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Education – Header image (photo)


Impact measures

187,500 individuals benefited from the work of educational establishments financed by Triodos Bank in 2013 (2012: 65,800), primarily as a result of growth in this sector in Spain. So for every three Triodos Bank customers, there was one person receiving education through an establishment we financed.

Education – Impact measures (graphic)


We define educational establishments as ‘institutions dedicated to education’ e.g. schools, training centres etc. Child Care centres are only included when the majority of their activity is educational.

The number of individuals educated is either based on actual figures for number of people who attended courses, schools etc. provided by the institution we finance. Or, if that data is not available, the average number of people who attend a course during the year, multiplied by the number of courses they put on.

We measured at least 80% of the education portfolio and extrapolated the data.

The ‘Impact per customer’ calculations used throughout the annual report are made on the basis of the average deposit per customer across its five branches. This is then matched with the same proportion of Triodos Bank’s total impact in a given sector. There were a total of 517,000 customers at the end of 2013.

Our vision and activities

Education lending

Percentage of our loans to the education sector

Education – 3.2% of our loans to the education sector (pie chart)

Lending by subsector

Education – Lending by subsector (pie chart)
% derived from data at the time of publication

Our vision on education

We believe that education brings huge benefits to the individual in terms of personal development and well-being – and to society in terms of economic development and social cohesion.

Diverse Education. Singular Benefits.

Because Triodos Bank believes in improving quality of life across the social spectrum, it argues that it is important that the education system is sufficiently diverse and inclusive to cater to the needs of all individuals no matter what their abilities.

Some educational establishments practicing progressive education concepts, or those working with individuals with special needs, require financial support other than government funding. We aim to contribute to maintaining and nurturing this diversity within the education system – to produce positive impact for individuals, their families and society.

Our priorities

Early childhood is a particularly important stage in personal and social development so we finance many schools and kindergartens whose philosophy particularly focus on a child-centred approach that brings creativity into the child’s curriculum.

We also finance education establishments for those with special needs and adult and community education projects.

Our activities

Triodos Bank provides finance for educational establishments which aim to complement national education systems by integrating progressive approaches to working with individuals with a greater range of needs.

Case study


Education – Case study Parzivâl-Schule (photo)

Triodos Bank has a vision of a diverse, tolerant and inclusive educational system that supports the needs and abilities of the individual, be it children, adolescents or adults.

In financing private schools in Germany, the focus has so far been on Waldorf (Steiner) schools. Inclusion has always been offered by Waldorf schools, even before it became a legal requirement. Nevertheless, there are also a limited number of Waldorf schools in Germany focusing exclusively on children with learning disabilities. They cater to the needs of children and their parents who feel that neither a conventional Waldorf school nor a state school for children with learning disabilities are the right solution for them.

Challenging finance

Financing private schools in Germany is legally complex because education is subject to federal state law. This means that each federal state has its own regulatory framework for private schools, and as such also for corresponding subsidies.

Financing Waldorf schools is particularly challenging as they belong to non-profit parent associations or cooperatives with complex governance structures and a substantial amount of volunteering involved in delivering their services.

Triodos Bank tries to manage these complexities through its expertise, scrutiny in the loan approval process, personal visits and contacts as well as by using and building on the relations to the umbrella organisations of the different types of private schools.

Unique concept

Triodos Bank financed the acquisition of premises for the new school building complex of the Parzivâl-Schule , including a curative education day care center, Michael-Haus. The premises comprise 2.900 m² and are situated in inner-city Munich. The Parzivâl-Schule is a state approved, private school offering special tuition. Since its foundation in 1996, the school has operated according to the principles of Waldorf Education.

The concept of the Parzivâl-Schule is unique in Bavaria. The school is positioned between regular schools and schools for children with special-needs and is responsible for around 120 people.

At the Parzivâl-Schule, the children’s needs and learning difficulties are diverse. Some may have been born prematurely, others may have an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The school believes exercise, rhythm and music are important in supporting the children’s learning process. For instance, teachers exercise multiplication-tables with their pupils with the help of rhythm: either by using musical instruments or rhythmic clapping and running.

Financing in turbulent times

Triodos Bank financed the acquisition of premises for the new school building complex, including its organically certified canteen, the new main school building and the curative education day care centre.

Before the school moved into the new building, it was temporarily housed in a former barracks in the northern area of Munich for a period of seven yearswhile the original school building was demolished. Only one year after starting building in 2011, the school opened just in time for the beginning of the new school year – despite turbulent times.

“A construction needs substance and this substance was given to it by the participants”

said Daintith in her speech, thanking the government of Upper Bavaria and Triodos Bank for their financial support.

Munitions from World War II were found in the ground, delaying construction for two months. At the same time a temporary reduction in public subsidies hit the organisation. Despite this, Triodos Bank continued to provide the school with the finance it needed.

On June 28th, 2013, Nicky Daintith, chairwoman of the parents’ council, expressed her joy and gratitude at the inauguration of the new building.

Looking ahead

The Parzivâl-Schule is now planning the second stage of construction, which is scheduled to finish in May 2016, which Triodos Bank will also finance.

Triodos Bank in Germany has financed two Waldorf schools focusing on children with learning disabilities, increasing its profile in this sector and providing the potential to impact further in the sector in Munich and Upper Bavaria.


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