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Why are there some total exclusions and some activities allowed below 5%?

Some products and services are considered by Triodos Bank to be so detrimental to a sustainable society that we choose not to invest in them. We therefore apply a zero-tolerance threshold to companies that derive any direct revenue from four specific areas:

  1. Hazardous substances
  2. Nuclear energy
  3. Unconventional oil and gas
  4. Weapons

There are other products and services where we employ a 5% threshold. In this category of products and activities we include animal testing, tobacco production*, factory farming, pesticides, fur, pornography and gambling. Companies involved in those activities can be accepted for sustainable investment if their revenues from these activities are less than 5% of total revenues and in most cases additional policy requirements are obligatory. Triodos Bank considers that five per cent or less of total revenues derived from involvement in these industries to be minor. In our experience, companies that derive more than five per cent of their revenues from these products and services have usually made a deliberate choice to be involved in them. Within this five per cent threshold we therefore distinguish between companies that make a deliberate choice to be involved, and those that are involved because it’s a secondary or indirect activity, making it very difficult to eliminate completely.  It’s important to note that this acceptance must be alongside clear policy and adherence to codes, for example on pornography, strict rules around children and underage exposure would be required.

*the threshold is 10% for revenue from tobacco sales.

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