Triodos Bank N.V. is a bank based in the Netherlands with branches in Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom and Spain. It claims to be a pioneer in ethical banking. Triodos Bank finances companies which it thinks add cultural value and benefit both people and the environment.
That includes companies in the fields of solar energy, organic farming or culture. The name Triodos is derived from the Greek “τρὶ ὁδος – tri hodos,” meaning “three roads” (people, planet, profit). Triodos Bank’s balance sheet was worth EUR 5.3 billion by the end of 2012. The bank was founded as an anthroposophical initiative and continues to honor the work of Rudolf Steiner as the inspiration for its approach to banking.
Savers can open conventional savings accounts, as well as ethical funds and venture capital. Triodos also has an active international department, supporting microfinance initiatives across the developing world. Triodos is the only commercial bank in the UK to provide an annual list of all the loans the bank has made.
In 1980 Triodos launched the first “green fund”, a fund for environmentally friendly projects, on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.Friends of the Earth in the Netherlands claims that transferring 10,000 euros in savings from a “climate laggard” such as ABN Amro to Triodos will effectively result in a carbon dioxide emissions saving equivalent to what would be achieved by not driving a car for six months. The bank compensates 100% of its own CO2 emissions.
Triodos took over the British ethical bank Mercury Provident in 1994.
As of 2018, Triodos Bank has 700.000 customers worldwide.
The bank operations and customer relations are mainly based on the web, but adapt to local customs. In Spain, for example, physical offices are preferred by the clients and therefore several commercial offices have been opened in the major towns.
Triodos Bank maintains the following policy concerning the financial activities and investments:
Criteria for lending
Triodos is unusual in that it only lends to businesses and charities judged to be of social or ecological benefit. This “positive screening” extends its policies beyond those of ethical banks which solely avoid investing in companies judged to be doing harm (“negative screening”). The bank uses money deposited by close to 100,000 savers and lends it to hundreds of organisations, such as fair trade initiatives, organic farms, cultural and arts initiatives, renewable energy projects, and social enterprises.
“[Triodos] does not lend to organisations, businesses and projects that are directly involved for more than 5% of its activities in non-sustainable products and services or non-sustainable working processes. Triodos Bank will however, to the best of its knowledge, exclude all organisations, businesses and activities that produce or distribute nuclear energy, weapons, fur, pornography and environmentally hazardous substances”
Triodos “publish details of every organisation [they] lend to, and invest in”. The bank displays its annual report online for loans and funds entrusted, which highlights key Triodos Bank facts and figures.
- ^ Jump up to:ab c d “Triodos Bank Annual Report 2018”. Triodos Bank. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
- ^“Triodos Bank Annual Report 2012”. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
- ^Triodos Bank, Articles of Association 2017
- ^“Guide to savings accounts”. February 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- ^Visscher, Marco (Jan–Feb 2006). “Banking on Change”. Odemagazine.com. Archived from the original on 2008-10-15.
- ^“Green campaigner sees red over those eco-unfriendly big banks”. The Guardian. London. 2007-07-07. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- ^“Triodos Bank Annual Report 2012: Key Figures”. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
- ^Paul Gosling, “Ethical banks to merge”, The Independent, 30 January 1994
- ^“Over Triodos Bank” (in Dutch). November 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
- ^“Lending Strategy of Triodos”.
- ^“Fair Finance Guide on Triodos (Belgium)”.
- ^ Jump up to:ab “Fair Finance Guide Netherlands on Triodos”.
- ^“Fair Finance Guide Germany on Triodos”.
- ^Haurant, Sandra (2004-03-04). “Put your money where your mouth is”. The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- ^“Triodos Bank named ‘Sustainable Bank of the Year’ by Financial Times (2009)”.
- ^“Why we’re different: 100% transparent”. www.triodos.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
- ^“Key Figures”. www.triodos.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-03-23.