The market for sustainable investment and finance instruments is developing rapidly. For example, the Swiss market for sustainable investment grew by 39 percent in 2016. Numerous organisations, e.g. Swiss Sustainable Finance, SwissFoundations (association of Swiss grant-making foundations) and the WWF, have published guidelines for individuals and institutions with an interest in the topic of sustainable finance.
Banks and insurance companies have considerable influence on the technologies and economic sectors that receive funding. Through their decisions, investors make a crucial contribution to a sustainable future. According to the WWF, it is important to examine investment products and services critically:
- Saving: Do you know what happens to the money in your savings account? Which projects and companies are financed by your bank?
- Investing: Are your values and ideas in relation to topics like the environment and social affairs taken into account in the investment process?
- Provision for the future: Does your pension fund consider sustainable investment strategies?
- Mortgages: Are there savings to be made through the climate-friendly renovation of your house or the construction of a new build based on the Minergie standard?
According to Swiss Sustainable Finance’s “SSF Handbook on Sustainable Investments”, institutional investors, e.g. pension funds, foundations and insurance companies, have different reasons for taking sustainability factors into account in their investments. The three most important are:
- complying with generally recognised international and national standards or the organisation’s specific values in relation to investment activities;
- improving the risk-return profile of investments;
- promoting sustainable development/economy.
The “SSF Handbook on Sustainable Investments”(available in German and French) and the “Swiss Foundation Code 2015” provide a comprehensive practice-oriented overview of existing approaches to sustainable institutional investments.
Last modification 23.06.2017