Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
Triodos Bank UK has close partnerships with a number organisations and charities aligned with our values and willing to recommend us to their supporters, such as Friends of the Earth, RSPB and the Soil Association.
Ahead of COP26, Triodos Bank UK signed a number of open letters to the UK Prime Minister urging him to support of a net-zero financial sector and enhanced policy to deliver that goal. They were coordinated by the likes of Green Alliance, WWF, The Climate Coalition and the Aldersgate Group. Triodos Bank is a member and supporter of these organisations.
We are a founding pledge partner of the Make My Money Matter campaign and a member of the Financing a Just Transition Alliance, designed to identify the role that finance can play in connecting action on climate change with inclusive development pathways.
Triodos Bank UK sits on the steering group and is a financial supporter of the Impact Investing Institute, non-profit organisation aiming to accelerate the growth and improve the effectiveness of the impact investing market in the UK and internationally.
In Spain, we met with local NGOs to talk about the launch of the impact fund. And attendees from several events in which Triodos Bank Spain was involved donated to NGOs. Triodos Bank Belgium and Triodos Investment Management engaged with Fairfin about a report on the use of plastic in the food industry.
Triodos Investment Management also had a conversation with local NGOs in Cambodia about the behavior of the local microfinance sector (specifcally about the danger of over-indebtedness).
Part of our mission is to change finance. This makes the financial sector one of our most important stakeholders. We interact with our colleagues in the sector on a regular basis, in person, through banking associations or during events. Triodos Bank is a member of several local, regional and international platforms and associations, consisting of a diverse set of organisations, such as the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), B Corp (which includes a wide range of companies, not all active in the financial sector), United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), United Kingdom Social Investment Forum (UKSIF) and many more.
Triodos Bank attended and engaged with COP26 in Glasgow. It was encouraging to see dedicated discussion on finance in the COP programme for the first time this year.We announced a target of reaching net zero emissions as early as possible, and at the latest by 2035, which can serve as inspiration for other financial institutions.
In Germany, the climate commitment of the German financial sector, co-initiated by Triodos Bank 2020, continues to play an important role in the industry. It has been the cause of meetings and working groups and has continued to grow in importance.
In a press release, Triodos Bank Belgium again gave the revised 2021 version of the Towards Sustainability label an unsatisfactory mark because the 2021 label still does not clearly eliminate the most harmful investments that stand in the way of climate goals, nor does it set a clear path to use all fossil fuels. to eliminate energy sources from sustainable investment portfolios.
Triodos Bank Belgium also spoke at the conference of the Federal Council for Sustainable Development (FRDO) 'Aligning finance with sustainable development'. It was one of many occasions in 2021 where Triodos Bank presented its vision on sustainable finance.
In Spain, we continued our co-organisation of events Aulas Gabeiras, in particular related to spreading the meaning of the European taxonomy of investments
Triodos Bank has ongoing dialogues with local and (inter)national governments and supervisory bodies, sometimes in partnership with other financial institutions or other partners. It engages in conversations about the sector and has regular meetings to discuss issues that are relevant to its business.
Key topics it focuses on in conversations and consultations include the positive impact and potential of sustainable banking, the strength of greater diversity in the banking industry and the need for broader retail participation in impact investing.
Triodos Bank is a member of banking associations across Europe and is engaged in governmental and supervisory consultations with a focus on maintaining a diverse banking landscape and fair and effective regulatory conditions for small and medium-sized banks.
A lot of focus in 2021 went to the European taxonomy. The taxonomy determines which investments are considered 'green' and can be presented as such to the market. This promotes transparency, counters greenwashing and drives the shift of capital towards the sustainable economy of the future. A development that we as financial institutions wholeheartedly support. However, it is important that Europe sticks to the original principles of the taxonomy, now the decision needs to be made whether natural gas and nuclear energy will be included as ‘green’.
Triodos Bank UK supports the work of the Green Finance Institute, which was established in 2019 as a direct response to a key policy recommendation made by the industry-led Green Finance Taskforce to the UK Government.
Triodos Bank UK continues to support a cross party group of UK MPs in an ambitious initiative called Bankers for Net Zero that aims to develop a set of policy recommendations designed to create a regulatory environment that enables banks to play their part in financing the net-zero transition.
We also continued to support the UK’s first Nature Based Investment pilot projects in collaboration with the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and other partners.
In Spain, we participated in an event organised by the Central Spanish Bank about sustainable finance. We continued working with the Ministry of Ecologic Transition sharing point of view and vision related to Sustainable Finance, joined to Climate Change law development. And we offered our remarks about the Climate Change and Energy Transition Law, approved in 2021 in Spain. Lastly, we have joined to "La otra Pac" to make advocacy related to adecuated European policies about bio agriculture aligned to "Ecoesquemas".
The managing director of Triodos Bank Germany is part of the Sustainable Finance Advisory Board of the German Federal Government. And Triodos Investment Management participated in a round table discussion at the Ministry of Finance in October on the accessibility of investing for retail clients.
Triodos Bank’s profile has developed rapidly in recent years in all the countries where it operates, via coverage in the media in particular. In addition to media coverage, Triodos Bank uses social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and its website to communicate news, attract new co-workers and to engage with stakeholders interested in its story.
Triodos Bank UK advocates for change through external presentations, media coverage and thought leadership articles. It also published a regular column in the Metro newspaper – one of the largest circulated newspapers in the country – to talk about sustainable banking. Triodos Bank Spain is sponsor of the Annual Congress of the Environmental Journalists Association and in Germany we held several background talks with journalists about for instance sustainable finance.