In 2015, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were launched by the United Nations. The SDGs, successors to the Millennium Development Goals, are a universal set of targets and indicators designed to help countries end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda.

SDGs overview (logos)

The goals are principally focused on wide-reaching action by states, business and civil society. And they resonate strongly with Triodos Bank and our essence as a values-based bank that has been working on this agenda since our founding in 1980.

Triodos Bank is clear about the path we want to take to use money consciously as a catalyst for sustainable change. And while we have our own path to take on a journey to a sustainable, low carbon and inclusive future, we welcome a framework that enables us to communicate better with our fellow travellers. The SDGs do just that. They provide powerful language to communicate integrated sustainability goals that are more urgent now than ever.

The SDGs have quickly become an established framework with relevance for businesses, government and civil society alike. The goals play an increasingly important role for wider society and have the potential to be a powerful and positive agent of change in the financial industry. That’s why Triodos Bank was one of 18 Dutch financial institutions to invite the Dutch Government and Central Bank to continue to make a concerted effort to help deliver the SDGs. The initiative was the first in the world to bring national pension funds, insurance companies and banks together around a shared SDG agenda, and included a report recommending priorities to maximise ‘SDG investing’.

Triodos Bank and the SDGs

The goals clearly articulate objectives that must be addressed at a global level. They reflect the importance of a joined up, integrated approach to the multiple challenges we face – an approach that closely reflects our own. But the SDGs, like us all, are not perfect. For example, nurturing personal development, education and inspiration are a core part of Triodos Bank’s mission. We lend to and invest in thousands of projects in the cultural sector as a result. And we continue to believe this cultural aspect is both core to developing a more sustainable society and largely absent from the SDGs.

Triodos Bank is asked to describe its approach to the SDGs by various stakeholders. During the year this included presenting our approach to the SDGs to inspire other companies during a workshop organised by The Shift, the Belgian sustainability network.

This is the fourth year that Triodos Bank will include the SDGs in its reporting. We do this in three distinct ways:

  • Via the mapping exercise that follows in this appendix, including updates where we have made specific progress
  • By linking relevant content throughout the report to specific SDGs
  • By identifying and reporting against several specific targets, which underpin each of the SDGs.

We started by mapping what we do against the SDGs and where our work is directly relevant to an SDG and a specific indicator. While we highlight how we intend to further this work in the future, specific indicators of how this will be achieved are available in other parts of the report – in the strategic objectives section, for example – and not duplicated here.

Where relevant we also highlight SDG targets (e.g. ‘1.5 resilience to external shocks’ below) that underpin each of the goals. We have selected targets that are closest to our activity and aspirations, for readers with a more detailed interest in the specifics of each goal. These targets have been identified, in part, through collaborative work among businesses across sectors, with the support of the Global Reporting Initiative and United Nations Global Compact.

This year, for the first time, we will also include a new set of indicators where they are relevant. They have been developed through a joint effort of representatives from Dutch financial institutions and companies, including Triodos Investment Management. The group is part of the Sustainable Finance Platform, Chaired by the Dutch Central Bank. Together they have tried to identify indicators that help to capture the positive impact of companies produced through their products and services, and not their operations. These are a starting point only and are expected to develop over time.

The table below lists the SDGs and Triodos Bank’s contribution to them against three categories highlighting the depth of involvement in relation to each goal. Where our activity is less core to the SDG in question we describe the work we do in this area and our wider perspective on that goal in one column.

  • Level 1 – Baseline activity to ensure we are not harming these goals
  • Level 2 – Direct activity we take to positively influence them
  • Level 3 – The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change – where Triodos Bank is already, or can in the future, play a catalysing role helping to stimulate the lasting systemic change that the goals demand.

This last point is important because Triodos Bank aims to work with the SDGs to genuinely ‘move the dial’ on the goals. In creating this table, we have considered the spirit behind each goal and its supporting indicators, as well as the text itself, to produce a clear view of how Triodos Bank’s activity maps against them. We hope it helps our stakeholders better understand how our work relates to the SDGs and we welcome your feedback.

