Environment

Renewable energy

Triodos Bank and its investment funds, offered via Triodos Investment Management, finance and co-finance enterprises that increase the use of renewable resources in particular and supports projects that reduce the demand for energy and promote energy efficiency.

It’s important to note that we include an attribution approach in our carbon disclosures. This means that we calculate avoided emissions as they relate to the proportion of our finance in a project. For example, if we are responsible for half of a project’s finance, we report half of the avoided emissions generated by that project. This attribution approach is a more accurate reflection of Triodos Bank’s responsibility for the greenhouse gas emissions of the projects it finances and is consistent with the PCAF methodology.

By the end of 2019, Triodos Bank and its climate and energy investment funds were financing 504 projects in the energy sector. This included 26 energy efficiency projects, 40 sustainable power projects in a construction phase and another 438 sustainable power generating projects (2018: 451).

These renewable energy projects avoided about 0.9 million tonnes CO2 (2018: 0.9 million tonnes) that can be attributed to Triodos Bank’s financing.

The total generating capacity of these projects was 3,900 MW (2018: 3,800 MW), producing the equivalent of the electricity needs of 4.6 million households worldwide (2018: 2.5 million) or 0.7 million based on an attribution approach. This years’ increase in total number of households is due to new, large renewable energy investments in emerging markets where the average electricity consumption per household is significantly lower than in Europe.

The 504 projects include 215 wind power projects, 224 solar photovoltaic projects, and 33 hydro projects. The rest include heat and cold storage, biomass and a diverse range of energy efficiency initiatives.

Organic farming and nature development

The organically managed land on the farms which Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management financed in 2019 could produce the equivalent of 31 million meals in 2019, or enough food to provide a sustainable diet for approximately 28,000 people (2018: 29,000). Together they financed approximately 34,000 hectares of organic farmland across Europe. This means one football-pitch sized piece of farmland for every 13 customers, each one producing enough for 550 meals per year.

We also financed 31,000 hectares of nature and conservation land (2018: 30,000 hectares), representing around 400m2 of nature and conservation land per customer. This land is important for the sequestration or absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere.

In 2019 over 98,000 smallholder farmers (2018: 104,000) in 9 emerging market countries worldwide were paid directly and fairly upon delivery of their harvest, as a result of the trade finance that Triodos Investment Management funds provides to farmers’ cooperatives and agribusiness. These farmers’ harvest that is brought to international markets, consists of 10 different fair trade and organic products, such as cocoa, coffee, rice and quinoa. In 2019 the clients of the funds had 64,000 hectares of certified organic farmland under cultivation (2018: 56,000). An additional 6,000 (2018: 24,000) hectares was in conversion – an important number because it takes time before conventional farmland is ready to be certified organic.

Sustainable property and private sustainable mortgages

As well as offering green mortgages that incentivise households to reduce their carbon footprint, Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management finance new building developments and renovation projects for properties to reach high sustainability standards. In 2019 Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management financed directly, and via sustainable property, approximately 13,700 homes and apartments (2018: 11,800) and about 480 commercial properties (2018: 440) comprising approximately 921,000m2 for office and other commercial space (2018: 717,000m2) and about 1,022,000m2 of buildings and brownfield sites (2018: 226,000m2). Increased financing of land for building is primarily from The Netherlands.

Social

Health care

As a result of its finance across Europe around 43,000 individuals (2018: 41,000) were residents of facilities at 516 elderly care homes financed by Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management in 2019, representing the equivalent of 21 days of care per Triodos Bank customer.

Community projects and social housing

In 2019 Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management financed 600 community projects (2018: 525), and 204 social housing projects, which directly and indirectly provide accommodation for approximately 58,000 people (2018: 56,000).

Financial inclusion

At year-end 2019, Triodos Investment Management’s specialised emerging markets funds provided finance to 109 financial institutions working for inclusive finance in 45 countries. These values-based institutions vary from very small NGOs working in underdeveloped markets to fully-fledged banks that offer a wide range of products and provide access to fair and transparent financial services for people and small businesses.

Together these organisations reached approximately 19.2 million individuals saving for their future (2018: 11.1 million). The substantial increase in the number of savers is due to the combined effect of existing institutions growing their savers’ base, as well as institutions that started reporting for the first time in 2019 using the new online investee portal.

Also, 19.1 million borrowers were reached who borrow to start or expand their business, generate income, and better manage their daily lives (2018: 19.2 million). Of these loan clients, 75% are female. Women are often in disadvantaged positions in many developing countries. Giving women the freedom to manage their income and to provide for their families empowers their position.

Culture

Arts and culture

As a result of its lending and investments activity to cultural institutions across Europe, Triodos Bank helped make it possible for 25.8 million visitors (2018: 22.6 million) to enjoy cultural events during 2019 including cinemas, theatres and museums. This represents the equivalent of 35 cultural experiences per Triodos Bank customer.

Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management finance also helped approximately 3,600 artists and creative companies active in the cultural sector (2018: 3,300). Theatre, music and dance productions from creative companies were attended by 1.7 million people (2018: 1.2 million). New productions from the film and media sector financed by Triodos Bank (most importantly in Spain) were seen by approximately 9 million people (2018: 13 million).

Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management also financed organisations that provided 4,600 affordable spaces for cultural activities such as workshops and music courses (2018: 4,000).

Education

Approximately 660,000 individuals benefited from the work of 380 education initiatives financed by Triodos Bank in 2019 (2018: 680,000). For every Triodos Bank customer, the equivalent of almost 1 person was able to learn and grow because of education provided by an establishment we financed.