How banking can help make real impact – #ThisIsImpact19
Rebecca Pritchard, Head of Business Banking, Triodos Bank UK
Next time you get out your card or coins to pay for something, maybe stop and think for a second. Every financial decision we make has an impact. Whether it’s something small like choosing a Fairtrade banana, or more activist, like boycotting a certain brand or consciously selecting a more sustainable alternative – voting with your individual wallet makes a large collective impact.
Now consider the combined power of banks. Every decision that they make involves significant sums of money – and it is up to the banks themselves to determine whether that impact is positive or negative.
Some banks may, unbeknown to their customers, invest in or lend extensively to the fossil fuel sector, tobacco or arms trade. On the other hand, some banks will choose to make their money work for positive change.
If one bank can power millions of households with renewable energy, imagine the impact that dozens of banks could have with their combined assets. - Rebecca Pritchard
Since 1980, Triodos Bank’s mission has been to help create a society that protects and promotes quality of life and human dignity for all. We use depositors’ money solely to finance projects that make a positive and lasting impact on society, culture and the environment – and we publish details of every loan we make on our Know Where Your Money Goes website.
In line with this, it’s important to measure our impact as a bank in more than just financial terms. Our latest Annual Report details impact in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and we’re proud to say that in 2018 Triodos Bank made significant impact across Europe, including:
We’re also pioneering new ways of reporting on the greenhouse gas emissions of our loan book, which provides stakeholders with an indication of the impact of our finance on generated, sequestered and avoided emissions.
We’ve also been looking to prototype new ways to manage and report the change we’re financing. Harnessing the input of academics and practitioners from across the Triodos Bank network, we have developed tools which will provide more relevant data about the impact we, and our customers, make in the world. This will help us to improve our decision making from an impact, risk and return perspective when expanding our loan book. And it will provide practical ways to increase the positive changes we make together.
Finally, we’re working with a number of groups of like-minded financial institutions to campaign for change across the wider sector. We supported the launch the UN Principles for Responsible Banking in the UK earlier this year and helped found the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, an independent network of 54 banks using finance to deliver sustainable economic, social and environmental development.
If one bank can power millions of households with renewable energy, imagine the impact that dozens of banks could have with their combined assets.
We want to continue to create positive change through our lending, so if you’re a purpose-driven organisation looking for finance please do get in touch with Triodos Bank during or after Impact Summit.
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