Triodos Bank’s Executive Board provides a perspective on the wider world it operates in, its impact and activity in 2016 and its prospects for the future.
About This Report
In a nutshell
- Triodos Bank has always reported financial and non-financial information in an integrated report because it is, and has always been, an integrated sustainable business itself
- Its Annual Report is available as a hard copy document and PDF. This is the legally leading document
- This content, plus much more, is also available online (www.annual-report-triodos.com)
- The report’s key content comes from finding out what’s most important, or material, to Triodos Bank and its stakeholders
- Triodos Bank’s report challenges the ‘old world’ orthodoxy of focusing on financial targets only, to understand a bank’s performance
- Triodos Bank combines qualitative and quantitative evidence of its impact. It verifies its impact data and intends to improve how it understands, manages and reports on its non-financial impact in the future.
An integrated report
Triodos Bank’s Annual Report is integrated. That means it combines sustainability-related, or ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR), topics with everything else you would expect from a traditional annual report, such as key financial targets and performance information.
For Triodos Bank integrated reporting doesn’t just mean reporting on how the organisation behaves as a responsible corporate citizen – by using renewable energy to power its buildings, for example, important as this is. It means reporting in depth on the impact of its activity in the widest sense, through the impact of its loans and investments in particular. Integrated reporting is a growing and welcome trend in the business community in general because more integrated reports suggest more businesses consider their impact on society and the environment as core to their activities.
The Annual Report – on and offline
This Annual Report is produced as a hard copy document that’s also available as a PDF and as an online Annual Report at www.annual-report-triodos.com.
The offline report is Triodos Bank’s legally leading, audited document. Please see page 212 for details of the scope of the auditor’s opinion. It is reproduced, in its entirety, in the online report. But the online report also includes much more information, such as a film with the CEO and an in-depth impact chapter.
While great care is taken to produce the offline report Triodos Bank invests most time and effort in the online report because it is viewed by many more people with less environmental impact.
The report’s content begins with what Triodos Bank’s stakeholders and Triodos Bank itself think are the most important, or material, issues to it.
- Those that engage in economic transactions with the business
- Those that do not engage in direct economic exchange with the business, but have a close interest in it
- Those that provide new insights, opportunities and knowledge.
The material issues are reflected in the , on page 21, where the organisation’s key priorities are described in detail including progress against them. To help its stakeholders understand how well, or not, it is doing, Triodos Bank aims to only use meaningful indicators that are genuinely relevant. It provides context for what these indicators really mean to the health of the business.
The report aims to provide a coherent thread throughout. Issues described in the materiality analysis are explored further in the Executive Board Report and Triodos Bank’s results – both financial and non-financial. Reports from the bank’s Boards (the Executive Board, Supervisory Board and Board of SAAT) reflect these topics and issues of particular attention during the year.
As well as its impact on society, the environment and culture via its external finance and how it approaches Risk and Corporate Governance, the report includes information about the organisation’s environmental and co-worker responsibilities and developments during the year. These reports are supported by more detailed statistical information in the Appendices. Triodos Bank’s financial performance is also described in detail in a financial accounts section.
Who does Triodos Bank partner with to improve its reporting?
In addition to the dialogue with stakeholders above, this year’s report has been developed with the benefit of practitioner sessions with businesses in and outside the banking industry, in particular specialists from sustainable banks in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV).
During the year Triodos Bank has also consulted with the United Nations Environment Programme finance initiative (UNEP FI), the Dutch Transparency Benchmark, EY, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Fair Finance Guide. We are grateful for their contributions and insights.
Triodos Bank and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
Triodos Bank has used the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) since 2001.
GRI was established in 1997 by the United Nations and the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economics (CERES) to organise reporting on sustainability in a consistent manner and, in this way, make performance objective and comparison easier. Triodos Bank is an organisational stakeholder of GRI.
During 2016, GRI launched new Standards to replace its G4 guidelines. These changes aim to make reporting more relevant to the sustainability impact of the institution and to improve how they are presented for its stakeholders. The Standards have to be included in reports from 2018, but Triodos Bank has chosen to implement them immediately in this 2016 report.
This report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Comprehensive option. You can find more, including an index of GRI disclosures, at www.annual-report-triodos.com.
Impact Measurement and reporting
In recent years there has been growing attention on how organisations manage, measure and report their non-financial impact. This is, of course, an important area for a mission-driven organisation like Triodos Bank that was created to use money to make positive social, environmental and cultural change happen.
The Annual Report aims to provide a clear and compelling picture of how Triodos Bank delivers long-term, sustainable change through its operations as a sustainable bank. In practice that means sharing qualitative information supported by relevant impact data which, almost uniquely among banks, is verified by an auditor. That’s because Triodos Bank believes financial and non-financial information should be treated in the same way.
In the coming years Triodos Bank intends to significantly improve how it manages for impact so that it better understands the difference it is making and so it can report on it to its stakeholders in an even clearer and more compelling way.
Some facts and figures about the report
The 2016 Annual Report covers the activities of Triodos Bank NV in The Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain and Germany, as represented in the . The report covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2016. Triodos Bank’s previous integrated report was published in March 2016 and covered the 2015 calendar year.
The reporting in the 2016 financial year is based on the same principles as the 2015 report. Any changes in the methods of calculation used are explained in the text. The report includes limited assurance on the Executive Board Report including limited assurance on part of the 2016 impact data. PricewaterhouseCoopers Accountants N.V. audits the financial statements.
Disclosures are required both to meet Dutch law and to comply with other regulation, in particular the Capital Requirements Regulation and the Capital Requirements Directive. The Capital Requirements Regulation is direct regulation from the European Union. The Capital Requirements Directive has been translated by the Dutch Government into various laws and regulations that apply to Triodos Bank.
Triodos Bank is not yet required to but chooses to comply with the EU Directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information.
The main part of these disclosures appears in this Annual Report. Additional required disclosures are published on our websites locally and on the corporate website: www.triodos.com and www.annual-report-triodos.com.