Our vision on measuring impact reflects a focus on delivering our mission. We aim to find qualitative evidence of impact and back that up with numbers when 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 that 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 investment and relationship managers and their clients and projects. In 2021 as in 2020, this interaction was, for affected sectors, primarily about assessing clients’ immediate needs, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Gathering impact data was therefore challenging for our clients and investment 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.

Our main guidelines for impact by sector are:

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

  • 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.

  • If it is not possible to record 100% of the data required, we use conservative estimates.

  • Because most impact numbers are based on manually collected data from our lending customers and investees, and despite strict definitions, this data can be subject to different interpretations. That is why we round off all impact data conservatively in this report.

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