It’s All About Impact

At Triodos, we often talk about impact and we strive to have a positive impact on the planet - but we cannot achieve this without our community of passionate customers and partners.

There was a wonderful sense of reunion and shared purpose as our community gathered in the Bristol Old Vic Theatre, the UK’s oldest continuously working theatre, to connect with one another ahead of the event. For anyone wanting to watch the event back they can do so here.

Our co-workers said that one of the best parts of the day was the conversations they had with attendees, as discussions provoked a real reminder of the strength and importance of the Triodos community.

We also made sure to keep the online element of our past few events, meaning that more people could fit the event into their busy schedules. 

Introducing this year’s theme, Bevis Watts, chief executive of Triodos Bank UK, opened with some examples of how Triodos is having a positive impact, outlining our vision for a world where the economy operates in harmony with nature and planetary boundaries. He then delved into the importance of the profile that Triodos has and the need for us to be “a strong voice for change for banking and the wider financial system, explaining how we support our borrowing customers in every sector in thinking about how they can decarbonise their activities.”

Time for questions

It was important to us to honour our commitment to transparency, and so we included a Q&A with members of our senior management team, facilitated by our host Gillian Burke, biologist, BBC Springwatch presenter and Triodos customer.

We received a range of both pre-submitted and live online questions from attendees, and it was a great opportunity to discuss matters close to the hearts of our customers. The challenging and thought-provoking questions covered topics such as the bank’s growth, our support for carbon-free farming and our focus on diversity and inclusion.

A spotlight on our special guests

Our discussion panels featured a variety of inspirational speakers, and kicked off with our chief economist, Hans Stegeman. He discussed with Gillian how, in-keeping with our theme, we want to achieve positive impact by taking a holistic approach, continue to be forward thinking and how we use money to achieve that impact.

Our positive impact was really brought to life when some of our recent lending customers took to the stage. These included Andrea Wayman from ELITE Supported Employment Agencya social enterprise providing employment support to people with disabilities or disadvantages, and Jan Stannard from Heal Rewildinga charity set up to make an immediate, positive and direct impact on nature recovery. We were also joined by Agustin Guilisasti from B Corp accredited HumanForestLondon’s most affordable and sustainable shared eBike service, who are working to tackle the energy transition head on.

Last, but by no means least, the discussion ended with Gillian in conversation with Mary Portas, businesswoman, activist, broadcaster, author and Triodos customer. 

Mary spoke about her career journey taking her from a board member at Harvey Nichols to founding her own creative consultancy, Portas, and now being a co-chair of the Better Business Act. Expressing the importance of better business, Mary described the need for ‘beautiful businesses’ that feed into the kindness economy, making social progress and giving back to society.