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Sustainable property – Header image (photo)

Sustainable property and private sustainable mortgages

Impact measures

As well as offering green mortgages that incentives households to reduce their carbon footprint, Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management finances new building developments and refurbishment projects for properties to reach the highest sustainability standards.

In 2015 Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management financed directly, and via sustainable property, approximately 4,500 homes and apartments and about 310 commercial properties comprising approximately 280,000m2 of office and other commercial space.

Sustainable property – Impact measures (graphic)

Our vision and activities

Sustainable property lending

Percentage of our loans and investments to the sustainable property sector including residential mortgages

Sustainable property – 18.6% 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 and private sustainable mortgages

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 studies

KlimaatGarant
 

Sustainable property – Case study (photo)

Wim van de Bogerd, CEO KlimaatGarant

What challenge was the inspiration for your project?

Buildings, including residential homes, are responsible for a large part of the world’s total CO2 emissions. And CO2 emissions directly contribute to damaging climate change. At KlimaatGarant we are motivated by the belief that by building efficiently and sustainably using existing techniques, we can provide energy-neutral homes and limit CO2 emissions to a very large extent.

What was your innovation that addresses this problem?

Klimaatgarant develops energy-neutral homes and communities. Through heat cold storage, and optimal insulation and ventilation we guarantee a ‘zero’ bill for heating, ventilation and tap water; no energy costs, except for the use of household appliances. Our systems derive their power from solar roof panels.

Traditional energy providers aim to sell as much energy as possible. That is the big difference with our model: we sell ‘zero energy’. We guarantee that houses are energy neutral. We first reduce the energy use as much as possible and then meet the remaining energy need as sustainably as possible. We use concepts and techniques that have proven themselves in thousands of homes already. We own the installations, and the home owner rents them from us.

What impact has Triodos Bank had on your business?

With finance from Triodos Bank we were able to kick-start this energy neutral project. Through it we can provide energy efficient houses to starters on the housing market.

On a more personal level, we are proud of the recognition our work as winners of the Triodos Heart-Head award. We will use the prize money to develop an energy measurement app; we are convinced that if you have more insight into your energy use, this will stimulate you to reduce it further.

What impact does your business have on the sector you work in?

We create awareness; we show that it is possible to build energy-neutral homes. A growing number of municipalities and project developers believe in our concept. We think that within three years, all newly built houses will be energy-neutral.

What impact does your company have on the community?

Our impact is on the environment first and foremost, and specifically how we contribute to reduce CO2-emissions. In a broader sense, our impact is that we make people aware by showing it is possible to build energy-neutral homes.

How does Triodos Bank share your vision?

Triodos Bank and KlimaatGarant both work towards a more sustainable society. We are both trying to counter the adverse effects of the use of fossil energy – climate change, amongst others – by stimulating the use of renewable energy and by stimulating the efficient use of energy.

Vuurtoreneiland
 

Sustainable property – Case study (photo)

Raphaël Nouwen, senior relationship manager SME

What challenge was the inspiration for your project?

Vuurtoreneiland, or lighthouse island, is a 300 year old, artificial island in the Markermeer lake, close to Amsterdam. A stone lighthouse was first built on the site in 1700. The current wrought-iron one is from 1893 and is still Amsterdam’s only lighthouse. The island also has a lighthouse keeper’s house and an abandoned fort. The fort is part of the old Amsterdam defence system and is on the UNESCO world heritage list.

To retain the island’s unique natural historic value, the Forestry department, that owns the island, issued a public European tender in 2012 to develop the island commercially. The income from the commercial activities should finance the conservation and maintenance of the landscape and the listed buildings. The Forestry department also wants to open the heritage site to the general public so that everyone can enjoy it.

Two young entrepreneurs saw this as an exciting challenge and submitted a unique plan to the Forestry department. It started with a pilot project in which they ran a pop-up-like construction and a small-scale restaurant for one summer. Visitors were ferried across to the uninhabited island, where organic and regional dishes were served in an idyllic setting. It was a resounding success and they’re now already into their fourth year with the full support of the Forestry department.

What was your innovation that addresses this problem?

The entrepreneurs succeeded in making this a unique island experience, connecting conservation and the experience of nature and the island’s special buildings.

They use the income from the restaurant to maintain and manage the landscape, the fort and the lighthouse. Conscious and sustainable choices were made to generate electricity. ‘Heat the people not the place’ is an old concept where instead of heating entire spaces, only areas which have people in them are heated. For example, in the restaurant, only the space under the tables are heated. The chairs are covered in sheepskin and wood from the island is used in the venue’s hearths.

What impact has Triodos Bank had on your business?

Triodos Bank has contributed towards the conservation of this extraordinary island. Its finance additionally ensured that the island could be open to the public, where people meet and are able to enjoy a piece of wild nature with roaming animals and rare flora, very close to the city.

What impact does your business have on the sector you work in?

Vuurtoreneiland is a source of inspiration for other re-zoning projects. The combination of the different and divergent aspects of sustainability with a small-scale organic catering facility makes this project unique and an attractive example for the sector.

What impact does your company have on the community?

People from Amsterdam and beyond visit the island to escape from the daily rat race and experience nature. As well as employing a small number of people locally It is also very important that, with the arrival of a commercial party, the natural and cultural-historic value of the island is conserved for the future.

How does Triodos Bank share your vision?

Triodos Bank finances sustainable projects that put people, the environment and society at their heart. This multidisciplinary vision is shared by the people who have developed the lighthouse island. After three successful seasons, Vuurtoreneiland has proven how entrepreneurs can combine commercial activities in a vulnerable environment in a sustainable way.

Methodology

In our calculations we only measured the homes, apartments and properties with a direct relationship to our finance or investment.

We include 100% of the impact when we co-finance a project. If it is not possible to record 100% of the data required, we measure at least 80% of the projects in the portfolio, create a conservative average for the m2 and calculate the figure for the remaining 20% if applicable.

The ‘Impact per customer’ calculations used throughout the annual report are based on a total of 607,000 customers at the end of 2015.