No poverty

Relevant UN target: 1.5 resilience to external shocks (for individuals and families)

Sustainable Finance Platform indicator: 
Number of people provided with access to financial services, including microfinance: 38.3 million

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Our policy is to avoid predatory lending and to undertake good due diligence when making decisions about which inclusive finance institutions to invest in.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

We invest in financial institutions working for inclusive finance in emerging markets, so they can serve people to build their assets gradually, develop small and medium-sized enterprises, improve their income earning capacity, create employment and provide a financial cushion for the future. In 2019 we provided inclusive finance for 19.2 million savers and 19.1 million borrowers in emerging markets, via 109 financial institutions. We have pioneered Fair Trade finance including partnering with key players such as Oxfam and Fairtrade Iberica and Fairtrade Belgium.

Triodos Bank has an active role in eradicating urban poverty in Europe, financing organisations devoted to care and social inclusion, such as Emmaus, Blackburn YMCA and 16-25 Independent People in the UK who re-house and provide employment for disadvantaged and homeless people. In The Netherlands we finance Eigen Schuld, a theatre performance about the social problem of poverty. The challenging play is written by young people and performed in school classes.

Co-workers are also involved directly in local initiatives. In Belgium, for example, the Triodos Bank banking entity in Brussels supports a local organisation, Comité de la Samaritaine, to help provide vulnerable people in the local community with access to decent food.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We integrate climate concerns and social issues, by advising financial institutions who specialise in inclusive finance on how to incorporate environmental issues in their business. This makes both the institutions and the entrepreneurs they finance, and their families, more resilient to outside shocks.

Where appropriate we responsibly exit from investments in institutions that build their capacity to the point where they do not need our support anymore, so we can focus again on helping other institutions serving those most in need.

Zero hunger

Relevant target: 2.4 ensure sustainable food production

Sustainable Finance Platform indicator:
Number of people provided with safe, nutritious and sufficient food: 28,000 (this figure excludes the Triodos Organic Growth Fund)

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

We do not finance intensive agriculture and, instead, only and exclusively finances sustainable and organic agriculture.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

We specialise in financing sustainable food production through our lending and investing activity in organic farming and sustainable trade.  

Our investment activity focuses around the Triodos Organic Growth Fund (EUR 42 million) which invests in mature, privately owned, sustainable consumer businesses and on the Triodos Groenfonds (EUR 969 million) that invests in ‘green’ projects including sustainable food and agriculture (EUR 129 million).

We are the financial partner for social organisations delivering services for people struggling to meet their nutritional requirements, in Europe.

For example, in Spain we finance initiatives such as eQuáliment, a specialised application for social organisations to optimise the management of food collection and distribution. (see SDG 1).

In Belgium, we finance Ethiquable Benelux, a cooperative with a social purpose, specialising in Fair Trade and organic products. In partnership with the French company Ethiquable SCOP, the cooperative directly partners with more than 40 cooperatives of small producers from the South, working exclusively on agricultural projects that benefit people living on low incomes. In The Netherlands, we finance Willem & Drees, a company which takes care of the most vulnerable parts of distribution issues of alternative food networks and short food supply chains, as well as regional/local food systems in general.

The Hivos-Triodos Fund finances Ecozen Solutions in India. They provide renewable energy-based products for the agricultural markets in India, mainly solar water pumps and solar-powered cold storage. Through its innovative products, Ecozen minimises food waste and enables up to a 40% increase in income for farmers.

The Triodos Foundation, Triodos’ grant-giving arm, supports the Dutch organisation Urban Greeners and other innovative initiatives that focus on nutrition and biodiversity.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

At a systemic level our finance aims to inspire the financial sector, by showing that sustainable organic and Fair Trade agriculture can be successfully financed in European and emerging markets.

During a Our Future: Fair & Healthy Food conference in the European Parliament, organised by the Green European Foundation, the Belgian banking entity presented Triodos Bank’s vision paper Towards ecologically and socially resilient food and agriculture systems to international experts on food policy.

We also work with others (see also SDG 17) to promote sustainable food production. During 2019, we continued to work with partners to develop ‘true cost accounting’ for finance, food and farming, for example.

