What started with a positive outlook, with COVID-19-related restrictions fading more into the background, changed overnight with the news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February last year.
Besides the enormous impact it still has on the local population, the war led to high inflation, rising interest rates, high energy prices and overall economic uncertainty felt by people across Europe and beyond. In addition, the climate crisis continues to greatly affect people worldwide, while more locally the agricultural crisis came to a head.
Navigating these crises highlighted the inherent imbalance in the current system. There is a growing awareness of the need to restore the balance between give and take, and an awakened sense of urgency. To tackle today’s most challenging problems, and transform our economy, we need a radically different approach. We need to pioneer and find (new) financial instruments that can serve the innovative businesses and models that offer solutions for these crises.
TRMC has developed a healthy pipeline of projects by joining forces and building partnerships with like-minded parties. This was a big part of our work in 2022, leading to a number of new investments and donations. At the core of our work lies the continuous exploration of finding the appropriate financial instrument for certain initiatives. We actively look for partnerships that enable blended finance solutions for this.
We have articulated a theory of change to structure and focus our decision-making for donations. This commits us to the transition to a healthy ecosystem, in which people and nature live together in balance. We believe that the challenges we face require an inclusive approach, tapping into a wide range of perspectives and talents.
Aiming for a healthy ecosystem for the generations to come, we made a donation to De Nationale DenkTank. This annual thinktank consists of a multidisciplinary team of 20 highly talented PhD or master's students. In 2022 they worked on visionary and practical solutions for biodiversity loss.
We supported Wilder Land, a tea-producing Dutch start-up with a loan. Wilder Land’s business model shows how economics and nature can work hand in hand. Wilder Land is ensuring continued investment in biodiversity by farmers by creating a revenue model around Dutch herbs that had often been seen as weeds.
TRMC reached its 2022 targets in terms of number of investments and donations as well as in terms of the innovative nature of the initiatives supported. The inflow of donation money exceeded expectations last year. Besides our continuous investment and donation activities we were able to formulate more clearly how regenerative money can contribute to today’s challenges, and how it fits with our common understanding of the role of money in today’s society. We started working on the simplification of our organisational set-up last year. This will allow us to work more efficiently and make even more impact.
On a final note, we have become more visible, both within the wider Triodos community and beyond through content and events. TRMC has become a permanent partner in activities organised by the bank. This increased visibility contributed to the growth in funded projects and an increase in the number of donations.