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How we lend

Triodos Bank’s distinctively positive lending criteria

Since Triodos Bank was founded in 1980, we have made it our policy to only lend money to organisations working to bring about positive and lasting change.

But while that broad principle is simple, putting it into practice consistently can sometimes be challenging. So it's vital we follow clearly defined criteria for our everyday lending decisions, making us accountable to our savers and investors.

A positively different approach

Our distinctively positive approach to sustainable lending involves:

  • identifying sustainable sectors where we can help businesses develop and innovation flourish  
  • selecting businesses and projects that will provide real social, cultural or environmental benefits  
  • evaluating both the quality and the motivation of the people applying for loans
  • ensuring selected projects meet our absolute criteria, which measure their potential negative effect on people or planet  
  • financing clearly defined activities or projects within each organisation  
  • monitoring closely how the loan is used.

Who does Triodos Bank lend to?

Nature and environment

We finance all kinds of sustainable environmental businesses and initiatives, from organic farms and food producers, through renewable energy companies, to eco-development schemes.

Culture and Welfare

We lend to businesses and initiatives that help people develop and act as free and responsible citizens. This can cover everything from schools and medical centres, through arts and cultural activities, to community projects of all kinds.

Social business

We fund businesses of any kind whose key objectives are to add value to society or the environment, from fair trade retailers or wholesale traders, through housing associations and eco-tourism initiatives, to manufacturers of environmentally responsible products.

Who won't we lend to?

We won't lend to any organisation that puts profit before people and planet. More specifically, the absolute criteria we apply in making lending decisions come under two main headings:

Non-sustainable products and services

This includes all businesses involved in producing or trading in weapons, tobacco, pornography, fur or environmentally hazardous substances. It also covers the gambling industry.

Non-sustainable working processes

This covers everything from animal testing and inhumane farming methods, through corruption and support for dictatorial regimes, to breaches of fundamental labour rights.

If you're interested in finding out more, you can read a detailed explanation of our lending criteria.

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