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Strategic Objectives

USD 100 billion

The GABV's combined
member's total balance
sheet assets amounted
to USD 100 billion by
the end of 2017.

The table that follows provides Triodos Bank’s key strategic objectives for 2017 and progress against them in some detail. A ‘progress at-a-glance’ indicator also provides an estimation of our progress against each goal in 2017. This assessment is based on professional judgement and the opinion of co-workers with an overview of these topics.

The table is followed by objectives for 2018. This work is informed by Triodos Bank’s three year plan from 2016-2018. The plans reflect strategic goals that were developed following work to develop a 10 year strategic perspective which concluded in 2015. This information reflects some of the key issues raised in the materiality analysis that are priorities for Triodos Bank and our stakeholders.

Finance for Impact

Goals for 2017

How We Did

Progress at a glance

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

 

 

 

Continue to increase our volume of positive impact finance. We aim to grow our loan book by 15-20% (net).

We achieved 18.8% net growth in sustainable loans during 2017

● ● ○

Ensure that our new loans go beyond meeting the criteria of making positive impact, and bring about a deepening or transforming impact.

We created specific ringfencing arrangements to allow for a small portfolio of loans with higher impact that would not necessarily conform to our normal collateral requirements – most developed in the Netherlands. A number of high impact projects were financed in 2018.

● ● ○

Develop new subsectors and follow market developments to remain relevant in each of our countries. In particular, focus on topics such as energy efficiency and storage, circular economy, sustainable food businesses and progressive small and medium-sized enterprises.

We financed energy efficiency projects including our first frequency-response energy storage project (in Germany); circular economy businesses such as MUD Jeans; and we invested in a Dutch sustainable grocery chain, Marqt, through our Organic Growth Fund.

● ○ ○

Become more relevant in the major shifts in energy production by helping to finance larger projects. We want to increase the number of participations in syndicated loans for energy generation projects (including potentially offshore wind projects) which are too large for us to finance on our own; and broaden the sources of funds to include complementary sources of finance alongside our depositors.

We completed five transactions for projects with capital expenditure above EUR 30m in 2017, further extending our capabilities in deal syndication. The energy and climate team have developed prospects for lending to offshore wind projects and are working on complementary funding mechanisms to support investments in the future.

● ○ ○

We will create more flexibility so we can support pioneering projects with relatively small amounts when there is insufficient traditional security. Where we set up guarantee arrangements with other funding bodies to support specific lending activity, we will also utilise these facilities to their full extent. As a result we will implement changes to our risk appetite policies within each country.

We have developed partnerships for providing guarantees from foundations in Spain; we have coinvested with crowdfunding platforms in Germany; and (in December 2017) have signed a EUR 65m guarantee facility with the European Investment Bank through their EASI program to support SMEs.

● ● ○

Significantly step up our ability to enable individuals to use gift money to catalyse new sustainable ideas.

A new crowd-giving website was launched by the Triodos Foundation in the Netherlands through GiveTheChange.nl; In Spain, there were 16 further successful crowdfunding campaigns for school organic gardens.

● ● ○

Broaden our Scope

Goals for 2017

How We Did

Progress at a glance

 

 

 

Launch a personal current account in the UK with a mobile app that will represent our first step in Signature, our online strategy.

Launched successfully together with a new mobile banking app in September 2017 with good reaction from customers and new customers. Over 18,000 account enquiries were received with over 6,000 completed applications received by the end of 2017.

● ● ●

Continue to push for regulatory changes that open up access for retail investors in positive impact products, to make our funds available to retail customers and grow the volume of those funds which are distributed.

High profile white paper (New Pathways) with Mission 2020, GABV and Finance Watch – followed up by high profile events (Bruegel, EBF, UNEP FI) feeding into HLEG with specific proposals.

● ● ●

Preparatory work to establish a French branch continues in 2017

Good progress of the French activities in Triodos Finance, supported by colleagues in Belgium. Lending activity continues to be healthy. We will continue our preparatory work, subject to business priorities, regulatory and other approvals.

● ● ●

Deepen our Relationship Approach

Goals for 2017

How We Did

Progress at a glance

 

 

 

Focus on how we can further support our clients through our relationships with them by providing useful insights, introductions and events so that our clients feel more supported to succeed.

The Heart Head program for entrepreneurs in the Netherlands has been very popular in creating a learning group for sustainable business leaders; we helped our clients to gain insights into ‘cultural creatives’; We have developed the concept of ‘Crossover Sustainability’ by linking entrepreneurs across sectors

● ○ ○

Implement and embed Customer Experience Principles across the Group to improve the quality of the interactions and service our clients receive.

Good progress in implementation across the group – expected fully in 2018.

Our average Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 27 for retail customers compares well with other banks and financial service companies. This figure is an overall NPS on all indicators.

● ● ○

Innovate: New Ventures and Partnerships

Goals for 2017

How We Did

Progress at a glance

 

 

 

Launch our own Crowdfunding platform in one or more countries to help raise money for small businesses directly from individuals.

