Triodos Bank and its investment funds, offered via Triodos Investment Management, finance and cofinance enterprises that augment the use of renewable resources in particular and supports projects that reduce the demand for energy and promote energy efficiency.
Triodos Bank describes and independently verifies the contribution it makes to the avoided carbon emissions that result from these energy projects. We are transparent about this approach in the annual report because we think it’s important that our stakeholders understand the approach we take to these disclosures.
In reporting our impact as a sustainable bank, we include all the impact of the projects and clients that we finance. In technical jargon this is called the contribution approach. We also used the contribution approach in reporting the greenhouse gas emissions of our renewable energy portfolio up to 2017. This was previously both practical and, we believe, reasonable. From 2018 onwards we will also include the attribution approach in our carbon disclosures. This means that we will calculate the avoided emissions as they relate to the proportion of our finance in a project.
It’s important to note that an attribution approach leads to lower carbon emissions figures than a contribution approach. That is because a contribution approach accounts for all of the emissions from a project rather than a proportion of them. This attribution approach is a more accurate reflection of Triodos Bank’s responsibility for the greenhouse gas emissions of the projects it finances, and is consistent with the PCAF methodology.
By the end of 2018, Triodos Bank and its climate and energy investment funds were financing 513 projects in the energy sector: including 34 energy efficiency projects, 28 sustainable power projects in a construction phase and another 451 sustainable power projects (2017: 410) with a total generating capacity of 3,800 MW (2017: 3,100 MW), producing the equivalent of the electricity needs of 2.5 million households worldwide (2017: 1.4 million). Together these projects contributed to the avoidance of over 2.9 million tonnes of CO2 emissions (2017: 2.4 million tonnes). Of these avoided emissions about 0.9 million tonnes CO2 can be attributed to Triodos Bank’s financing in the renewable energy projects.
These projects include 207 windpower projects, 230 solar photovoltaic projects, and 34 hydro projects. The rest include heat and cold storage, biomass and a diverse range of energy efficiency initiatives.
Organic farming and nature development
The organically managed land on the farms which Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management financed in 2018 could produce the equivalent of 32 million meals in 2018, or enough food to provide a sustainable diet for approximately 29,000 people (2017: 27,000). Together they financed approximately 35,000 hectares of organic farmland across Europe. This means one football-pitch sized piece of farmland for every 13 customers, each one producing enough for 550 meals per year.
We also financed 30,000 hectares of nature and conservation land (2017: 31,000 hectares), representing around 420m2 of nature and conservation land per customer. This land is important for the sequestration or absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere.
In 2018 over 104,000 smallholder farmers (2017: 146,000) in 13 emerging market countries worldwide were paid directly and fairly upon delivery of their harvest, as a result of the trade finance that Triodos Investment Management funds provides to farmers’ cooperatives and agribusiness. These farmers’ harvest that is brought to international markets, consists of 12 different fair trade and organic products, such as cocoa, coffee, oils and quinoa. In 2018 the clients of the funds had 56,000 hectares of certified organic farmland under cultivation (2017: 60,000). An additional 24,000 (2017: 17,000) hectares was in conversion – an important number because it takes time before conventional farmland is ready to be certified organic.
Sustainable property and private sustainable mortgages
As well as offering green mortgages that incentivise households to reduce their carbon footprint, Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management finance new building developments and renovation projects for properties to reach high sustainability standards. In 2018 Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management financed directly, and via sustainable property, approximately 11,800 homes and apartments (2017: 10,600) and about 440 commercial properties (2017: 540) comprising approximately 717,000m2 for office and other commercial space (2017: 540,000m2) and about 226,000m2 of buildings and brownfield sites (2017: 18,000m2).
As a result of its finance across Europe around 41,000 individuals (2017: 53,000) were residents of facilities at 502 elderly care homes financed by Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management in 2018, representing the equivalent of 21 days of care per Triodos Bank customer.
Community projects and social housing
In 2018 Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management financed 525 community projects (2017: 490), and 204 social housing projects, which directly and indirectly provide accommodation for approximately 56,000 people (2017: 94,000).
Triodos Investment Management’s specialised emerging markets funds provided finance to 103 financial institutions working for inclusive finance in 43 countries (2017: 44). These organisations reached approximately 11.1 million individuals saving for their future (2017: 15.1 million) and 19.2 million customers borrowing for a better quality of life (2017: 20.3 million). Of these loan clients, 82% are female. Women are often in disadvantaged positions in many developing countries. Giving women the freedom to manage their income and to provide for their families empowers their position.
Arts and culture
During 2018 Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management helped make it possible for 22.6 million visitors (2017: 17.6 million) to enjoy cultural events including cinemas, theatres and museums across Europe, as a result of its lending and investments activity to cultural institutions. This represents the equivalent of 31 cultural experiences per Triodos Bank customer.
Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management finance helped approximately 3,300 artists and creative companies active in the cultural sector (2017: 3,400). Theatre, music and dance productions from creative companies were attended by 1.2 million people. New productions in 2018 from the film and media sector financed by Triodos Bank (most importantly in Spain) were seen by approximately 13 million people (2017: 9 million).
Triodos Bank and Triodos Investment Management also financed organisations that provided 4,000 affordable spaces for cultural activities such as workshops and music courses.
Approximately 680,000 individuals benefited from the work of 550 education initiatives financed by Triodos Bank in 2018 (2017: 650,000). For every Triodos Bank customer, the equivalent of 1 person was able to learn and grow because of education provided by an establishment we financed.