Triodos Bank continually seeks to connect with the world around us. This is essential if we are to remain relevant, continue to progress and meet our frontrunner ambitions. All our business and financial decisions have an impact on our stakeholders. In turn, the societal themes embraced by our stakeholders affect what we do and how we do it. Our essence defines us. It is the starting point of our conversations with the broader stakeholder community.

Stakeholder dialogue: keeping us on our toes

Engaging with key stakeholders and developments in society at large informs how we bring our essence to life through our strategy and actions. We have benefitted from free-flowing discussions with our stakeholders over many years and in varied ways. We invite NGOs and citizens to participate in evening debates, we conduct surveys and organise meetings for Depository Receipt holders and other stakeholders. Our business units and co-workers at Group level regularly engage in these and other activities.

In addition to numerous interactions throughout the year at all levels of our organisation, we follow a formal process to analyse which issues are most important both to our stakeholders and our organisation (materiality analyses). We integrate these issues into our management objectives. Our reporting on progress of these objectives follows the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards. For more information about how Triodos Bank engages with its stakeholders visit www.triodos.com/stakeholders.

28

external stakeholders from 5 countries attended our annual stakeholder meeting

Materiality analysis

Triodos Bank identifies three general stakeholder categories:

  • Those that have economic relationships with the business

  • Those without an economic relationship but with a close interest in Triodos Bank from a societal perspective

  • Those that provide new insights and knowledge

Within each category we have identified specific stakeholder groups, including the influence they exert on Triodos Bank and the expectations they have of us. The table below gives an overview of all major stakeholders and how they link with relevant topics.

Stakeholder Table

Stakeholder

Definition

Most relevant topics (see Material topics)

Category: stakeholders that engage in economic transactions with Triodos Bank

Clients

Clients expect excellent banking and financial services.

They expect Triodos Bank to put their interests first.

Clients are essential to achieve our mission.

  • Protecting client data

  • Client relationships

  • Engaging with communities

  • Social inclusion

  • Sustainable investments

  • Thought leadership

  • Products with a purpose

  • Integrating mission/strategy

  • New sustainable ventures

Depository Receipt holders

Influence on and expectations about how Triodos Bank strikes a balance between return on investment and social, environmental and cultural returns.

  • Social inclusion

  • Resilient financial institution

  • Thought leadership

  • Integrating mission/strategy

  • New sustainable ventures

Bond holders

Influence on and expectations about how Triodos Bank strikes a balance between return on investment and social, environmental and cultural returns.

  • Sustainable Investments

  • New sustainable ventures

  • Resilient financial institution

  • Engaging with communities

Co-workers

Influence on and expectations of Triodos Bank’s ability to create a working environment that is inspiring, healthy and welcoming.

Expect and contribute to a workplace where each co-worker finds room to address the important questions of our time and where each individual can work effectively in line with the mission and values.

  • Fair remuneration

  • Learning organisation

  • Responsible employer/diversity

  • Engaging with communities

  • Social inclusion

  • Sustainable investments

  • Thought leadership

  • Integrating mission/strategy

  • New sustainable ventures

Suppliers

Expect Triodos Bank to be a responsible and reliable business partner.

Partners in our mission for a more sustainable world.

  • Sustainable suppliers

  • Engaging with communities

  • Social inclusion

  • Responsible employer

  • Integrating mission/strategy

Category: stakeholders that have a close interest in Triodos Bank

NGOs

Influence on and expectations of Triodos Bank’s ability to execute its mission in a responsible and ethical way with a positive impact on society and the environment.

  • Fair remuneration

  • Social inclusion

  • Sustainable investments

  • Responsible employer

Governments and regulators

Influence on and expectations of Triodos Bank’s ability to execute its mission in a responsible and ethical way.

Expect us to be compliant with laws and regulations.

  • Fair remuneration

  • Protecting client data

  • Resilient financial institution

  • Thought leadership

  • Integrating mission/strategy

Local communities

Expect to derive benefit from our financial activities.

  • Engaging with communities

  • Thought leadership

  • Products with a purpose

  • Social inclusion

  • Integrating mission/strategy

Financial sector

Key to achieving our mission to increase the positive impact of finance on society and the environment (our mission to change finance).