Good health and well-being for people

Relevant target: 3.5 drugs and substance abuse

Sustainable Finance Platform indicator:
Number of people reached with improved health care: 43,000 (this figure relates to the people benefiting from elderly care homes financed by Triodos Bank)

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

We only finance health care providers with a human-centred approach to care, ensuring health and well-being, particularly for the elderly, people with learning and physical disabilities and other disadvantaged groups such as those recovering from drugs and substance abuse.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

We lend to large numbers of health care organisations whose emphasis is on quality of care, including clinics specialising in addiction treatment. Approximately 13.5% of our lending is in the health sector.

In Belgium we finance Médecins du Monde: an NGO specialising in international medical aid. It provides medical assistance to vulnerable populations all over the world, including in Belgium. The organisation cares for victims of natural disasters, epidemics and armed conflicts, refugees, minorities, abandoned children and people without access to healthcare. Medical care is Médecins du Monde's main objective, but the organisation also fights to make access to health care a fundamental right.

Triodos Bank also finances many community health centres including Le Gué in Tournai, catering for up to 5,000 patients in Belgium.

In the UK we have provided finance to charities like The Green House in Bristol that provides therapy for children and adults who’ve experienced sexual abuse.

In addition, Triodos Bank in The Netherlands finances Siza, providing support for people with disabilities, for example.

In The Netherlands we also finance Ben Oude NijHuis, an affordable, small-scale home for elderly people centred around nurturing human dignity.

In numbers, 43,000 elderly people in Europe benefited from care provided by initiatives financed by Triodos Bank in 2019, representing 21 days of health care financed for each Triodos Bank customer.

The Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund (EUR 357 million) invests in equities issued by listed companies, including medical technology firms that are pioneers in the theme of ‘healthy people’.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We can contribute more powerfully by financing scalable projects and we can further contribute to the debate about how to serve elderly people’s financial needs in the future.

Quality education

Relevant target: 4.4 upskill youth and adults
4.7 promote sustainable development knowledge and skills

Sustainable Finance Platform indicator:
Number of people receiving education services: 660,000

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Our approach is to only finance education initiatives – from kindergartens to adult education – that benefit individuals’ personal development and society in terms of social cohesion in general, and sustainable economic development in particular.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

We lend to education initiatives that benefited 66,000 individuals in 2019.

They include projects like Strontian primary school set up as a community benefit society to serve a remote Highland community in Scotland. We also financed a campus development for University of Winchester as they strive to be the most sustainable university in the UK.

In Spain we financed Imagine Montessori School, a new educational centre in Valencia. Sustainability is an integral part of this project through environmental education and the facilities themselves which are powered by renewable energy. We give dozens of conferences about ethical banking at schools, high schools and universities every year, including participating in the ‘Bank voor de Klas’ initiative in The Netherlands.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We can contribute to the overall education ‘mix’ by focusing our finance on diversity in the education system – through progressive educational establishments and initiatives that serve the excluded.

We also provide long-term support and participate in initiatives beyond our role as a bank directly, through initiatives like HERA (Higher Education and Research Awards) in Belgium. The awards explore how masters students integrate sustainable development principles into their work and recognise the importance of integrating sustainability concerns, in a holistic way, at an important stage in their development. Co-workers, at all levels, are regularly invited as guest speakers during Economy & Finance lessons to present the Triodos Bank vision on Finance and the bank’s business model.

We want to continue to co-create innovative projects such as Agricultura Social, (social agriculture) launched by Triodos Foundation in Spain to promote the educational potential of nature and organic gardens, crowdfunding for projects and an annual prize recognising landmark initiatives.

Co-workers in all countries regularly accept invitations to explain to students how sustainable finance and economics work for a better society.

Gender equality

Relevant target: 5.1 end discrimination against women

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

We treat all individuals equally, and particularly include people who are often excluded. In practice this leads to an explicit focus on making access to finance available to women.

We value a diverse community in Triodos Bank itself, including gender. In 2019 49.6% of Triodos Bank co-workers were women and 44% of management positions were held by women.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

We finance financial institutions in developing countries and emerging economies that demonstrate a sustainable approach toward providing financial services to those traditionally excluded. In 2019 these institutions served 19.1 million loan clients, of which 75% were female.

