The Confederation supports the efforts of the financial sector

The Swiss Confederation is committed to the establishment of a sustainable financial system at national and international levels. It supports the sector’s efforts as a fazilitator. The corresponding framework for action is based on the following principles: interdependence between the environmental, economic and financial systems, the necessary long-term orientation, the need for ecological transparency in financial and investment decisions, and the primacy of the market.

Switzerland participates actively in the corresponding work of the international financial bodies and aims to pursue a consistent policy approach at national and international levels. The Federal Council adopted principles for this policy and Switzerland’s role in February 2016. They are based on the primacy of market-economy solutions and the subsidiarity of state action, and bank on transparency and a long-term orientation.

The state can support the financial sector’s efforts by acting as a fazilitator. With regard to the topic of ecological sustainability in the context of financial market policy, the Federal Council sees the possibility of both reducing the impacts of environmental risks on financial stability and of exploiting the business opportunities that arise for the Swiss financial centre.

The responsible federal authorities support the sector’s efforts through dialog and provision of scientific foundations. In cooperation with the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF) organises a regular exchange of ideas with representatives of the finance industry on a range of topics, including the integration of environmental criteria into financial operations.

One of the shared objectives is to harmonize the sector-initiated methodologies for sustainable investments and to work towards ensuring that they can be successfully applied in everyday business. In addition, together with experts from the financial sector, research, non-governmental organisations and other federal authorities, the FOEN compiled a publication which proposes measures for a sustainable financial system in Switzerland. Finally, with the support of the SIF, the FOEN is developing the initial basis for measuring the climate-compatibility of investments and financing operations.

Voluntary climate compatibility tests

In the context of the Paris Agreement, Swiss pension funds and insurance companies were invited in 2017 by the Federal Office for the Environment FOEN and the State Secretariat for International Financial SIF to test the climate compatibility of their portfolios. The offer attracted widespread interest.

79 pension funds and insurance companies, which represent about two thirds of the total market as measured by assets under management, accepted this invitation. The volume of the assets under examination and the participation of various sizes of pension funds and insurance companies made a representative analysis possible.

Last modification 22.12.2017

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