Energy consumption and reductions – new technology
Triodos Bank aims to use green energy to power all its offices. Where it starts working in a new office which doesn’t already use a green energy supplier, it converts to green energy as quickly as possible.
In order to reduce the energy consumption of its data centre and IT operations Triodos Bank started a pilot with thin clients’ to reduce its energy usage.
This new technology saves 90% of the energy use of conventional computers, and will be adopted by the UK office when it moves to a new building early in 2012.
Gas and electricity consumption
In 2011, gas consumption per fte decreased by 34% and decreased per office cubic metre (m3) by 20%, compared to 2010. Electricity consumption decreased by 12% per fte.
Electricity consumption per square metre (m2) also decreased, by 2%. Electricity use relates more closely to individual consumption, via computers for example. Gas usage relates more to the energy consumption of a whole building.
Triodos Bank aims to use green energy to power all its offices, and already does in The Netherlands, UK, Belgium and Germany.
The Spanish branch opened five more commercial offices in 2011. All of them, bar three, were converted to use green energy from renewable sources. The remaining three will change to green energy early in 2012. This means that in 2011 87% of the office space in Spain used green energy
The UK branch will move to a new building in January 2012.
The building, in Bristol, is already built to high environmental specifications. To improve it further Triodos Bank has installed solar panels, which are expected to meet 10% of the branch’s electricity needs (when compared to its usage in its previous building). The branch plans to make further improvements once it has settled in to its new home.
Co-workers use public transport for travel whenever possible, but when travel by car is essential Triodos Bank buys company cars with a high environmental performance.
Triodos Bank in The Netherlands owns an electric car for co-worker journeys of up to 70 kms. In addition, it leases two electric cars and has installed charging points for visitors and co-workers.
The number of kilometres travelled by air per fte decreased by 9% in 2011 (compared to an increase of 3% in 2010).
The total commuting distance increased by 3.6% in 2011. 40% of the total commuting distance made by Triodos Bank co-workers was travelled using public transport, compared to 38% in 2010. Commuting by car decreased by 12% per fte.
Triodos Bank’s policy is to encourage co-workers to travel to and from work using the most environmentally-friendly option.
In Germany, a third of co-workers regularly cycled to work in 2011. The distance commuted by bike to work was up by 70% on 2010, amounting to a distance of 24,000 kms over the year.
Triodos Bank aims to reduce the environmental footprint of its paper usage and printing.
Where possible, it uses recycled paper and environmentally sound printing processes and materials, such as waterless offsetting and vegetable inks. In 2011, 13% more paper per fte was consumed than in 2010. The use of office paper decreased by 20% per fte, but the use of printed paper – such as promotional material for customers - increased by 17% per fte.
This is partly due to servicing increasing customer numbers. However, Triodos Bank encourages its customers to communicate with it in an environmentally-friendly way (by telephone, e-mail or the internet); expanding its online product offering, and improving the efficiency of opening accounts online, are just two examples.
Triodos Bank recognises that, through the indirect impact of its investments and loans, it could unintentionally damage the world’s biodiversity.
For this reason, Triodos Bank has lending criteria for companies operating in sectors with a high risk of negative effects on biodiversity. This approach ensures businesses have a policy to identify these risks and act to deal with problems when they occur.
At the same time Triodos Bank focuses on financing enterprises that protect and encourage biodiversity.
Triodos Bank monitors the waste collection process very carefully, separately collecting glass, paper, plastics, food and garden waste. It also encourages proactive recycling.
Triodos Bank monitors water consumption very closely, and uses it as sparingly as possible. The head office uses groundwater to heat and cool the building and rainwater to flush its toilets. This is biggest single impact on limiting its water use.