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 won't lend to any organisation that puts profit before people and planet. More specifically, the absolute criteria we apply in making lending decisions come under two main headings:
- Non-sustainable products and services : This includes all businesses involved in producing or trading in weapons, tobacco, pornography, fur or environmentally hazardous substances. It also covers the gambling industry.
- Non-sustainable working processes : This covers everything from animal testing and inhumane farming methods, through corruption and support for dictatorial regimes, to breaches of fundamental labour rights.
If you're interested to know more, you can download detailed explanation of our lending criteria below.