Richard Retweets

Head of Sustainable Banking Richard Kooloos ranks his favourite tweets and retweets once every three months. This quarter’s picks: the impact of solar roofing tiles, choosing between the economy and the environment, and the bank-wide green bond.

Richard Kooloos, Head of Sustainable Banking at ABN AMRO and registered tweeter, pressed the tweet button more than 2,300 times in almost 1,900 days.  He shares what he thinks, does and sees in the world of sustainability. This is his selection of tweets from the past quarter. Follow him on Twitter for daily sustainability updates.

‘The accord at the climate summit in Paris was praised as politically “historic”. The ambition is to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius . Now we have to live up to this target, and the market has to get on board. Sustainable supply and demand are having a hard time finding each other. Take solar panels, for instance. Everybody knows that panels earn their investment back, but the public still hasn’t warmed to them. So, what’s going wrong? I think that a better supply could remove psychological barriers, like the idea that solar panels are ugly. Just see what’s happening with “attractive” solar roofing tiles. The rapidly growing demand for this product proves that smart adjustments to supply could have a huge impact on demand.’

‘Justin Trudeau is right – it’s not about choosing. The economy isn’t a victim of sustainability or vice versa. We can build a new, flourishing economy based on sustainable principles. I see sustainability as a fundamental attitude that people and organisations can adopt. Sustainable business innovation – that’s what’s closest to my heart. In essence, the question is the same for everybody: how long can we  keep doing what we’re doing? How can I make sure that I will be proud of what I am doing twenty years down the line?’

‘I think we will still be proud of our Green Bond twenty years from now. We issued a total of 500 million euros in green bonds in 2015, which we are using to finance green mortgages and loans for solar energy. That was a pioneering move – in a nutshell, we set up a small bit of sustainable financial infrastructure. Sustainability at the heart of the bank. We’re now being rewarded with a prize in this field.’

‘We want to give human rights a prominent position in the bank. To embed an issue like this in the long term, we need to involve stakeholders by engaging them in a dialogue and explaining the course we are trying to take. And if stakeholders see initiatives like our Human Rights Conference and the Human Rights Guide, this will confirm that we are on the right track.’