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Lending strategy

How we lend; Triodos Bank's distinctively positive lending criteria

Since Triodos Bank was founded in 1980, we have made it our policy to lend money only to organisations working to bring about positive and lasting change. Triodos Bank offices in The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom and Germany consider lending applications in their respective countries.

But while that broad principle is simple, putting it into practice consistently can sometimes be challenging. So it's vital that we have clearly defined criteria to guide our everyday lending decisions, and to make us accountable to our savers and investors.

A positively different approach

Briefly explained our distinctively positive approach to sustainable lending involves:

  • Identifying sustainable sectors, where we can help businesses develop and innovation flourish
  • Selecting businesses and projects that will deliver real social, cultural or environmental benefits
  • Evaluating both the quality and the motivation of the people involved in a loan application
  • Ensuring that selected projects meet our absolute criteria which measures their potential negative impact on people or planet
  • Financing clearly defined activities or projects within each organisation
  • Closely monitoring how the loan is actually used.

Who does Triodos Bank lend to?

  • Nature & environment : We finance all kinds of sustainable environmental businesses and initiatives, from organic farms and food producers, through renewable energy companies, to eco-development schemes.
  • Culture & Welfare : We lend to businesses and initiatives that help people develop and act as free and responsible citizens. This can cover everything from schools and medical centres, through arts and cultural activities, to community projects of all kinds.
  • Social business : We fund businesses of any kind whose key objectives are to add value to society or the environment, from Fair Trade retailers or wholesale traders, through housing associations and eco-tourism initiatives, to manufacturers of environmentally responsible products. 

Who won't we lend to?

We do not lend to organisations that put profit before people and planet. More specifically, the absolute criteria we apply in making lending decisions fall under two main headings: 

  • Non-sustainable products and services: This category includes all businesses involved in producing or trading in weapons, tobacco, pornography, fur substances hazardous to the environment. It also covers the entire mining sector, oil and gas sector and gambling industry.
  • Non-sustainable working processes: This category covers practices such as human rights or labor rights infringements, tax evasion and corruption, but also issues such as animal testing and controversial farming methods.

In addition to the positive approach to lending, Triodos Bank maintains a list of exclusions to clarify which activities it will not finance or invest in.

See Triodos Minimum Standards and Exclusions

SRI Strategy

A strategic approach to use money for positive change.