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Sustainable property – Header image (photo)

Sustainable property

Impact measures

Triodos finances 724 eco-houses and about 100 commercial properties of comprising approximately 100,000m2 of office space – enough for around 5,000 people.

We also finance 1,065 hectares of nature/conservation land. That’s around 20m2 of nature/conservation land for every customer – about the size of a small garden.

Sustainable property – Impact measures (graphic)


In our calculations, we have assumed an average floor space per office worker of 20m2.

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

Sustainable property lending

Percentage of our loans to the sustainable property sector

Sustainable property – 9.3% of our loans to the sustainable property sector (pie chart)

Lending by subsector

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

Our vision on sustainable property

Buildings currently consume 40% of all energy that is produced in the EU and contribute a similar proportion of Europe’s carbon emissions. If we are to make the transition to a genuinely sustainable economy, we need to address how we build and maintain buildings.

High-tech sustainable developments

Technologies and techniques are available to build new properties using sustainable materials and design. These buildings consume much lower amounts of energy and emit less carbon, making a major impact on a traditionally highly carbon inefficient industry. This presents an exciting opportunity for Triodos Bank to be part of building the future.

Preserving the old, updating the new

The majority of buildings around us today are still likely to be here in 50 years’ time and many historic buildings will continue to be preserved for the cultural role that they play.

For existing properties, renovation and retrofitting projects can dramatically improve the sustainability of a building – including insulation measures, low-energy lighting and heating, advanced control systems and low-energy appliances. The way in which a property is used also plays a huge role in its overall impact; for example, the degree to which an office building is kept fully occupied and uses telecommunication technology such as videoconferencing to reduce business travel.

Our activities

Triodos Bank finances new building developments for properties to the highest sustainability standards. We also finance the renovation or redevelopment of existing properties so that they become more energy efficient.

A sustainable roof over your head

Some branches also provide mortgages to private individuals, in particular incentivising high sustainability standards and support those seeking to improve the sustainability rating of their home.

Case study

Nelson Canal

Sustainable property – Case study Nelson Canal (photo)

In Belgium, buildings tend to be older and consume more energy than the European average. This creates a huge opportunity for renovation and regeneration by integrating the latest methods of energy conservation and efficiency. Sustainable building is still a developing sector in Belgium, where most buildings are old and largely energy inefficient.

At the same time regulation concerning energy efficiency in new buildings is becoming increasingly strict as a result of the European goal to make passive building the norm by 2020.

"The complex has become part of the city again and will revive the neighbourhood.”

Jean-Paul Pütz from Nelson Canal

Ambitious conversions

Nelson Canal is a group of three Belgian private investors and Municipality of Molenbeek who, in 2009, bought the historic Belle-Vue brewery near the centre of Brussels from the InBev Belgium Group.

Nelson Canal renovated a deserted building that once was a brewery and converted it into a low-energy hotel – the first of its kind in Brussels. It is now run by Meininger Hotels and has more than 150 rooms, at modest prices. The hotel is part of a bigger renovation project of the dilapidated industrial site, situated in a disadvantaged neighbourhood. The project includes a large open square, private passive apartments and a venue for multi-functional use.

Co-financing regeneration

Triodos Bank co-financed the renovation of the brewery together with another Belgian bank. The ambitious plan for the Belle-Vue Hotel was based on a shared desire to put the building to new use and give it a future rooted in the regeneration of this district of the capital.

For the Municipality, it represents an innovative project combining urban regeneration, the effective use of the industrial and historical heritage, much improved energy performance in a model building, socio-professional integration and it projects the image of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean as a tourist destination.

The project has created jobs and the arrival of tourists offers new economic opportunities for the neighbourhood.

Opportunities for a more sustainable real estate sector

Triodos Bank Belgium finances sustainable property, with a strong focus on energy efficiency: passive or zero energy homes and buildings. The use of natural materials and the location of buildings are also taken into account.

The entrepreneurs we finance in the sector of sustainable building each contribute to a more sustainable real estate sector.

A wide range of companies are financed: building companies, project developers, architects, manufacturers of building materials, shops for ecological building materials, co-housing projects and more. We finance residential buildings as well as public or commercial buildings.

We also finance a number of pioneers that set new standards by developing ‘state-of the art’ buildings. Nelson Canal is such an example and shows how the sector can contribute to large-scale urban revitalization.


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