"Sense of belonging..."
Face of Triodos
Amy Robinson – Business Development Manager
Tell us about your role & a bit about your career background.
I have had quite a varied career in the environmental sector, which had been focused on helping to build collaborations and partnerships between organisations. My role at Triodos is to create and deliver partnerships with likeminded charities and businesses. The bank’s aim is to create a community of people and organisations who recognise the potential of using money for good and I’m really lucky as it’s my role to help to build that community and share what the bank does with our growing audience.
Why did you choose to come and work at Triodos?
When I first heard about this role I was really excited. I have always worked for organisations with really strong values and want to have a career that makes a real impact on issues that matter to me, but it’s not easy to find professional organisations where values are fundamental to the business. Particularly since the banking crisis I could see that our approach to money in the world of investments is often flawed, and I want to be part of the solution to that.
How does the work you do within your role/department contribute to the mission of Triodos and what we are trying to achieve?
In business development our focus is on building networks and partnerships to help promote the bank and our aims to a growing audience. It's fantastic because I know that we are sharing something that's of real interest, and that has a genuine impact both for the bank and what we can achieve, and it also helps our partner organisations in their own endeavours.
Can you describe what a typical day looks like within your role at Triodos Bank?
My days vary hugely from spending a day in the office, meeting with colleagues on projects we are developing and catching up on emails, to traveling to meetings with partner organisations and attending or speaking at events and conferences. We are lucky that lots of people are interested to hear about what we do, so I quite often go out to talk to individuals or groups about our vision for sustainable banking and the part we can all play in it.
What makes Triodos Bank different to other companies you have worked for?
Unlike a lot of people who work here, I don't have a financial services background and have previously worked for smaller organisations. It's wonderful for me to work somewhere with robust systems, training programmes and infrastructure (which isn't always the case in small organisations!). It's a really supportive environment that is small enough that you can get to know pretty much everyone, and always be surrounded by friendly faces. Perhaps most importantly, because the Triodos values are core to everything we do, we approach a lot of decisions in a different way, constantly thinking about what is going to have the best outcomes for our customers, and this creates a great sense of community.
What does it feel like to work at Triodos?
Working at Triodos feels really rewarding. Standards are really high and competition to work here is steep. I am surrounded by people who are really good at what they do and there are expectations on us all to do our best. However, it's also a really supportive environment. As a manager myself I know how important it is for the business to encourage and nurture all our co-workers, and that really isn't just something we say. We spend a lot of time helping to develop our people and the management team get a lot of training and support to ensure that we are really well equipped to do that.
What do you like/love about the workplace and the people who work here?
I really like that our workplace has been designed to reflect the company ethos. The building is full of natural and reused materials, and lots of plants - there's a really nice organic feel, but it still feels professional. It's a similar thing with my colleagues, everyone has a job to do and is really professional in that, but because we are mission led and people are attracted to work here because of it, there's a real sense of common values and everyone working towards the same goals.
For me, the appeal is that I'm able to use my skill set to build the business, but at the same time, I am constantly learning from a whole host of other brilliantly talented and knowledgeable people.
How has Triodos Bank had an impact on you?
Before I worked here I was really interested in Triodos' message of using money for good, and realising the ways in which we can use our own money to make a positive impact. Since I have worked here I have also been inspired to see that, as a business, we can be successful while operating in line with the principals and values for which we advocate. So many businesses still view acting in an ethical and sustainable way as compromising their ambition and their bottom line, but I am really proud to work somewhere where this is totally fundamental to our business model and our customers support us because we don't compromise our principals.
What do you do in your free time?
I have lived in Bristol for a long time and love being part of the city. I like to get out and about to green spaces like the Downs and Ashton Court, sometimes visiting museums or art galleries and climbing tours to admire the views. I also love good food and cooking for friends and family, so I spend a lot of time exploring markets and the city's brilliant range of independent food shops, cafes and restaurants - quite a few of whom are Triodos customers.
We are all different as individuals, but what do you think is the common thread through all Triodos Co-workers.
How would you describe Triodos Bank in one word?