Our vision on measuring impact reflects a focus on delivering our mission. We aim to find qualitative evidence of impact and back it up with numbers when it’s relevant. Our more qualitative impact can be found in the case studies online (www.annual-report-triodos.com). This section summarises the positive impact in numbers our loans and investments generate within our three main impact sectors (environmental, social and cultural impact).

Impact information is mostly collected through the interaction of our relationship and investment managers and their clients and projects. For 2020, this interaction was, for affected sectors, primarily about assessing clients’ immediate needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gathering impact data was therefore challenging for our clients and relationship managers. The pandemic resulted in significant changes in some impact indicators, mainly in the cultural sector and to a more limited extent in the social sector. Nevertheless, Triodos Bank maintains a positive outlook on the impact our finance makes possible.

Triodos Bank’s approach to measuring and managing impact is described in 'Understanding impact . Our main guidelines for impact by sector are:

  • Our calculations only measure projects with a direct relationship to our finance or investment activities.

  • For the impact indicators we use the contribution approach. This means that we include 100% of the impact when we co-finance a project unless this represents the results unfairly.

  • The impact data included in the Executive Board report is in scope of the review procedures performed by the independent external auditor. Subjecting our impact performance to the audit process (limited assurance) is a logical step for an integrated business with sustainability at the core of its financial activity.

For more detailed information on the measurements per sector, see www.triodos.com/impact-themes.

The data that Triodos Bank collects for the Impact by Sector section will be essential for the adaptation of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) from 10 March 2021 onwards. More on this topic can be found in Understanding impact ’.

Sustainable Development Goals and Triodos Bank

The United Nations launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2015. The SDGs are a universal set of targets and indicators designed to help countries end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. They have quickly become an established framework with relevance for businesses, government and civil society. They resonate strongly with Triodos Bank and our identity as a values-based bank. We have been working on this agenda since our founding in 1980.

Triodos Bank is asked to describe its approach to the SDGs by various stakeholders. This is the fifth year that Triodos Bank will include the SDGs in its reporting. We do this in three distinct ways:

  1. By linking relevant content throughout the report to specific SDGs with an SDG icon.

  2. Via the mapping exercise that follows inAppendix III – UN Sustainable Development Goals , including updates where we have made specific progress.

  3. By identifying and reporting against several specific targets, which underpin each of the SDGs.

And while we continue to plot our own path on a journey to a sustainable, low-carbon and inclusive future, we welcome a framework that enables us to communicate better with our fellow travellers. The SDGs do just that. They provide powerful language to communicate integrated sustainability goals that are more urgent now than ever.