  • Social inclusion

  • Resilient financial institution

  • Thought leadership

  • Integrating mission/strategy

Media

Influence public opinion about Triodos Bank and the topics that are relevant for our mission.

  • All topics can be relevant

Category: stakeholders that provide knowledge and insights

Advisors and influencers

They prompt us to reflect, rethink and explore new territory.

  • Engaging with communities

  • Social inclusion

  • Thought leadership

  • Integrating mission/strategy

Embedding stakeholder engagement in our strategy

Triodos Bank has created a solid foundation for our stakeholder engagement in the last few years. In 2021, we took additional steps to better embed stakeholder engagement in our corporate strategy cycle.

We consulted with key stakeholders in preparing the Group strategic plan. Key objectives from the Group Strategic Plan 2019-2021, which define the framework for strategic choices and development for that period, and the Group Year Plan 2022, which details the strategic direction in the coming year, were agenda items at our annual stakeholder meeting. This was our first international stakeholder meeting with participants from the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain and Germany.

Stakeholder input is used for internal analysis and discussion on the Group strategic plan and for further strategic development.

Material topics and current developments

A thorough analysis in 2019 and continuing consultations with our stakeholders identified 14 material topics for Triodos Bank. Triodos Bank co-workers in senior positions are topic owners and have responsibility for each of these topics and the associated stakeholder engagement.

In 2021, we performed a refresh of our materiality assessment and as a result of that survey, we noted that our material topics remained unchanged. Two developments in the course of the year had an exceptional impact on Triodos Bank and our stakeholders.

First, in 2021, several publications by the IPCC (the UN panel of climate scientists), the UN environmental programme (UNEP) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) made clear that, currently, the world is following a pathway of global temperature rise well above 2°C in 2100. The climate emergency is increasingly affecting people’s lives and impacting nature. This provides concrete proof of the need to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions well before 2050. We are in the decisive decade and that is why, in 2021, Triodos Bank has set the high ambition to be net-zero by 2035, reaffirming our frontrunner role in the financial sector.

Secondly, trading in Triodos Bank Depository Receipts has been closed since 5 January 2021 in response to the heightened uncertainty in the economy as a whole including the financial sector, caused by the pandemic. Addressing the strategic challenge presented by the suspension was an urgent focus in 2021 and remains a top priority for Triodos Bank.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact society, including our stakeholders, with new lockdowns and other challenges.

These developments have been extensively discussed with stakeholders throughout the year, both internally and externally.

Stakeholder survey and annual meeting

The 14 material topics were included in the annual stakeholder survey. This was distributed to representatives from all the specific stakeholder groups in the countries where we have banking activities. We also asked stakeholders to identify other possible issues, which are not currently included.

Triodos Bank's annual stakeholder meeting - comprised of two plenary sessions - was, for the first time in our history, organised internationally, with participants from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK and Spain. The 28 external attendees represented all stakeholder groups. Two members of the Executive Board (CEO and CCO) participated on behalf of Triodos Bank.

The first plenary session focused on how Triodos Bank can continue its mission with a different capital structure. The participants talked about how the bank can ensure that the voice of the stakeholders continues to be heard, while also safeguarding the interests of DR holders and the bank's financial continuity. The discussion centred mainly on how to preserve the independence of Triodos Bank and the execution of its mission in case of a listing on a public platform.

The second plenary session focused on Triodos Bank’s status as a frontrunner in sustainable finance, aiming to change finance and finance change. We want to make a positive impact on people and planet, while achieving our net-zero target in 2035. Debate centred on what form of cooperation was most valuable to stakeholders and on which issues Triodos Bank should be most vocal. Some participants proposed that Triodos Bank cooperate more with stakeholders outside its own ecosystem; others urged Triodos Bank to show the financial sector where it needs to be in about ten years.

The survey, the annual stakeholder meeting and the materiality matrix provided us with important input for this year’s materiality analysis. We also incorporated the feedback we received at the Annual General Meeting and our participation in various global strategic bodies. The analysis is supplemented by input from the topic owners and several stakeholder events and interactions during the year.

Materiality matrix 2021