Triodos Bank has always aimed to create a movement for change, joining forces with other sustainable organisations to increase our impact. This includes engaging with politicians and policymakers around the financial sector, nature, climate and social issues.

Marking World Environment Day on 5 June, Triodos coordinated the Bristol business community to ask local parliamentary candidates to back new framework legislation designed to tackle the dual climate and nature crises: the Climate and Nature Bill.

What is the Climate and Nature Bill?

The Climate and Nature (CAN) Bill was first introduced in Parliament in September 2020 and has two main goals: to reduce UK emissions in line with the UK's share of the remaining global carbon budget for 1.5°C of global warming; and to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030.

The Bill offers multiple benefits to businesses including a regulatory framework to support the transition to net zero with the least emissions possible, the creation of new jobs in green industries, a potential reduction in energy costs as renewable sources continue to expand and, ultimately, a more sustainable local economy.

The Bill is supported by 180 MPs and Peers from all main parties in the UK Parliament. It also has the backing of 851 prospective parliamentary candidates who will be running for election on 4 July.

More widely, the national campaign, coordinated by Zero Hour, has received support from charities such as Friends of the Earth and The Wildlife Trusts, as well as businesses like Lush, Ecosia and many more. Triodos customer Chris Packham has also backed the campaign – check out the video below.

The campaign in Bristol

Over 70 Bristol-based businesses have joined Triodos to sign a joint letter, which was sent to the parliamentary candidates for all five of the city’s constituencies asking them to back the bill ahead of the general election. Signatories include independent café chain Boston Tea Party, engineering consultant Arup, travel company Sawday’s and clothing brand Finisterre.

The businesses who’ve signed represent over 4,500 employees and an annual turnover of more than £500 million. The news was covered by BBC News and local media.

“The business community in Bristol has joined forces to advocate for people and nature,” explains Bevis Watts, CEO of Triodos Bank UK. “We all stand to benefit from the transition to a low carbon, nature positive future, and we are calling on our local candidates to represent our combined voices in Parliament.

“By backing the Climate and Nature Bill they will be playing a vital part in ensuring a bright future for the businesses of Bristol and a happy, healthy and prosperous future for its people.  And that’s something we would all vote for.”

Zero Hour is the campaign group behind the Bill. Its director of strategic partnerships, James Sutton, has added his support for the Bristol campaign. James said: “It’s very telling that this many businesses in Bristol have made such a direct call to the prospective parliamentary candidates and incumbent MPs in the Bristol constituencies for them to publicly declare their backing for the Climate and Nature Bill. Business clearly understands that the CAN Bill represents opportunity for their companies, as well as an instrument to manage governance risk posed by the climate and nature crises.

“The economy and businesses are always central to the plans of government, so we stand with the businesses of Bristol and hope that their voice is heard and that the PPCs make the sensible, obvious choice and commit to the CAN Bill.