For over 30 years Triodos Investment Management has partnered with Women’s World Banking, a global non-profit providing low-income women with access to financial tools and resources to build security and prosperity. We are a co-investment manager for the Women’s World Banking equity fund (EUR 39 million).

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

The greatest contribution we can make is to both promote and extend healthy gender diversity as an important pre-condition for our work as an institution ourselves and in how we apply the money entrusted to us, both in Europe and in developing countries.

Clean water and sanitation

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

Clean water and sanitation are topics relevant around the world. While this is not a core loan or investment theme, much of our finance takes care of both, not least through entrepreneurs financed through inclusive finance and SME lending and in sectors such as organic agriculture which support water conservation and water health. We invest, via the Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund (EUR 357 million) in listed companies such as Hong Kong-based Beijing Enterprises Water Group, a water and sewage/waste-water treatment company that contributes to the availability of clean drinking water and the cleaning of wastewater.

In Spain we continued to work with Ongawa in 2019, an organisation primarily focused on providing clean drinking water for disadvantaged people in Africa and South America.

In Belgium we finance Shayp, a Brussels-based start-up, who have developed smart technology to detect water leaks and repair them efficiently. Shayp's software works just as well for large office buildings as for private homes in cities.

Affordable and clean energy

Relevant target: 7.2 increase share of renewables globally

Sustainable Finance Platform indicator:
Renewable electricity produced that can be attributed to Triodos finance: 2,000,000 MWh
Avoided greenhouse gas emissions (in tonnes of CO2 equivalent): 0.9 million

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Our policy is not to finance fossil fuels and exclusively to finance renewable energy initiatives in the energy sector.

Whenever we can we buy energy from renewable sources to power the buildings that we work from within our own network

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

We finance sustainable energy via direct lending in all the countries where we operate (EUR 1.596 million) and via investments through Triodos Green Fund (EUR 969 million) and Triodos Renewables Europe Fund (EUR 120 million).

As well as considerable impact in Europe, Triodos Bank has financed more renewable energy initiatives in Europe than any other financial institution each year for the last four years.

Triodos Bank extended its wind energy financing to offshore wind energy projects through its international Energy & Climate Desk. While in Germany we financed a decentralised rooftop solar portfolio, with a loan that allows the project developer to easily structure and finance new projects in a short timeframe.

Triodos’ renewable energy projects also extend to emerging markets, such as hydro projects Ecuador and wind projects in Kenya.

Triodos Bank Belgium finances SPS, a 'third investor' that’s installing solar panels on the roofs of companies and organisations. We also connected this client with other Triodos Bank clients like the new Brasserie de la Senne brewery and the Flagey culture house in Brussels, to install solar panels on their roofs. Triodos Bank UK has financed 60,000 solar panels for Heart of England Community Energy, the largest community-owned solar farm in the UK and solar panels and LED lighting at some of the key sites for charity RSPB, supporting their aim of being energy self-sufficient.

In The Netherlands, Triodos Bank is actively financing onshore and offshore wind energy, collective large-scale solar energy projects, energy from residual flows and energy-saving projects, like Slim Opgewekt. The latter improves the sustainability of schools both by installing LED and solar panels, and by teaching children more about energy; for example, through self-developed sustainable games.

Triodos Bank has developed a detailed programme to reduce the environmental impact of its own activities; its operations meet the highest environmental standards and it uses 100% renewable energy in its buildings.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change


As well as its direct impact as a financer, Triodos Bank acts as an opinion leader in the energy space, including engaging in debate about the urgent importance of a low carbon economy and how to move towards it. In 2019, it published a vision paper describing its long-term view of energy and climate issues.

During the year, Triodos Bank built on the implementation of a groundbreaking new methodology – co-created by the financial industry for the financial industry – to measure the carbon emissions of loans and investments, by launching a global programme. The Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) aims to encourage all financial institutions to account for their carbon emissions as a pre-condition to align their impact with the Paris climate goals. Several events in The Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Belgium took place during the year to share this approach with the wider banking sector.

