Triodos Bank is one of the world’s most sustainable banks. Its mission means that it both finances enterprises that make a positive environmental difference through their business and it takes great care of its own environmental performance as a company. It is the reason Triodos Bank was one of the first banks to produce an environmental report. And it is why it continues to try to play a leading role, exemplifying how businesses in general, and a values-based bank, can operate in an environmentally responsible way.

Triodos Bank limits its environmental footprint as much as it can, avoiding the emissions of greenhouse gases where possible. If some emissions are necessary, it tries to limit them as much as possible and compensate for the emissions it cannot avoid.

Triodos Bank measures the footprint of its operations, registers it in a CO2 management system and compensates for it fully in ’Gold Standard Projects’. 

Besides disclosing our annual financial results, Triodos Bank also wants to take responsibility for its environmental impact. As a result, it reports on all its direct emissions (gas consumption for heating and fossil fuels for company and lease cars) and its most relevant indirect emissions (electricity, commuting travel and business travel and paper use). And it discloses the amount of energy used, through both electricity and gas in all its banking entities.

The year, in figures, at a glance

CO2 emissions per FTE in 2019 decreased slightly to 2.00 tonnes compared to 2.02 tonnes in 2018. Total CO2 emissions across the whole of Triodos Bank increased by 3% to 2,901 tonnes CO2, compared with 2018 (2,812 tonnes CO2). There has been an increase in electricity consumption of 2.6% per FTE. This increase is caused by the electricity consumption of a new, not yet in use office building in The Netherlands (the Reehorst), while still using the old offices. Business travel by airplane has increased by 4.9% per FTE.

The total amount of paper usage decreased further in 2019 to 67 kg per FTE (2018: 81 kg per FTE). The amount of blank copy recycled paper decreased to 10.8 kg per FTE (2018: 12.85 kg per FTE). The amount of recycled printed paper was 0.11 kg per customer, a decrease of 15%.

CO2-emissions

Details of the methodology Triodos Bank uses to calculate its CO2 emissions are available on request.

Sustainable property

Triodos Bank wants its buildings to be as sustainable as possible. To that end it aims to assess, where applicable, all its buildings with the BREEAM methodology, one of the world’s leading ways to certify a building’s sustainability performance.

In The Netherlands, Triodos Bank opened a ground-breaking new office building called the Reehorst during 2019. The building and its surroundings have been developed with the conviction that nature, culture and the economy should be in balance with each other. It has a certificate from BREEAM for Outstanding design.

The building is designed to be energy-neutral and it is the first office in the world to have 100% circularity potential. This means that it can be disassembled into pieces and reconstructed without diminishing the quality of the materials used. The Reehorst office building won three awards during the year: Office Building of the year (for the building’s architecture), Most Sustainable Building Project (for its construction) and the award for best Nature-Inclusive building and design (an award from two Dutch conservation associations).

Sustainable mobility

In 2019, Triodos Bank started to update its mobility policy in The Netherlands to create a more flexible and sustainable approach to business travel and commuting. The updated policy should be in place in the second quarter of 2020. Moving about 60% of the Dutch co-workers to the new The Reehorst building is also expected to have a positive impact, not least because the building is located alongside a railway station, with direct connections to major urban centres.

Bikes, including electric models, and electric cars are available for co-workers in The Netherlands for transport between offices and for business travel. There are charging facilities at all Triodos Bank’s Dutch offices to service both cars and bikes. The world’s largest bi-directional charging station is located at the Reehorst office catering for 120 electric cars. This technology makes it possible, in the future, to not only charge cars but also use cars' batteries as an energy storage facility. The car park is covered by more than 3,000 m2 of solar panels.

Outside of The Netherlands, the United Kingdom office won a regional sustainable mobility contest in the ‘medium-sized organisations’ category.

Working with sustainable suppliers

Triodos Bank tries to extend its positive impact on society through the sustainable choices it makes about its suppliers. This is a material topic for the organisation and reflects the process by which it buys goods and services.

A procurement policy is used across all the countries where it operates to make sure that sustainable suppliers are engaged. The policy determines how Triodos Bank assesses how suppliers are aligned with its Business Principles and Triodos Bank’s minimum standards. In addition, and importantly, Triodos Bank’s policy is to proactively strive to improve social, environmental and cultural considerations in relation to both procured goods and services and the organisations that deliver them. Steps will be taken in the coming years to further strengthen the monitoring of the application of the policy, learn from best practice across the Triodos Bank network and engage in dialogue with suppliers to stimulate improving their sustainability performance. This should further deepen the impact of Triodos Bank’s mission.

Our key objectives for 2019

How we did

Progress at a glance

● ● ● Met     ● ● ○ Mostly met     ● ○ ○ Partially met     ○ ○ ○ Not met

2018 CO2 footprint data integrated and executed in all consultations with suppliers within facility management.

CO2 footprint data have been shared and discussed to a limited extent. Work on this goal will continue in 2020 as part of an objective to strengthen the monitoring of the sustainable procurement policy.

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A new mobility policy rolled out in The Netherlands to create more flexibility for business travel.

In The Netherlands, formulating a new mobility policy began during the year, which is expected to be in place in the second quarter of 2020.

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A travel scan delivered to identify possible reduction measurements that can reduce the climate impact of Triodos Bank’s air travel.

The air travel scan has been postponed to 2020, so that a full year’s data can be used. Anticipating the results of the scan, rolling out improved video-conferencing facilities has already started in Belgium, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands.

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A plan created to improve Triodos Bank’s BREEAM scores based on identified opportunities.

If the office buildings are Triodos Bank’s property, action was taken to improve the sustainability of the buildings. When buildings are rented the owner of the building was encouraged to take measures.

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Triodos Bank Green Week executed in all countries to increase awareness among co-workers in cooperation with suppliers.

Green Weeks were organised in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. In the other countries, awareness activities were organised throughout the year.

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Prospects

  • Sustainable Mobility: Air travel scan to identify possible reduction measurements that can reduce our climate impact of air travel. Introduce a new mobility policy in The Netherlands
  • Working with sustainable suppliers: Design an approach to assess the sustainability impact of our vendors
  • Waste Management: implement waste reduction programme, focusing on measuring quantity of waste, in The Netherlands