Triodos Bank

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Triodos Bank N.V.
Public, not listed
Industry Financial services
Founded 1980
Headquarters Zeist, Netherlands
Key people
Peter Blom, CEO
Products Sustainable banking
Revenue 211.6 million (2015)[1]
€40.7 million (2015)[1]
AUM €12.298 billion (2015)[1]
Number of employees
1,121 (2015)[1]
Slogan --
Website www.triodos.com
Triodos bank in Zeist, Netherlands

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-way approach" (people, planet, profit). Triodos Bank's balance sheet was worth EUR 5.3 billion by the end of 2012.[2] It is influenced by the anthroposophical movement.[3]

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.[4]

In 1980 Triodos launched the first "green fund", a fund for environmentally friendly projects, on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.[5] 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.[6] The bank compensates 100% of its own CO2 emissions.[7]

Triodos took over the British ethical bank Mercury Provident in 1994.[8] As of the end of 2012, Triodos Bank had more than 437,000 customers.[2] About half of these are in the Netherlands, and a quarter in Spain.[9]

The bank was founded as an anthroposophical initiative.[10] The bank's statutes were committed to anthroposophical principles until 1999, but in later years, the bank has broadened its appeal.

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.

Policy[edit]

Positive Screening[edit]

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").[11] 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.

Negative Screening[edit]

"[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 and environmentally hazardous substances"[12]

Transparency[edit]

Triodos "publish details of every organisation [they] lend to, and invest in"[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Triodos Bank Annual Report 2015". Triodos Bank. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Triodos Bank Annual Report 2012". Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  3. ^ https://www.triodos.com/downloads/about-triodos-bank/corporate-governance/articles-of-association-2013.pdf
  4. ^ "Guide to savings accounts". February 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  5. ^ Visscher, Marco (Jan–Feb 2006). "Banking on Change". Odemagazine.com. 
  6. ^ "Green campaigner sees red over those eco-unfriendly big banks". The Guardian. London. 2007-07-07. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  7. ^ "Triodos Bank Annual Report 2012: Key Figures". Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  8. ^ Paul Gosling, "Ethical banks to merge", The Independent, 30 January 1994
  9. ^ "Interview with Matthijs Bierman". VARA Radio. February 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Articles of Association of Triodos Bank N.V." (PDF). Triodos Bank. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Haurant, Sandra (2004-03-04). "Put your money where your mouth is". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  12. ^ https://www.triodos.co.uk/downloads/our-approach-to-lending.pdf
  13. ^ "Why we're different: 100% transparent". www.triodos.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-15. 

External links[edit]