We can contribute further in the future by extending our work into new areas such as energy storage, energy efficiency finance and electric vehicle infrastructure via Triodos Bank’s European network of energy finance experts.

We collaborated on a white paper ‘New Pathways’ – arguing for concrete changes to build a more just and sustainable financial future, and actively communicated about them throughout the year. Since its publication there has been significant progress made at a European level on sustainable finance. This includes draft legislation on transparency and disclosure of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and impacts on all financial products. There is more open debate and exploration on levying additional capital charges for assets which could increase climate risk. And we continue to be an active participant in the debates in this field together with other organisations.

Triodos Bank was closely involved, as a lead negotiator, in developing a Dutch Climate Agreement. As part of the agreement banks, and other Dutch financials, have committed themselves to substantially reduce CO2 emissions on their balance sheets.

Triodos Bank is convinced it’s time the energy transition becomes a matter for citizens themselves. In The Netherlands we are financing more and more energy initiatives from citizens, as a result, including energy cooperatives such as Grunneger Power and Westeinde.

Decent work and economic growth

Relevant targets: 8.3 …encourage the growth formalisation and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including access to financial services
8.4 improve …global resource efficiency in consumption and production …decouple economic growth and environmental degradation
8.9 …implement policies to promote sustainable tourism
8.10 strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions encourage and expand access to banking …and financial services for all

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Triodos Bank considers how the mission of an organisation translates into the organisation itself before considering a loan or investment. It has over 20 years’ experience financing microfinance and inclusive finance initiatives in emerging markets. As well as only financing the green economy in Europe, including developing lending in the sustainable tourism sector, all our banking products and services take the environment into consideration.

Our finance often leads to job creation and frequently, due to the sustainable focus of all our finance, to work that benefits the excluded – from people with disabilities to ex-offenders.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

The inclusive finance activity we describe in SDG 1 above is delivered via Triodos Investment Management connecting thousands of investors with Microfinance and SME institutions in developing countries. Inclusive finance is also relevant in The Netherlands where we work with Qredits, a Dutch initiative providing microfinance loans, mentoring and online tools to support entrepreneurs.

In Belgium, Triodos Bank co-founded the Solifin platform, a network of foundations and crowdfunding platforms specialised in impact investing. Solifin will facilitate access to information and finance for entrepreneurs delivering social and environmental impact.

As a partner bank in the Mayor of London’s Energy Efficiency Fund (MEEF) Triodos Bank UK has provided finance to NHS hospital trusts to improve energy efficiency on site. In Amsterdam, Triodos Bank finances WOW. Its founders have converted a former technical school in the ‘Kolenkitbuurt’, a district in the city, into a unique hostel and cultural hotspot. WOW provides a new impulse in the neighbourhood, combining tourism and art.

Triodos Bank integrates resource efficiency and environmental concerns in products with a purpose; including sustainable mortgages, credit cards for spending on sustainable products and pensions linked to front-running sustainable companies

We are continuing to extend lending to certified green sustainable tourism projects, or those working towards it, across Europe.

Enric Majoral, in Spain, uses 100% fair-mined certified gold. A well-established jewellery brand, it promotes fairer labour conditions in a high impact industry.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We intentionally look to finance companies that can act as a catalyst for deep-seated change within their industries, as inspirational examples of what’s possible in the circular economy. Dick Moby, producers of sustainable sun glasses are one example.

We partner with others who share this agenda, including co-founding the Sustainable Finance Lab in The Netherlands and contributing to the development of a similar initiative in Spain in 2019, the Sustainable Finance Forum (Foro de Finanzas Sostenibles). In The Netherlands we are also a founding partner of Social Enterprises NL. As a national membership body, Social Enterprise NL represents, connects and supports the growing community of social enterprises in The Netherlands.

Triodos Bank and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have also signed a significant guarantee agreement for social entrepreneurship. The agreement allows Triodos Bank to finance more than 400 social entrepreneurs across four EU countries over the next years for a total of EUR 65 million. This means that we can help more social entrepreneurs to add value to society in their own way, and can accelerate the social transition in our economy that’s so urgently needed.

