Finance can make a positive difference in people’s lives. It can contribute to progress on key issues that are relevant for society. Financing change has been a fundamental objective at Triodos Bank for forty years. At the same time, we have been changing finance – showing others that making choices for positive impact are possible and that a stakeholder-led business model is both viable and desirable. From that very first wind turbine we financed in 1985 to experimenting with the role catalytic money and gift money can play in reimagining finance models today, we find ways to fund initiatives that seem at first impossible and eventually find their way into the mainstream.
At Triodos Bank, we have been managing impact consciously since long before much of today’s terminology existed. Our approach to impact management is to maximise our positive impact first; and minimise negative impact second. We direct our money in a way so that it benefits people and the environment over the long term.
We are delighted to see that impact management is now receiving more mature consideration among our partners, and that managing and measuring impact of investments is a rapidly developing area of expertise. There is a growing awareness in society about its importance, and an increasing number of sector initiatives are focusing on data quality, reporting standardisation, and increasing transparency about methodology and data. This is further supported by new regulations for financial service providers. We continued to share our insights and challenges to contribute to this in 2021.
For Triodos Bank, impact reporting doesn’t just mean reporting on how the organisation behaves as a responsible corporate citizen, for example by using renewable energy to power our buildings. It specifically means reporting in depth on the impact of our activity in the widest sense – from the greenhouse gas emissions of our loans and investments to giving analysts a deeper understanding of the sustainability value of our work.
Our values and our mission are continuously reinforced within our culture by being fully integrated into our operations. Sustainability is intrinsic to everything we do in the organisation. Nonetheless, we keep improving the way we manage our impact.