Triodos Bank’s Executive Board provides a perspective on the wider world it operates in, its impact and activity in 2016 and its prospects for the future.
The Impact of Finance from Triodos Bank
Triodos Bank wants to report on the wider social, cultural and environmental impact of its finance. We aim to be a leader in impact-driven reporting in the financial industry.
Our focus is on managing and communicating impact in ways that improve people’s quality of life. In 2017 we will begin a long-term project to manage impact even more proactively in the business and further improve how we report and communicate this impact. This Group-wide effort will include two initiatives which began in 2016. The Platform for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) was launched at the Paris Climate Conference in 2015. It aims to find a common, open source methodology to account for the carbon footprint of financial institution’s loans and investments. Triodos Bank participated in it during 2016 and a final report and recommendations are expected at the year-end 2017.
Triodos Bank also participated in a pilot with a number of partners that aims to create a True Cost Dashboard for Finance, Food and Farming. The project aims to describe the real costs of a food business so investors and other stakeholders can make informed decisions based on the real cost of a particular business. Results from this work are due during 2017.
Triodos Investment Management also launched a project during the year to manage and communicate its impact and that of its investments more effectively, including the publication of an Inclusive Finance Impact Report. All of this work will be combined under a Group-wide effort to further improve how Triodos Bank understands, applies and monitors its impact in 2017 and future years.
Triodos Bank has worked actively with partners in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) to develop a sustainable banking scorecard, which aims to show stakeholders how sustainable a bank is. Triodos is the only bank to publish the scorecard in full. In 2017 a group of GABV members will publish their scorecards on a shared website to enable better learning inside the member banks and opportunities to deepen an understanding of these sustainable banks' impact for stakeholders outside them.
The impact data included in the Executive Board chapter is in scope of the review procedures performed by the independent external auditor. Doing so is a logical extension of the auditing of our financial figures, as an integrated business that has sustainability at the core of its financial activity.
The impact data, which is reported by all branches and Triodos Investment Management where possible, is based on a number of assumptions explained in detail in the impact chapter in the online annual report. In general the full impact of a project is counted when Triodos Bank has financed it, either wholly or in part. When there is some uncertainty about an impact figure relating to a project, we take a conservative approach to estimates including, on occasion, excluding figures altogether.
This data serves as an indication of the non-financial impact of the enterprises that Triodos Bank finances. While numbers alone can only tell a limited story, they do provide quantitative details of the impact of Triodos Bank’s mission in practice.
Please view the online impact chapter providing more detail on the impact of Triodos Bank and its finance, including the methodology used to produce the impact data recorded.
Triodos Bank and its investment funds, offered via Triodos Investment Management, finances enterprises that augment the use of renewable resources in particular and supports projects that reduce the demand for energy and promote energy efficiency. By the end of 2016, Triodos Bank and its climate and energy investment funds were financing 381 projects (2015: 358), contributing to a generating capacity of 2,400 MW of energy (2015: 2,100 MW). During the year these projects avoided 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, while generating green energy equivalent to the electricity needs of 1.2 million European households (2015: 1 million).
Organic farming and nature development
The organically managed land on the farms which Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management financed in 2016 could produce the equivalent of 32 million meals in 2016, or enough food to provide a sustainable diet for approximately 29,000 people (2015: 30,700). Together they financed approximately 33,000 hectares of organic farmland across Europe. This means one football-pitch sized piece of farmland for every 12 customers, each one producing enough for 580 meals per year.
We also financed 28,000 hectares of nature and conservation land, representing around 400m2 of nature and conservation land per customer.
Sustainable property and private sustainable mortgages
As well as offering green mortgages that incentive households to reduce their carbon footprint, Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management finance new building developments and renovation projects for properties to reach high sustainability standards.
In 2016 Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management financed directly, and via sustainable property, approximately 7,200 homes and apartments (2015: 4,500) and about 310 commercial properties (2015: 310) comprising approximately 460,000m2 of office and other commercial space. Triodos Bank also financed about 27,000m2 of buildings and brownfield sites.
As a result of its lending across Europe around 35,000 individuals (2015: 25,000) used facilities at 422 elderly care homes financed by Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management in 2016, representing the equivalent of 19 days of care per Triodos Bank customer.
Community projects and social housing
In 2016 Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management financed 437 community projects (2015: 316), and 183 social housing projects, which directly and indirectly provide accommodation for approximately 67,000 people (2015: 12,400).
Triodos Investment Management’s specialised emerging markets funds provided finance to 100 financial institutions working for inclusive finance in 44 countries (2015: 45). These organisations reached approximately 13.7 million individuals saving for their future (2015: 10.2 million) and 20.2 million customers borrowing for a better quality of life (2015: 15.5 million).
Arts and culture
During 2016 Triodos
Bank finance helped
make it possible for
13.7 million visitors to
enjoy cultural events.
During 2016 Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management finance helped make it possible for 13.7 million visitors (2015: 14.3 million) to enjoy cultural events including cinema, theatres and museums across Europe, as a result of its lending and investments activity to cultural institutions. This means that there were the equivalent of 21 cultural experiences per Triodos Bank customer.
Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management finance helped approximately 3,100 artists and creative companies active in the cultural sector (2015: 3,000) as well as financing a number of organisations providing affordable spaces for cultural activities such as workshops, attracting around 90,000 people. New productions in 2016 from the film and media sector financed by Triodos Bank in Spain were seen by over 9.7 million people.
Approximately 2.0 million individuals benefited from the work of education initiatives financed by Triodos Bank in 2016 (2015: 986,000). So for every Triodos Bank customer, the equivalent of 3 people were able to learn and grow because of education provided by an establishment we financed.