The other day I made the case that happiness is real and we should stop pretending its not. But little did I know that I'd get support from a rather unexpected medium—an advertisement for a bank. And not just any old advert either—this was an ad on the Nasdaq board in Times Square that ran earlier this year. And the message? Less greed, more happiness.
But this is no ordinary bank.
As I noted in my previous post on Triodos Bank's unwavering commitment to ethical finance, this is a financial institution that invests only in businesses who are committed to making the world better, more sustainable and more equitable. From renewable energy projects through green building to organic farms and social enterprises, the roster of projects that Triodos supports reads like a shopping list for a better future, at least from where I am sitting. With offices in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, the UK and Germany—and with its latest annual report suggesting that it has remained profitable despite the recent economic crisis—it's also an institution that is beginning to punch above its weight.
With local investing and crowdfunded peer2peer lending being offered up as alternatives to mainstream banking right now, it's worth noting that the existence of banks isn't necessarily the main problem. It's what these banks do that really sucks.
Anyhow, as I noted in my post on why "green fatigue" may be an opportunity to do better, we have to start communicating beyond our comfortable (but tiny) green niche. To that end, I'm delighted to see Triodos shouting about what they do in a confident, prominent way. Above all, I'm delighted to see them making it relevant to a mainstream audience.
Here's a taste of Triodos' latest communications.