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Triodos bank in Zeist, Netherlands
Triodos Bank N.V. is a bank based in the Netherlandsmarker with branches in Belgiummarker, Germanymarker, United Kingdommarker and Spainmarker. It is a pioneer in ethical banking. Triodos Bank finances companies which it thinks add cultural value and benefit both people and the environment. The name, Triodos – "tri hodos" – is translated from the Greek as "three-way approach".

Triodos is unusual as it only lends to businesses and charities judged to be of social or ecological benefit. This "positive screening" extends its policies beyond those of ethical banks which solely avoid investing in companies judged to be doing harm ("negative screening"). The Bank uses money deposited by close to 100,000 savers and lends it to hundreds of organisations, such as fair trade initiatives, organic farms and social enterprises.

Savers can open conventional savings accounts, as well as ethical funds and venture capital. Triodos also has an active international department, supporting microfinance initiatives across the developing world. Triodos' balance sheet was worth $1,445 million, or £837 million, by the end of 2005. Triodos is the only commercial bank in the UK to provide an annual list of all the loans the bank has made; thus, savers can see exactly how their money is used.

In 1980 Triodos launched the first "green fund", a fund for environmentally friendly projects, on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. Friends of the Earth in the Netherlandsmarker claims that transferring 10,000 euros in savings from a "climate laggard" such as ABN Amro to Triodos will effectively result in a carbon dioxide emissions saving equivalent to what would be achieved by not driving a car for six months.

See also



References

  1. Marco Visscher, "Banking on Change", Ode Magazine, Jan.-Feb. 2006


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