Welcome to a different way of networking – Every fourthTuesday morning.

Each month we explore business issues, reports and feature ethical businesses to help us find the best products and services. It is open to Rotarians and non Rotarians alike.  This month we report on the Triodos Bank AGM as seen through the eyes of attendee Ellie Dowling of FoodTrade.  The bank only supports businesses and products which help the planet and /or people.

An annual meeting like no other bank

Ellie-TridosBanking doesn’t need to be evil. There are bankers that do take care about the societies they serve.

“I heard about the Triodos annual meeting somewhere within the realms of social media and immediately signed myself up to attend. My new employer FoodTrade banks with Triodos and as a social enterprise we are always interested to hear what Triodos have to say on social and environmental values in finance. I was hoping the event would provide the perfect opportunity to combine my personal interests in progressive banking with some professional networking – I was not disappointed!  “I have never felt so inspired talking about banking and finance before.”

The morning sessions saw us hear from all Triodos Bank’s different teams. It was clear how Triodos wholeheartedly practice their commitment to triple bottom line accounting of financial, social and environmental concerns. I have never felt so inspired talking about banking and finance before. There was a tangible buzz of energy around the room by the time we stopped for a delicious lunch and we were left with plenty of food for thought as to how we can all actively help to support socially responsible finance and conscientious investment.

Talking of food, I was particularly looking forward to hearing Rosie Boycott, Chair of the London Food Board, one of the stellar cast of outside speakers lined up for the afternoon sessions. Rosie explained that the London Food Board linked up with Triodos because they share in the understanding that food projects are a great vehicle for healing many of the issues of urban communities. It is fantastic to hear that Triodos understand the role good food plays in driving social renewal and creating food systems which are more resilient to climate change.”

Rosie said; “If you reconnect people to their food, you have made a big step towards a more sustainable world.” Rosie, I couldn’t agree more. Top marks to Triodos for giving Rosie and all the afternoon speakers a platform to communicate to us exactly how Triodos’ stated objectives are practised in reality. I came away having learnt a great deal and inspired in my role for FoodTrade, a social enterprise bringing transparency to the food system and helping food business and consumers connect to one another more effectively. Thank you Triodos for such an inspiring day, you have set the bar very high indeed should I go to another annual meeting one day!

Ellie Dowding


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