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Our environmental impact

Energy consumption and reductions – new technology

Triodos Bank aims to use green energy to power all its offices. Where it starts working in a new office which doesn’t already use a renewable energy supplier it converts to renewable energy as quickly as possible.

The organisation took further, practical steps to reduce its environmental footprint during the year. The organisation started to implement a thin client’s project during the year to reduce computer energy usage. This new technology, which was adopted by the UK during a move to new premises, can save 90% of the energy use of conventional computers. Its use will be extended across Triodos Bank. Energy consumption in Triodos Bank’s data centre also decreased by 5% during the year.

Most desktop computers in Belgium were replaced by Thin Client’s leading to a reduction in energy usage of 10%, and all bulbs were replaced with energy saving alternatives.

Gas and electricity consumption

In 2012, gas consumption per fte decreased by 6% and decreased per office cubic metre (m3) by 6%, compared to 2011. Electricity consumption increased by 16% per fte.

Electricity consumption per square metre (m2) also increased, by 11%. Electricity use increased in the UK because of the move to a larger office, and in Spain because of the renovation of the central office in Madrid.

Sustainable Energy

Triodos Bank aims to use electricity from renewable energy sources to power all its offices, and already does in The Netherlands, UK, Belgium and Germany.

All of the existing, and new, offices in Spain used renewable energy by the end of the year. In addition, the Dutch branch uses green gas for its heating.

Triodos Bank is in discussion with its suppliers about the reliability of the source of the renewable energy it buys. More information will be available about this in 2013 and, if necessary, the data in the report about grey and green energy will be revised. We have taken a conservative view in our calculations of CO2 emissions for electricity and included a proportion of grey energy used in The Netherlands, UK and Belgium offices.

Travel

Business Travel

Co-workers use public transport for travel whenever possible, but when travel by car is essential Triodos Bank buys company cars with a high environmental performance.
In 2012 the maximum CO2 emissions allowed for commercial vehicles declined from 150 gr to 130 gr. The average CO2 emissions for the fleet declined from 120 gr in 2011 to 115 gr in 2012.

Triodos Bank in The Netherlands owns an electric car for co-worker journeys of up to 70 kms. In addition, it leases two electric cars and has installed charging points for visitors and co-workers.

The number of kilometres travelled by air per fte decreased by 4% in 2012 (compared to a decrease of 9% in 2011). This remains an important area of attention.

Commuting

The total commuting distance decreased by 11% per fte in 2012. 42% of the total commuting distance made by Triodos Bank co-workers was travelled using public transport, compared to 40% in 2011. Commuting by car decreased by 14%, per fte.

Triodos Bank’s policy is to encourage co-workers to travel to and from work using the most environmentally-friendly option.

In the Netherlands the office promoted the use of electric bikes, resulting in 18 co-workers permanently changing the way they commute. Together, they now travel at least 90,000 kms by bike, instead of car or public transport.

The number of UK co-workers who cycle to work more than doubled in 2012 (from 12 to 30).
Almost half the UK co-workers now spend most of their journey to work on foot, or travel by bike, covering a distance equivalent to of over one and half times the circumference of the world.

Paper Usage

Triodos Bank aims to reduce the environmental footprint of its paper usage and printing.

Where possible, it uses recycled paper and environmentally sound printing processes and materials, such as waterless offsetting and vegetable inks. The use of office paper decreased by 11% per fte, and the use of printed paper – such as promotional material for customers – also decreased by 18% per fte, and by 27% per customer.

Triodos Bank encourages its growing number of customers to communicate with it in an environmentally-friendly way (by telephone, e-mail or the internet). Examples include expanding its online product offering, improving the efficiency of opening accounts online, and communicating with customers electronically where possible.

Biodiversity

Triodos Bank recognises that, through the indirect impact of its investments and loans, it could unintentionally damage biodiversity.

For this reason, Triodos Bank has lending criteria for companies operating in sectors with a high risk of negative effects on biodiversity. This approach ensures businesses have a policy to identify these risks and act to deal with problems when they occur.

At the same time Triodos Bank focuses on financing enterprises that protect and encourage biodiversity.

Waste

Triodos Bank monitors the waste collection process very carefully, separately collecting glass, paper, plastics, food and garden waste. It also encourages proactive recycling.

Computers made available after the UK started using Thin Client, for example, were recycled and are now in use in schools in Africa.

Water

Triodos Bank monitors water consumption very closely, and uses it as sparingly as possible. The head office uses groundwater to heat and cool the building and rainwater to flush its toilets. This is the biggest single impact on limiting its water use.