Triodos Bank reaches £500m sustainable lending landmark



Dedicated ethical bank Triodos has revealed it has reached a financial milestone, after breaking the £500m barrier in its lending to sustainable businesses and organisations.

Following a 15% increase in lending activity last year, Triodos’ UK arm said it had lent £486m by the end of 2012 – a figure that grew to £500m at the end of February.

Loaning money to businesses and charities that deliver social and environmental benefits, Triodos unveiled a 23% growth in both its customer base and balance sheet earlier this year – proving the financial viability of values-based banking.

“This is a major milestone for Triodos Bank, representing significant support for the UK’s green and social economy”, said Charles Middleton, Triodos Bank’s UK managing director.

“Our continued growth demonstrates demand for sustainable finance despite the challenging economic environment, and indicates that a socially conscious approach can help businesses and charities to flourish, bucking the trends of the wider market.”

The growth in the company’s loan book includes a 600% boost in lending to the sustainable building sector, a 184% rise in lending to small hydropower projects and a 21% growth in loaning to eco-tourism companies.

Organisations that have borrowed from Triodos bank during 2012 include Lilac cohousing ODE, Slatach hydropower station and Toppesfield – all which have provided environmental and social benefits to their local communities.

In related news, Triodos also revealed that its fund management arm had teamed up with the Triodos Renewables Europe Fund to acquire a 49.8% stake in a 10 megawatt (MW), five-turbine wind farm in Cambridgeshire, which generates enough green electivity to support 5,720 homes.

Kim de Boer, fund manager of Triodos Renewables Europe Fund, said, “We are very pleased with this joint acquisition with Triodos Renewables. It is the first investment we’ve made in the UK renewables market and we hope it will be the first of many more to follow.”

Further reading:

Triodos growth shows viability of sustainable banking

Sustainable banks more ‘robust and resilient’ than high street institutions

‘Sustainability is the driver of returns’

The Guide to Sustainable Banking 2012


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