We also celebrate and encourage front-runners in social and sustainable entrepreneurship, through initiatives like the Heart Head prize; an awards programme delivered in several countries where we operate.

We have backed The Thriving Places Index in the UK, an approach that undertakes analysis of how well local authorities are doing at creating the conditions for people to thrive. It is a new Index seeking to create an alternative to GDP as a measure of success.

Industry, innovation, and infrastructure

Relevant targets: 9.3 …increase access of small-scale …enterprises …to financial services
9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

While we typically do not finance large-scale infrastructure projects, Triodos Bank promotes an inclusive, sustainable economy and fosters innovation; indeed, Triodos Bank itself is an example of innovation in the banking sector. Our work for the inclusive finance sector supports efforts to increase access of small-scale enterprises to financial services, including affordable credit.

In the UK, we have raised finance though the crowdfunding platform for community-owned broadband pioneer, Broadband for Rural North.

Reducing inequalities

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

Our collective work is designed to contribute to a fairer and more equitable economy in Europe and around the world. One way we do this is via investment funds that promote inclusive finance, targeting small and medium-sized businesses in emerging markets. We also aim to be a reference point for values-based banking, working alongside partners in networks like the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), to promote and help deliver a fairer, more equitable society.

We have a comprehensive approach to inequality which includes financing groups in risk of social exclusion.

This work also translates into loans to businesses and organisations that serve and employ people with disabilities or who are otherwise at risk of exclusion. We actively finance refugees through several initiatives across Europe.

In Spain, we work with the Fundación Secretariado Gitano, an organisation that defends the rights and culture of the minority travelling community. In The Netherlands we finance ‘Specialisterren’ enabling people with autism to excel as software testers.

In Belgium we finance The Belgian Committee for Refugee Assistance (CBAR), an NGO that provides legal aid to refugees as well as to their lawyers and social workers active in the field. CBAR is the operational partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Belgium.

Sustainable cities and communities

Relevant targets: 11.1 …access for all to …affordable housing
11.4 …protect and safeguard the world’s cultural …heritage
11.7 by 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older people and people with disabilities

Sustainable Finance Platform indicator:
Number of people with access to safe, affordable, and sustainable housing: 58,000
Floor space of green real estate (M2): 921,000m2

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

We do not finance unsustainable housing and have a proactive policy to finance social and sustainable housing as well as arts and culture projects.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

We have approximately EUR 500 million in loans and investments in social and co-housing, providing affordable homes for often excluded groups, including housing associations across Europe. We also have more than EUR 900 million in sustainable property projects.

We renovate and refurbish culturally significant buildings and monuments, like Amsterdam’s Stadsherstel, or EartH (Evolutionary Arts Hackney) in London.

Triodos Bank Belgium co-finances Inclusio, an investment fund which aims to provide quality housing, at an affordable price, to vulnerable populations.

Another example is a project in Frankfurt, where a building is being renovated for shared housing. This integrative project offers space for students and refugees.

In the UK the North Camden Housing Co-operative in London redeveloped apartments to the passive house retrofit standard. We financed Ssassy Springfield Meadow which provides an important model for a sustainable residential development – with a mix of housing association and private homes for sale, all to Passive House and Bioregional sustainable certification.

In Spain we made a loan to make it possible for Cinemes Verdi, a traditional cinema in Barcelona and member of the Europa Cinemas network, to continue to operate.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We can contribute most powerfully by financing scalable, inspirational projects that change the perspective of the housing and arts and culture industries. These projects show that social, environmental and cultural objectives can and should be integrated in developing sustainable housing for the whole community.

We can also respond to urgent challenges in society. For example, refugees with the legal status to stay in The Netherlands for five years can now access a mortgage via a special product developed with the Triodos Foundation and a partner (see also SDG 17).

We can also work with partners to advise on how best to attract and apply finance for sustainable infrastructure projects in cities.

Responsible consumption and production

Relevant targets: 12.2 sustainable management …of natural resources
12.5 reduce waste generation
12.6 encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Our products and services (see qualitative elements in the GABV scorecard) have responsible consumption ‘built in’.

