Triodos Bank has always been about getting things done. As a small bank with big impact ambitions, we want to bring sustainability closer to people’s day to day needs, which means growing ourselves and influencing more of the world around us.
However while orthodox thinking has suggested big problems need big organisations to solve them, there’s increasing evidence that smaller organisations are better placed to deal with today’s urgent social, environmental and cultural challenges. Increasingly jobs are created from small and medium-sized enterprise, for example, rather than the dominant international corporates of the past. In many ways ‘small has become the new big’. We intend to play our part as a bank, working with networks of other similarly sized, values-focused institutions.
Our work in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values is an example of what this means in practice. In 2010 this network of the world’s leading sustainable banks, which Triodos Bank co-founded in 2009, expanded and announced a commitment to touch the lives of a billion people by 2020. Because smaller organisations, acting together, have the potential to deliver on the scale our challenges demand.
This work is urgent; from increasing evidence of social change, and the pressure it brings on communities and individuals, to the ever more obvious impact of climate change. The latter has moved beyond technical debate about whether climate change is happening, or not, to how we adapt to it. We want Triodos Bank, and its partners, to play a central role financing grounded solutions to these problems. We want to do this directly, through our work in Europe and in emerging markets around the world, and by positively influencing others around us. We hope this report – which we are producing online for the first time to provide you with more meaningful information in a more environmentally-friendly way – provides you with a compelling picture of how we went about this in 2010.