Triodos & Nanotechnology
MetadataShow full item record
The Triodos Bank is of two minds regarding the phenomenon of nanotechnology. Companies involved in this technology might be of interest for investments, e.g. because nanotechnology can contribute to a more sustainable world. Triodos aspires this and therefore wonders whether it should implement nanotechnology as a sustainability criterion (or minimum standard) in it’s absolute analysis of stock-listed companies. In this analysis stock-listed companies are assessed on different criteria to conclude whether or not they are eligible for investments. Or, should Triodos leave the phenomenon aside for a while, and wait for significant discoveries to be made? Earlier studies (2007-2009) towards nanotechnology have been executed by Triodos’ researchers and a Nano-framework was built up. However, as a result of the studies, the pro’s of nanotechnology were not perceived as being able to outweigh the con’s. And due to internal developments, nanotechnology was left aside. Triodos now wonders if there are any significant changes in the present time. Therefore Triodos asks the following question: “should we again consider nanotechnology?”. In order to address this question I firstly analyze Triodos’ current Nano-framework. I identify different claims and values in it and establish it’s fundamental attitude as being defensive. Secondly, I oppose the Nano-framework to Triodos’ core business principles. Those business principles – which create the existence of the bank - are offensive, and therefore, a field of tension between both assemblies is constituted. On the one hand the business principles want to change the world actively by promoting sustainability, whilst on the other, the Nano-framework is precautious towards nanotechnology. Above all, nanotechnology has the ability to match Triodos positive aspirations. So why being as precautious as the Nano-framework tends to see? I therefore A) attempt to comment on this via an ethical perspective (the Precautionary Principle), B) consult three Nano-experts on behalf of the results and C) conclude that Triodos’ Nano-framework requires reconsiderations. Ultimately, I present a set of recommendations on how Triodos can accomplish this optimally.