We positively look to finance companies focused on reducing waste generation and promoting reuse and recycling. We also encourage listed companies to act more sustainably, and actively promote responsible consumption.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

The efficient use of natural resources is at the heart of much of our finance. We only finance organic agriculture projects for example, and proactively look to finance businesses operating in the circular economy. The farms we finance in Europe, produced the equivalent of 31 million organic meals in 2019. As well as direct lending we have the Triodos Organic Growth Fund (EUR 42 million), which invests in mature, independent, sustainable consumer businesses.

We proactively finance waste reduction and recycling businesses, including Le Champignon de Bruxelles (The Brussels Mushroom), an urban agriculture and circular economy project. Mushrooms are produced with the residue from the brewing of barley in the manufacturing of beer.

Through Triodos Investment Management’s Research department, we engage with large companies, including front-runners such as Wessanen, encouraging them to improve their sustainable practices, including by voting as an investor through Triodos Bank’s Impact Equities and Bonds funds (EUR 2,020 million).

In Spain we financed initiatives, in 2019, to promote changes in patterns of consumption, such as Yes Future Positive Supermarket, a zero-waste supermarket. In The Netherlands we finance MUD Jeans, producers of high-quality jeans in a sustainable and fair way. The company works according to the principles of a circular economy. New jeans are made from organic cotton and recycled ‘MUD Jeans’. Customers can either buy or lease their jeans. The company believes in ‘use’ instead of ‘ownership’. In this way, consumers can keep up with fashion trends, with minimal impact on the environment.

We have adopted sustainable practices as an integrated element of our business from the start. And integrate sustainability into our reporting cycle as a logical consequence of this focus.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

Through events, articles and public affairs activity we aim to promote an integrated view that responsible consumption and production is closely connected to a better quality of life. In 2019 this included producing a publication on food and farming describing our long-term vision for the sector.

Climate action

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

While most of the specific SDG 13 targets do not relate directly to Triodos Bank’s activity, much of our direct loans and investments’ finance aims to combat climate change, particularly through finance of the sustainable energy sector, which generated green electricity, equivalent to the electricity needs of 0.7 million households worldwide and avoiding 0.9 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2019.

All our finance aims to integrate environmental concerns, with social, cultural and economic considerations. We enable individuals and businesses to act to combat climate change through our products and services, including green mortgages that incentivise more sustainable homes and personal loans for spending on sustainable products, such as solar panels. We participate in public initiatives, such as the UN COP25 in Madrid, through advocacy activity. In addition, we have built partnerships with others such as Climate Coalition in the UK and Ecómetro in Spain, in order to create a new educational website (www.reducetusemisiones.org). This platform allows households to self-assess how sustainable they are and take steps to improve their sustainability.

In Belgium Triodos Bank supported several climate actions during the year including Youth for Climate, Sign for my future and Klimaatbetoog (Climate protest), all with the objective to raise awareness and action to help address the climate emergency.

Triodos Bank supported several climate actions in The Netherlands during the year, including a major Climate March in Amsterdam in the Spring.

Life below water

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

Our finance in the organic sector aims to reduce marine pollution by focusing on soil quality and water conservation and health.

Triodos Bank’s crowdfunding platform has raised finance for Fishtek Marine, an innovative company using new technology to help stop marine creatures becoming tangled in fishing nets.

Life on land

Relevant target: 15.5 …halt the loss of biodiversity

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Our policy is not to finance any projects that degrade natural habitats or diminish biodiversity.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Next to financing organic agriculture, we finance conservation organisations, which see agriculture as part of a natural system which encourages greater biodiversity, rather than one of extraction. Around EUR 400 million of our loans and investments were in the organic farming and nature development sectors during 2019. They include organisations like Riverford Organic Farmers, a leading UK organic ‘veg box’ distributor that has also taken the company into employee ownership.

In The Netherlands we have financed Tjermelan on the island of Terschelling who have created a dark ‘sky park’, an area where light pollution is eliminated so people can enjoy the darkness overnight. We actively engage on issues that relate to sustainable investing on the stock market via our research team, on topics such as palm oil, tin mining, commodity scarcity, and conflict minerals.