The UK branch have developed a crowdfunding platform ready to launch to private investors in 2018; The Spanish branch have increased their minority holding in social crowdfunding platform, La Bolsa Social; and there has been good progress made in energy crowdfunding via Triodos Investment Management’s investment in duurzaaminvesteren.nl

● ○ ○

Resilient and Effective Business Operations

Goals for 2017

How We Did

Progress at a glance

 

 

 

Improve our internal and customer processes so that they are more efficient – creating more value for clients and reducing internal waste.

Process Improvement Accelerator training was implemented across the group with good improvements to the awareness and skills to make process improvements. Additionally, the introduction of new processes and apps have helped make things easier for customers. However, projects take time to implement and pressure of margins and non-recurring cost items such as those associated with Brexit (with the consequent reduction in income) has meant that the cost/income (C/I) ratio could only be maintained at 79%.

● ○ ○

We aim to further improve the sustainable loans to deposit ratio in 2017.

Our sustainable Loans/Deposit ratio increased to 70% by the end of 2017 (2016: 64%).

● ● ●

Triodos Group impact management and communication project will be a priority for 2017.

The Impact project has been initiated with a prototype trials conducted. The project will be further developed and implemented in 2018 so that it is ready for a full reporting cycle in 2019. In addition, Triodos Bank was a founder participant in a new financial sector-wide initiative to develop a methodology to measure the carbon footprint of loan portfolios. This new methodology will be implemented in 2018.

● ○ ○

Be a Learning Organisation and Initiate Dialogue with Society on Positive Change

Goals for 2017

How We Did

Progress at a glance

 

 

 

Encourage and nurture ‘intrapreneurship’ supported by training via the Triodos Academy resulting in more development initiatives lead by individuals at every level of the organisation.

Efforts to create a Continuous Improvement culture throughout the Triodos Academy have encouraged the practice of experimenting, reflecting, learning and developing – leading to more encouragement for intrapreneurship. Good examples from across the organisation include a new method for supporting community renewable energy (Burgersparen) developed in Germany; Energy & Climate teams across the branches and Investment Management collaborated in developing new sub-sectors including offshore wind; there were pioneering initiatives relating to how we used our office space (including as a childcare hub for the Ghent festival)

● ● ○

Co-worker group to share and learn as a community – from each other, across the group and with the outside world.

An International Crowdfunding Learning Day helped to catalyse developments on crowdfunding services; a Theme Day on our Relationship Approach rekindled our attention on what customers really need from us; new ways of working between ICT and business departments have had positive outcomes; we have engaged with a range of high-profile external speakers through internal and partner events.

● ● ○

Deliver Balanced Portfolio of Impact-Risk-Return

Goals for 2017

How We Did

Progress at a glance

 

 

 

Maintain a relatively stable Return on Equity (RoE) allowing for the continuation of major investments in challenging market conditions with a target of 3-5% RoE. We expect 2017’s return to be at the lower end of this band.

A Return on Equity (RoE) of 3.9% was achieved in 2017.

● ● ●

Objectives for 2018

Finance for Impact

  • Ensure that our new loans go beyond meeting the criteria of making positive impact, and bring about a deepening or transforming impact (in line with our strategy for meeting the SDGs – see page 47).
  • Develop new subsectors and follow market developments to remain relevant in each of our countries. In particular, focus on topics of local importance and which contribute to the global SDGs.
  • Become more relevant in the major shifts in energy production by financing larger projects. In parallel, we will want to use our expertise to finance smaller energy projects which contribute to a distributed energy system including efficiency, and energy storage.
  • We will support a greater number of pioneering projects using guarantee arrangements from foundations, the European Investment Bank (EASI) and others.
  • Significantly step up our Foundation activities to support promising new initiatives by restructuring our gift money organisation in 2018, and continue to improve ways to enable individuals to use gift money to catalyse new sustainable ideas.
  • Accelerate the growth of our Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds following the launch of our new SRI Fund Strategy.

Broaden our Scope

  • Continue our public policy advocacy together with partners to create systemic change within the financial sector to support environmental and social sustainability – including the appropriate treatment of capital, application of regulation and access to impact investments for individuals.
  • Continue the development of our activities in France towards the establishment of a branch with the emphasis on further strengthening our lending activity.

Deepen our Relationship Approach

  • Implement and embed Customer Experience Principles across the Group to improve the quality of the interactions and service our clients receive. Introduce regular monitoring and improve our Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for both retail and business clients.

Innovate: New Ventures and Partnerships

  • Further develop and grow our crowdfunding activity to offer more potential alternatives to sustainable companies and investors.

Resilient and Effective Business Operations

  • Improve our internal and customer processes so that they are more efficient – creating more value for clients and reducing internal waste. We aim to reduce our Cost/income ratio. 
  • The enterprise risk management framework is the basis for an integrated in control statement process. This process should lead to an internal statement providing positive assurance in the coming years.

Be a Learning Organisation and Initiate Dialogue with Society on Positive Change

  • Encourage and nurture ‘intrapreneurship’ supported by Triodos Academy resulting in more development initiatives and continuous improvements to processes.
  • Improve our knowledge sharing across the organisation in 2018, both online and offline, to help further enable our co-worker group to learn as a community – from each other, across the group and with the outside world.

Deliver Balanced Portfolio of Impact-Risk-Return

  • We aim to deliver a relatively stable Return on Equity (RoE) allowing for the continuation of major investments in challenging market conditions.