Triodos Bank: Measuring Sustainability Performance Case Study Memo

Case Study Recommendation Memo Assignment

At Fern Fort University, we write Triodos Bank: Measuring Sustainability Performance case study recommendation memo as per the Harvard Business Review Finance & Accounting case memo framework. If you are looking for MBA, Executive MBA or Corporate / Professional level recommendation memo then feel free to connect with us.

Other topics that can be covered in the above case memo are Financial management, Sustainability . The recommendations in the case memo are - aligned with strategy of the company, based on robust data, and provide a clear roadmap for execution.

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Triodos Bank: Measuring Sustainability Performance Description

Finance & Accounting Case Study | Authors :: Francisco Szekely, Zahir Dossa, Katrin Kaeufer

An increasing number of organizations are subscribing to sustainability, but how can sustainability performance be measured? Unlike financial performance, which can be assessed through accounting techniques that aggregate various numeric indicators, sustainability performance is more complicated. For financial institutions the situation is even less straightforward - while traditional sustainability frameworks, such as the triple bottom line (TBL), are concerned with the direct inputs and outputs of an organization, financial institutions have indirect impacts based on the loans and financial instruments they offer. Triodos Bank, a pioneer in the sustainability banking sector since it was founded in the Netherlands in 1972, has been grappling with this issue. Peter Blom, Triodos Bank's CEO, defined sustainable banks as "value-driven banks" that "prioritize people over profits" by "lend[ing] to and invest[ing] in organizations that benefit people and the environment." Transforming this definition of sustainable banking into a tangible performance measurement framework was a significant challenge facing managers at Triodos Bank. From aiding loan officers in their decision-making process to determining how successful Triodos Bank was at fulfilling its mission, measuring sustainability performance was a daunting yet critical challenge.The case assesses Triodos Bank's various initiatives, along with the current best practices for measuring sustainability performance. While some frameworks have been developed to cater to the financial sector, particularly the investment sector (which has many similarities to the sustainable banking sector), no existing frameworks effectively convey the sustainability performance of Triodos Bank.The case therefore provides an excellent vehicle for students to develop a sustainability performance measurement framework for Triodos Bank. 1. Understand the shortcomings of traditional sustainability performance frameworks. 2. Highlight the significant indirect impacts an organization can make. 3. Distinguish between measuring sustainability performance and communicating sustainability performance. 4. Explore the importance of transparency as a strategy for communicating sustainability performance. 5. Identify the strengths of a stakeholder-driven methodology for measuring sustainability performance.

Financial management, Sustainability

Purpose of Finance & Accounting Case Study Recommendation Memo

A Case Study Memo or Case Study Recommendation Memo is a routinely used document in leading organizations, and you may be writing number of such memos to executive leadership to “sell” or elevate an initiative that either you are undertaking or you wanted to kick start. Therefore, it is essential that you have a professional case study recommendation memo.

The purpose of a recommendation memo is to concisely recommend a course of action and provide rationale supporting the recommendation. The case study recommendation memo is a one-two page document (not including exhibits) that recommends your course of action and rationale. This format promotes a concise and clear strategic thought process.

Elements of a Case Study Recommendation Memo for – MBA & Executive MBA

1. First Paragraph of Triodos Bank: Measuring Sustainability Performance recommendation memo

  • This paragraph expresses your intent or action that you required after reading the Triodos Bank: Measuring Sustainability Performance case study (This recommends……).
  • Topic overview of the case study (the “what”, not “when” or “how”): costs, funding, etc.
  • Ends with the hook: selling idea, the “why” or payoff: this part reveals the author’s point of view. What you intend to do after reading the case and it clearly mention your decision.

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2. Background of Triodos Bank: Measuring Sustainability Performance case study

This paragraph explains why we are talking about this today. It lays out the story. It provides us details from the case story such as -

  • Historical perspective on the problem is provided. Details are elaborated that underline the given problem.
  • Highlights - what brought us to this moment, why we are in this position, what brought about the need to make this decision.
  • Dimensionalize the importance of the problem to the organization and how it is impacting the organization.
  • Constraints – Provide a situational analysis based on case study analysis.
  • Keep the background section both factual and concise. It is part of the memo where we provide a brief insight into the problem and define the problem.