We partner with organisations such as WWF and Greenpeace, in some of the countries where we are active and attract donations for their activities through the Triodos Foundation. In addition, we have contributed to Radboud University, in The Netherlands’ research into declining insect populations in protected natural reserves, an issue that prompted widespread international coverage. And we finance Eucc The Coastel Union in the same country. EUCC's mission is to promote coastal and marine management that integrates biodiversity conservation with forms of development that sustain the integrity of landscapes, the cultural heritage and the social fabric of our coast.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We can contribute to systemic change by demonstrating that enterprises that are focused on greater biodiversity offer a financially viable alternative to the dominant extractive system.

We can also develop new, innovative approaches – such as crowdfunding initiatives linked to increasing education about sustainable agriculture in schools – that punch above their weight as powerful examples of what’s possible.

And we can encourage meaningful debate on these issues, as we did in The Netherlands at the end of the year by co-hosting a debate in Amsterdam titled: 'Farmers, Citizens and Biodiversity: the way forward'.

Peace, justice and strong institutions

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We believe peaceful and inclusive societies require fair and inclusive economies focused on improving quality of life for all. Our finance is firmly focused on this goal.

We finance faith organisations of all kinds that commit to non-coercive expressions of religious belief, from Buddhist centres to Presbyterian churches.

In Belgium we finance Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF), (lawyers without frontiers). ASF aims to guarantee and promote access to justice for the most vulnerable and strives to establish legal systems capable of protecting them. The association is active in Burundi, Israel/Palestine, Nepal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

Partnerships for the goals

Relevant target: 17.3 mobilise additional financial resources for developing countries

Level 1

Baseline policies and activity, to avoid doing any harm in relation to the goal

We have an open culture that encourages partnerships to help strengthen sustainable financial institutions and mobilise financial resources in developing countries.

Level 2

What we do to make a meaningful difference

Our aim is to enter sustainable markets early and demonstrate that they are financially viable – as we did with the renewable energy industry, lending to some of Europe’s first wind farms following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Our work in developing countries is delivered principally through Triodos Investment Management, as described above.

Some key partnerships which impact on the SDG goals include B Corp – Triodos Bank was the first European bank to join this initiative of responsible companies – the Sustainable Finance Lab, and the GABV.

We also run affiliate programmes in product partnership. In the UK that includes organisations and charities aligned with our values, such as the Soil Association, Friends of the Earth, Marine Conservation Society and the Vegetarian Society.

In Spain, we’ve launched the Academic Forum for Sustainable Finances together with Analistas Financieros Internacionales (a leading economic and financial consultancy firm), with the goal of achieving a steady, resilient and sustainable financial system, through knowledge. We also have financed clients like Fundación Ciudadana Civio, a foundation that aims to ensure the greatest transparency possible from Government and public institutions in Spain.

Level 3

The catalysing role we can play to stimulate long-term, transformational change

We can help promote systemic change by partnering with others, such as the Sustainable Finance Lab, B Corp, Global Reporting Initiative, the Global Impact Investing Network and members of the GABV, a network of more than 50 values-based banks across the globe which Triodos Bank co-founded in 2009. The network argues for a more sustainable banking sector as well as strengthening the effectiveness of its individual members.

Since 2015 we have been an active member of the Dutch Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), developing a methodology to assess the carbon emissions of financial institution’s loans and investments. Triodos Bank will Co-Chair this group in 2020. In 2019 PCAF launched as a global programme, with Triodos Bank on its steering committee.

Examples during 2019 include partnering with banks and voluntary organisations. In Belgium, we partner with MO*magazine, a Flemish magazine focused on development cooperation, globalisation and international affairs more broadly.

We have also worked with academia to produce the ‘New Pathways’ report and co-created a new methodology to measure the carbon emissions of financial institutions’ loans and investments, described above. We continue collaborating with networks of financial institutions including UNEP FI, PCAF and others on technical standards, and have good working relationship with many NGOs and civil society groups working on the transformation towards a sustainable financial system, including Finance Watch, Share Action and WWF.

We can, and do, partner selectively with individual thought-leaders and academic organisations to promote a growth-agnostic, sustainable economy that’s fit for the 21st century.