In 2010, gas consumption per co-worker increased by 55% and stayed the same per office cubic metre (m3), compared to 2009. Electricity consumption increased by 5% per co-worker. Electricity consumption per square metre (m2) decreased, by 2%. Electricity use relates more closely to individual consumption, via computers for example. Gas usage relates more to the energy consumption of a whole building. Gas consumption per co-worker increased because the Netherlands Branch moved to a hired building which uses gas for its heating.
The offices in The Netherlands, UK, Belgium and Germany buy electricity from green energy suppliers. This year the Spanish branch changed to green electricity suppliers. From September 2010 94% of its office space was served by green electricity. The remaining 6% will change in the first quarter of 2011.
The branches use public transport for travel whenever possible, but when travel by car is essential Triodos Bank buys company cars with a high environmental performance. In addition, the Dutch and headquarters offices bought an electric car for essential journeys of up to 70kms. The number of kilometres travelled by air per fte increased by 3% in 2010.
The total commuting distance travelled by each co-worker decreased by 5.5% in 2010. Travel by car also decreased, by more then 9%. 38% of the total commuting distance made by Triodos Bank co-workers was travelled using public transport, compared to 35% in 2009. Triodos Bank’s policy is to encourage co-workers to travel to and from work using the most environmentally-friendly option. In the UK co-worker's cycle and walks to work amounted to almost one and a half journeys around the world, or 55,688kms, during 2010. While in Germany the office has a bike-purchasing scheme and meets the costs of bicycle insurance and repairs. A scheme encouraging co-workers who don't currently cycle to work to trial an electronic bike was launched during the year in the Dutch branch and headquarters office.
Where possible, Triodos Bank uses recycled paper and environmentally sound printing processes and materials, such as waterless offsetting and vegetable inks. In 2010, 4% more paper per co-worker was consumed than in 2009. This is partly due to servicing increasing customer numbers. Triodos Bank encourages its customers to communicate with it in an environmentally-friendly way (by telephone, e-mail or the internet); expanding its online product offering, and improving the efficiency of opening accounts online, are just two examples.
The UK branch, for example, has proactively increased the proportion of personal customers who have chosen to receive correspondence electronically, from 5,000 to nearly 8,500 individuals. This will lead to a significant reduction in the amount of paper used to inform customers of changes to their accounts.
Triodos Bank's efforts were recognized during the year. Triodos Bank Spain was awarded the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) International Partner Awards 2010, for being the only financial institution that prints alls its stationery and corporate publications on FSC paper, as well as using FSC furniture and paper in all its offices.
Triodos Bank does not lend to, or invest in, land in regions with high biodiversity, because it recognises that, through the indirect impact of its investments and loans, it could unintentionally damage the world’s biodiversity. For this reason, Triodos Bank has lending criteria for companies operating in sectors with a high risk of negative effects on biodiversity. This approach ensures businesses have a policy to identify these risks and act to deal with problems when they occur.
At the same time Triodos Bank focuses on financing enterprises that protect and encourage biodiversity.
Triodos Bank monitors the waste collection process very carefully, separately collecting glass, paper, plastics, food and garden waste. It also encourages proactive recycling. The Belgian branch brought in an external company to highlight the benefits and practice of effective recycling during the year, for example.
Triodos Bank monitors water consumption very closely, and uses it as sparingly as possible. In Belgium. for example, the branch switched their drinking water supply from delivered bottles to a connection with the mains supply. The head office in The Netherlands uses groundwater to heat and cool the building, and rainwater to flush its toilets.