We assess our lending, finance and investment decisions according to our own social criteria and according to those detailed in relevant international standards and guidelines (where applicable). These include the UN Global Compact, OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises and the Equator Principles. We apply these proportionally, based on the type of client, their size and activities.
In order to minimise the possible involvement with violations of human rights, our Minimum Standards (page 2 – 9) identify industries that we always exclude. For instance, companies that operate in industries identified as high-risk for the violation of human rights (such as conflict minerals) or weapons manufacturers.
An important part of our due diligence for banking clients are the strong legal requirements and regulatory frameworks in the six European countries where we have banking activities.
On top of governmental regulation Triodos Bank has its own strict due diligence and selection process. Since most of our business banking clients are small or medium sized, we apply our policies and international standards based on the size and activities of a company.
Potential clients in the areas where we have identified our salient issues are under more scrutiny. For instance, in financing wind farms we demand that residents participate in the project. We are also involved in a green deal for the participation of residents in renewable energy projects. Another example is that we have strict guidelines about the type of religious institutions that fit our mission.
The Triodos Bank Minimum Standards set out the absolute minimum requirements. Our relationship managers determine the positive and negative social, environmental and cultural impact of each (potential) client. They engage intensively – in most cases face to face - with (potential) clients and require relevant information to determine impact (if relevant, also relating to human rights). To assess credit and investment proposals, our relationship managers and fund managers refer to our Business Principles in the first instance. Then, the Lending Criteria which specify how Triodos Bank’s vision and mission are translated into banking practice are applied.
Every year we review all our clients in business banking to determine if they still match our mission and values, in line with our Business Principles and Minimum Standards. In the case of relevant developments, we engage with our customers. Of course, our relationship managers are in regular contact with clients during the year. If issues arise before or after the formal review, they will address them with their client.
In 2019 Triodos Bank will start using a new tool to assess the impact of each existing and new client. The tool is a scorecard which contains questions on different themes in order to present insight into the positive and negative impact of a loan or investment on people, planet and prosperity. As well creating discussions with clients, it helps us monitor and steer on impact, and may provide an opportunity to assess our impact in relation to human rights in more depth.