Tell us how you came to be working for Triodos

Phillip Bate

Like most people’s careers, my route into Triodos involved some twist and turns along the way – including obtaining a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and becoming a chartered accountant. I settled on working in business banking over a decade ago, for a high street lender.

 I first became aware of Triodos through one of my customers and this led me to research the ethos and culture of the bank. At that point, I decided that Triodos was the place for me. The problem was Triodos didn’t know this yet, and just then there weren’t any roles available!

 I started to get to know some of the people in the bank and, fortunately for me, before too long the right opportunity came up! That was about a year and a half ago and I have enjoyed it ever since.

What does a typical day in your role entail?

I was attracted to Triodos Bank because of the real variety of customers and organisations we get to work with. Yet they all have one thing in common – they are working in some way to make the world a better place. 

 Because of this variety, my days can be very diverse. I could be having very early stage conversations with people about a project they are planning, working with established organisations to put a full financing package in place or catching up with existing customers on how they are progressing.

Tell us about some of the projects and entrepreneurs that you’ve been working with recently

There are so many excellent and exciting projects that it can be hard to select just a few – I’ll explain about two recent ones that come to mind.

We recently provided finance for the installation of renewable energy schemes at seven RSPB nature reserves. This was exciting as it was the first time in the charity’s history that it had ever borrowed money. We were able to structure the lending so that the income and savings the renewable energy generates will fully match our loan repayments, meaning that all the RSPB’s donations can go towards its mission to protect wildlife.

Another customer is Giles Hutchins at The Natural Business Partnership. We have assisted him in purchasing 60 acres of ancient woodland from which to run his leadership and sustainability nature immersion courses. Giles offers bespoke advisory, coaching and catalytic sessions for forward-thinking leaders and their organisations, to help them become more authentic and work increasingly closely to nature. In my view, helping leaders and organisations find meaning and purpose outside of the traditional ‘maximising shareholder value’ is a key part in the evolution of the commercial world.

New solar panels were installed at RSPB Arne in Dorset

What are the best things about working for Triodos Bank?

I enjoy working with organisations that are really striving to make a positive impact in the world. The projects I find most inspiring are where people are exploring innovative and pioneering ways to solve major issues either within our society or environment.

What are the most exciting developments in the areas that you’re working in?

For me, it is about unlocking new sectors for Triodos to work in where our funding can support positive change. A key part of our ethos is financing the transition to a more equal and just world. With this in mind, we have recently branched out to supporting children’s nurseries. 

 Time and again, reports are published confirming the impact that great early years education can have on the adults of tomorrow. What better way to help drive change than to support nursery providers that are innovating and providing a rounded education that covers sustainability and equality?

Find out more

Visit our 'Sectors we finance' page to find out more about how Triodos Bank supports projects and organisations that have a positive impact on society, culture and the environment.