Is the background clear, concise, and easy to follow?
Does it explain why action is needed now?
Does the appropriate sense of urgency come across in the case study?

3. Recommendations for Triodos Bank: Measuring Sustainability Performance Case Memo

Recommendations section will provide details regarding what is needed to be done, how it can be done, when to do it and who will do it. It can be elaborated with scenario planning as businesses

  • The details of what, when and how. NO 'why'.
  • This section should be very specific (100% clear). It must be actionable (How much will it cost, when, how, who). The reader should be able to read this and know how to carry out this recommendation.
  • Some cases will require more than one recommendation. It often happens that the firm will require more than one recommendations as there are numerous unknown in the market place.


Is the recommendation clear and actionable? Does the firm has capability to implement the recommendations or does it needs to hire fresh talent?

4. Basis for the Recommendations

  • Here the reader of the case memo will learn WHY each recommendation is the UNIQUE right thing to do.
  • 2-3 solid reasons are typical. The reasons should be backed by clear logic, organization’s vision and mission statements, and robust data analysis.
  • Orignal recommendation can be backed by few supporting roadmap to actions. In operations cases the Critical Path Method of PERT can be used to illustrate the point.
  • Support includes impact on profit, share, and anything else that can affect long-term business goals of the firm.
  • Analysis should address applicable quantitative issues such as NPV, break even analysis, pro forma statement of project budget, sensitivity analysis; as well as qualitative issues, such as, technology consistency, architectural conformance, innovation potential, etc.
  • Appeals to precedent and anecdotal evidence in absence of data, but only in limited, carefully constrained manner.
  • Shows how the recommendation will put the firm at a competitive advantage or is simply acompetitive necessity.
  • The goal is to read the basis and conclude the recommendation.


  • Is the recommendation an inescapable conclusion of the basis?
  • Does the basis for recommendation appropriately consider:
    1. Core competencies and consistency with mission?
    2. External customers and internal clients?
    3. Competitors?
    4. Attractiveness – quantitative measures if applicable (e.g., NPV, ROI, break-even, payback)?
  • Are all assumptions explicitly stated (e.g., needs, technology trends)?

5. Discussions

  • Outline other alternatives not selected and provide brief reasoning for doing so.
  • Discuss risks and key assumptions for Triodos Bank: Measuring Sustainability Performance case memo (use full disclosure, reference options grid) of your recommendation.
  • When you give a precise number or range, you must support the basis as well.


  • Is the analysis thorough with key alternatives fairly considered using options grid?
  • Risks associated with recommendation for Triodos Bank: Measuring Sustainability Performance are properly addressed given the present capabilities and future expectations?

6. Next Steps for Triodos Bank: Measuring Sustainability Performance case study memo

  • Clearly specify the roadmap of the execution. Provide specific date and action that are required to carry on the next steps.
  • Task assignment, objectives, roles and metrics should be mentioned in advance to reduce ambiguity and replication. (what will be done, by whom, and by when)


  • Clear follow-up/next steps?
  • If appropriate, lay out timeline with key milestones to implement recommendation.

7. Exhibits for Triodos Bank: Measuring Sustainability Performance case memo

  • An Exhibit can be a data chart, map, graph, grid, or simple data table.
  • While doing the calculations please mention all the assumptions. The reader won’t able to decipher each of the assumption so make them explicit.
  • Exhibits should have Title, sources, footnotes to calculation. The point of the Exhibit should be instantly clear to the reader.
  • Exhibits should be cited in the proper order (i.e., do not cite Exhibit 4 first in your Memo and then Exhibit 2).

Checklist for Triodos Bank: Measuring Sustainability Performance case study memo exhibit

  • Is the analysis presented in the case memo - precise, accurate, and data-based?
  • Are the exhibits clearly laid out, titled, and referenced in the case study memo?
  • Is every assumption mentioned in the case memo is explicitly listed?

NOTE: Every memo may not include every element described above. The specific case will dictate what must be included. For custom case memo please email us or process the order.

You can order Triodos Bank: Measuring Sustainability Performance Case Study Recommendation Memo with us at Fern Fort University .