July 8, 2010: The Club of Rome has invited Peter Blom – CEO of Triodos Bank – as one of its members for his outstanding achievements in revitalising and renewing the banking sector. Peter Blom (1956) has been CEO of Triodos Bank since 1997.
Club of Rome Secretary General Ian Johnson said: ‘Peter Blom has built a successful and growing sustainable banking business over three decades. By doing so, he has proved that another approach to banking is possible, at a time when our financial future needs new thinking more than ever. His achievements in pioneering green investment, social banking, microfinance and sustainability are now recognised on the international stage. His experience will provide a valuable contribution to achieving the Club of Rome’s objectives at a critical time in world affairs.’
Triodos Bank CEO Peter Blom: ‘The Club of Rome’s first publication, The limits to Growth, is a seminal work, and was an important source of inspiration for me when I started to realise the magnitude of our environmental challenges. I am determined to contribute to the important work of the Club of Rome, with a particular focus on the role of the financial world, to help make much needed changes happen. The financial, poverty and environmental crises are converging. We have to move from an economy with a single focus on maximising profit to new economic models that maximise sustainability. As Triodos Bank we have demonstrated that these models work. Only by changing finance, we will be able to finance change.’
The Club of Rome engages with the critical area where science and policy come together. Against the backdrop of the financial crisis there is renewed and strong international interest in its views and activities. In order to build a sound analytical basis for its proposals, and develop ideas and proposals for a new more equitable, stable, secure and sustainable world, the Club has launched a three year programme of international collaboration and research to focus on defining ‘A New Path for World Development.’
According to the Statutes of the Club of Rome, its Members are ‘persons of outstanding intellectual ability who enjoy a well-established reputation for their professional activities and expertise on an international level and who are willing and able to promote the mission and objectives of the Association.’ Members come from all walks of life and contribute actively to the substantive activities of the Club. The is a limit of no more than 100 Club members.
Born in 1956 in Leiden in the Netherlands Peter Blom studied economics at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. In 1975 he was jointly responsible for establishing one of the first centres in the Netherlands for organic food, including an organics shop, restaurant and information centre in Amsterdam. He has worked for Triodos Bank since its foundation in 1980; first as a Senior Business Banking Account Manager, before becoming Managing Director in 1989, until he took up his current role as CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board in 1997.
Peter Blom is Chair of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values and Board member of The Dutch Banking Association. He was awarded the Dutch Royal distinction of Knight of Oranje Nassau in 2008 for his contribution to social banking and sustainability. Triodos Bank won the Financial Times and IFC Sustainable Bank of the Year Award 2009.
The Club Of Rome
Founded in 1968 by Italian industrialist Aurelio Peccei and Scottish scientist Alexander King, the Club of Rome became world famous in 1972 with the publication of ‘Limits to Growth’. This explored various scenarios for the future and raised the question ‘Can material consumption, waste and pollution grow exponentially for ever on a finite planet?’ This issue is again the focus of intense debate today.
Since its founding, the Club has been building on its unique network of members and its thirty three National Associations located throughout the world. Unlike many other non-governmental organizations, the Club of Rome is unique in that it is driven by the ideas and decisions of its diverse and global membership. Such democratic principles and decision making initiates new ways of thinking and arouses involvement and innovation. In today’s global environment the interconnectedness of economic, environmental and development challenges requires a holistic perspective. In this respect, the Club applies a systems thinking approach to the analysis of such issues and advances lines of action through the development of Government policy recommendations which can effectively be translated into practical solutions.
Triodos Bank is an independent bank that promotes sustainable and transparent banking. It has funds entrusted of EUR 5 billion and over 250,000 customers. The Bank, which was founded in 1980, does not see any conflict between a focus on people and the earth and a good financial return. Instead it is convinced that they will reinforce each other in the long-term. Triodos Bank was involved from the very beginning in fiscal promotion schemes for green, social-ethical and cultural projects in the Netherlands.
Triodos Bank launched the first green fund and culture fund in the Netherlands and is a global authority in microfinance in developing countries, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Through its activities Triodos Bank wants to boost the market for sustainable banking. The Bank has branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain and Germany.
In 2009 Triodos Bank was voted the most sustainable bank of the year. This prize was awarded because of the leadership and the innovation that Triodos Bank has shown for the past 30 years in integrating sustainability in all its activities. An international jury, appointed by the Financial Times and the IFC – a member of the World Bank – voted for the winners at the FT Sustainable Banking Awards.
Triodos Bank N.V. has a full banking licence and is registered with The Nederlandsche Bank N.V. (the Dutch central bank) and The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets.
Global Alliance For Banking On Values
In 2009 Triodos Bank co-founded the Global Alliance for Banking on Values a network of ten sustainable banks, committed to growing sustainable banking internationally. The banks are: Shore Bank (US), BRAC Bank (Bangladesh), GLS Bank (Germany), Merkur Bank (Denmark), Mibanco (Peru), Banca Popolare Etica (Italy), ABS (Switzerland), NewResource Bank (US), Xac-Bank (Mongolia), and Triodos Bank.
Triodos Bank, Thomas Steiner: telephone +31 30 693 65 20 (direct) or +31 6 534 888 13 (mobile)
The Club of Rome, Gordon Henrik Wollgam: telephone +41 52 244 0803