as a logical consequence of this focus.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

Through events, articles and public affairs activity we aim to promote an integrated view that responsible consumption and production is closely connected to a better quality of life.

Climate action

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

While most of the specific SDG 13 targets do not relate directly to Triodos Bank’s activity, much of our direct loans and investments’ finance aims to combat climate change, particularly through finance of the sustainable energy sector, which contributed to generating green energy equivalent to the electricity needs of 2.5 million households worldwide and avoiding 2.9 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2018.

All of our finance aims to integrate environmental concerns, with social, cultural and economic considerations. We enable individuals and businesses to act to combat climate change through our products and services, including green mortgages that incentivise more sustainable homes and personal loans for spending on sustainable products, such as solar panels. And we participate in public initiatives, and partner with others such as ECODES in Spain, to raise awareness about climate change and action to combat it. During 2018 Triodos Bank Spain promoted ‘Reduce your emissions’, a new online platform to promote contracting green energy, installing solar energy or compensating CO2 with specialised partners.

Life below water

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

Our finance in the organic sector aims to reduce marine pollution by focusing on soil quality and water conservation and health.

As well as sustainable fishing projects, we have financed customers such as Fundación Lonxanet in Spain, who are committed to research, conservation and public awareness about the environmental importance of underwater life and coastal ecosystems. During 2018, Triodos Bank’s crowdfunding platform raised finance for Fishtek Marine, an innovative company using new technology to help stop marine creatures becoming tangled in fishing nets.

Life on land

Relevant target: 15.5 …halt the loss of biodiversity

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Our policy is not to finance any projects that degrade natural habitats or diminish biodiversity.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

As described above we finance organic agriculture, as well as conservation organisations, which see agriculture as part of a natural system which encourages greater biodiversity, rather than one of extraction.

Around 3.8% of our loans were in this sector during 2018. They include organisations like the Organic Trade Board in the UK that runs marketing campaigns to promote organic food and agriculture. And Riverford Organic Farmers, a leading UK organic ‘veg box’ distributor taking the company into employee ownership.

To combat soil pollution and urban sprawl on agricultural lands, we have financed several projects of Ginkgo and Brownfields in France. These organisations specialise in rehabilitating abandoned and polluted urban areas. In The Netherlands we have financed Tjermelan on the island of Terschelling who have created a dark ‘sky park’, an area where light pollution is eliminated so people can enjoy the darkness overnight.

We actively engage on issues that relate to sustainable investing on the stock market via our research team, on topics such as palm oil, tin mining, commodity scarcity, and conflict minerals.

We partner with organisations such as WWF and Greenpeace, in some of the countries where we are active and attract donations for their activities through the Triodos Foundation. In addition, we have contributed to Radboud University, in The Netherlands’ research into declining insect populations in protected natural reserves, an issue that prompted widespread international coverage.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We can contribute to systemic change by demonstrating that enterprises that are focused on greater biodiversity offer a financially viable alternative to the dominant extractive system.

We can also develop new, innovative approaches – such as crowdfunding initiatives linked to increasing education about sustainable agriculture in schools – that punch above their weight as powerful examples of what’s possible

Peace, justice and strong institutions

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We believe peaceful and inclusive societies require fair and inclusive economies focused on improving quality of life for all. Our finance is firmly focused on this goal. As well as financing some organisations directly for the promotion of a culture of peace and transparency in public affairs, such as Asociación PASOS and Fundación Ciudadana Civio in Spain, we specifically exclude the weapons industry from all financing activity.

Partnerships for the goals

Relevant target: 17.3 mobilise additional financial resources for developing countries

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

We have an open culture that encourages partnerships to help strengthen sustainable financial institutions and mobilise financial resources in developing countries.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Our aim is to enter sustainable markets early and demonstrate that they are financially viable – as we did with the renewable energy industry, lending to some of Europe’s first wind farms following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Our work in developing countries is delivered principally through Triodos Investment Management, as described above.

Some key partnerships which impact on the SDG goals include B Corp – Triodos Bank was the first European bank to join this initiative of responsible companies – the Sustainable Finance Lab, and the GABV.

We also run affiliate programmes in product partnership. In the UK that includes 27 organisations and charities aligned with our values, such as the Soil Association, Friends of the Earth and Amnesty International.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We can help promote systemic change by partnering with others, such as the Sustainable Finance Lab, B Corp, Global Reporting Initiative, the Global Impact Investing Network and members of the GABV, a network of more than 50 values-based banks across the globe which Triodos co-founded in 2009. The network argues for a more sustainable banking sector as well as strengthening the effectiveness of its individual members.

Examples during 2018 include partnering with banks and voluntary organisations. In Belgium, we partnered with MO*magazine, a Flemish magazine focused on development cooperation, globalisation and international affairs more broadly.

We have also worked with academia to produce the ‘New Pathways’ report and co-created a new methodology to measure the carbon emissions of financial institutions’ loans and investments, described above. We continue collaborating with networks of financial institutions including UNEP FI, PCAF and others on technical standards, and have good working relationship with many NGOs and civil society groups working on the transformation towards a sustainable financial system, including Finance Watch, Share Action and WWF.

We can, and do, partner selectively with individual thought-leaders and academic organisations to promote a growth-agnostic, sustainable economy that’s fit for the 21st century.