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Decarb Story | Triodos


From our seat at the BACA secretariat we bear witness to inspiring decarbonization stories on a daily basis. Every month, we single out one original story from one of our members that happens upon our radar.

Here's the decarb story of Triodos Bank, brought to us by its Product Manager Impact, Ronny Jongen.

We try to make sense of the world by telling stories.

Yuval Noah Harari
Triodos TBBE coworkers group picture 25 Y TBBE

What Science Based emission reduction Target does Triodos want to reach, and what is your general approach towards reaching it?

Ronny: The bank has set itself the objective of becoming net-zero by 2035 by acting on its entire value chain. That means that will not only tackle emissions in our internal operations - which is already the case; we will also address the credits granted and investments of its funds.

We plan to reach this target by reducing the emission intensity of financed activities on the one hand and by investing in nature-based solutions, providing carbon sequestration on the other hand. ​

What is the most impactful and/or most original CO2 reduction measure you have implemented?

Ronny: As one of but a few in the banking sector, Triodos Bank measures the CO2-impact of the various sectors it finances on an annual basis. To reduce our CO2 emissions, we often think of the energy, agriculture, transport and construction sectors. But cultural activities are also a significant source: through buildings, heating, transport of visitors and materials, digital hosting, production of sets or book printing.

According to our latest report from 2021, emissions from the artistic and cultural sector accounts for 9.2% of all carbon emissions generated through financing, while the sector 'only' 5.2% represents of our credit portfolio.

So the question is: How can we finance culture and move forward together to reduce our emissions? In order to be realistic, efficient and fair, we are conducting this reflection with the actors in the field.

What was the impact of the this measure in terms of CO2 reduction and, in a broader sense, on your organisation?

Ronny: Several levers for reducing CO2 emissions in the cultural sector have been identified and a series of very concrete recommendations can be made to the players in the sector, which do not sacrifice anything in terms of artistic quality, but which emit less.

To give a concrete example:

The carbon impact of the entire operation of French cinemas would be 1.07 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, i.e. the carbon emissions of all the inhabitants of a city like Nancy. And it is the cinemas in mega-models that weigh the most heavily in the balance sheet.The estimated carbon impact of a film is 750 tonnes of CO2 equivalent*.

In Belgium, the Federation of Employers in the Performing Arts (FEAS) has carried out a study on the impact of the sector and obtained slightly different figures, but arrived at similar findings to the study carried out in France.

(* Source: Report on the study "Decarbonising culture" )

Thanks for sharing, Ronny!

Do you have a decarbonization story to share of which you think it might inspire others? An emission reduction measure that yielded impressive results? Or have you been experimenting with a measure that – when replicated by others – could significantly bring down you sector’s carbon footprint?