Context is everything
- Authentic stories are crucial to understanding true impact
- A focus on impact dictates which sectors we finance and how we finance them
- We’re clear about the methodologies we use and dilemmas we face to assess our impact
Context is key
To understand our vision and the extent to which we’re delivering on it, means telling stories that illustrate the whole picture. These stories provide the essential context and background for our activities. The examples in the report are representative of areas which we have focused on because they represent key areas of our work overall and/or because of their significant potential for the future. They are not ‘cherry-picked’ to highlight work that’s untypical of our wider efforts.
Triodos Bank’s impact on sectors
In Triodos Bank’s case, our starting point is fundamentally important to the sectors we finance and the impact we try to make.
We invest time in deepening our understanding of the markets we work in to make sure we develop meaningful relationships with, and provide the most relevant services to, the entrepreneurs driving the development of these sectors.
For example, we don’t finance progressive schools because we think there’s a good opportunity to make some money in the schools market; we finance them because we think children should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, and we think progressive education is one way to do that. We then find a financially sustainable way to do just that. Our impact reflects the extent to which we have served the needs of the sector first and is dependent on being able to do it in a professional, financially sound way.
We aim to be as rigorous as possible in developing methodologies behind the data you will see and to be completely open about the assumptions we have made. During 2015 we developed an impact assessment manual that we will use to develop our methodology and make sure it’s implemented in a consistent way.
This report aims to assess and communicate the impact of Triodos Bank’s work in a transparent, meaningful and evolving way. We expect it to develop further in the future and we welcome feedback.
For a second year we have worked with our auditors to provide limited assurance on the impact data we publish in the Executive Board report, to further improve how and what we report. Because as an integrated business we think it’s important that we verify both our financial and non-financial data.