Bevis Watts

As a bank, we are nothing without you, our community of customers, and it is heartening to find so many of you continue to share our goal of making the world a better place through the conscious use of money.

One of the most exciting things about this year has been seeing the understanding of the power of money to be an influential form of democracy grow – something that you as a Triodos customer already grasped. From a dedicated Finance Day at COP26 in Glasgow through to Which? magazine releasing its first ranking of sustainable savings account providers, this growing awareness helpfully puts pressure on the financial system to do better and we have seen much more engagement from the financial sector over the past year. But it isn’t enough.

Our own net zero target announced at COP26 set an ambitious, science-based target aligned to 1.5 degrees by 2035. This target factors in all the ‘scope 3 emissions’ within our lending and investment portfolio, as well as our intention to grow the bank, which will inevitably involve a larger carbon footprint. Not every commitment is the same, but we feel banks going beyond the standard ‘scope 1 and 2 emissions’ is critical to a just transition.

I’m sure many of you will share anger and frustration that as a society we can’t make quicker progress on climate targets. Some have asked us ‘why not sooner?’. At Triodos we aimed to offer our usual transparency and honesty in setting a date. What becomes clear is that we need to see much faster action by the financial sector with disclosure of current emissions, targets and transition plans.

As One to Zero

Although the challenge is huge, as a wildlife enthusiast and environmentalist, the need to shift to a much more nature-based economy and invest in projects that absorb carbon excites me. Among the funding we provided for organisations helping to make a positive impact on people and the planet this year, we were involved in arranging the finance for a ground-breaking Natural Flood Management project in Lancashire and raising £2m for charity Trees for Life on our crowdfunding platform in less than 48 hours.

River Wyre in Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire | Photo: Rivers Trust

With too many others to mention here, I hope that you will find time to explore our Know Where your Money Goes map, which now includes the companies within our award-winning Triodos Impact Investment Funds. This level of transparency is still one of the things that make Triodos Bank unique.

While everybody’s talking about net zero – and we know that the goal is to get to zero fast – we actually see the most important number as one. We need to do this together. We need to act as one movement to help ensure the transition also prioritises being fair and inclusive. If you share this vision, please do share what Triodos is trying to achieve with your friends and family. As an existing customer, we would love for you to encourage others to bank for positive change through our Refer a Friend scheme.

Looking ahead

In 2022, we will continue on a journey to become a more digital bank and make good use of technology to provide you with high quality service, offer more protection and create even more impact with the money you entrust us with. Technology will help us bring this impact to life, offering new ways to engage with our mission and bringing you closer to the inspiring organisations we finance.

We will continue to not only finance change, but also strive for a banking world that is sustainable, transparent, and diverse – at both a national and international level. We have a bold ambition built upon fairness and compassion. Do visit our website to find out more about all of our Change Finance work.

From all of us at Triodos Bank UK, we wish you a happy, peaceful and healthy new year.

Read more about the impactful customers we support

We believe banks should be open – that’s why we publish details of every organisation we lend to. We’re proud to finance inspiring businesses and charities, and want to show you the impact your money is having. Together we’re building a more sustainable society. See who we're financing near you and around the UK.

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