SSF Events 2014

25 November 2014: PRI & Swiss Sustainable Finance Networking Lunch

On November 25, 70 professionals took part in the PRI & SSF Networking Lunch.

Dustin Neuneyer presented an update outlining PRI's achievements over the last 12 months, a synopsis of the PRI in Person 2014 in Montreal, and the PRI governance framework developments. In a second part, the results of the PRI signatory survey were presented. Dustin covered how the results of the survey were interpreted and led to concrete initiatives from an advisory council and how the PRI plans to prioritize their next steps.

 

Download - PRI 2014 Signatory Update

 

Claudia Volk from Sustainalytics outlined some of their findings with regard to sustainability in the Banking sector with Resilience and Business Ethics identified as the highest impact issues Banks should be concerned with from an ESG perspective in the current atmosphere of a changing regulatory environment.

 

Download - ESG Trends in the Banking Sector


 

23 October 2014: First public event: Sustainable financial centre Switzerland – combining strengths for success

Get an insight into the interesting speeches, the lively panel and the objectives of SSF by watching the short clip on the event.

Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) held its first public event at the SIX Convention Point in Zurich on 23 October. At the well-attended event 'Towards a sustainable Swiss financial centre: combining strengths for success', State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, Head of SECO, and Marianne Fay, Chief Economist of the Climate Change Group at the World Bank highlighted the opportunities created for Switzerland by the financial centre's focus on sustainability. Although some critical voices were heard during the panel discussion, the consensus was that the prospects for a sustainable Swiss financial centre are good. The train picks up speed.

 

State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch opened the first public event of Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF). The Head of SECO explained the countless advantages that can be generated by a combination of Switzerland, sustainability and finance to more than 200 participants. This also with a view to the UN goals for sustainable development: private sector initiatives such as SSF may provide new approaches to investment and alternative solutions and at the same time open up new business opportunities.

Marianne Fay, Chief Economist of the Climate Change Group at the World Bank emphasised the fundamental changes currently being seen in the business world. The readiness, in fact the urgency, to combat climate change is growing at a more rapid pace than the financial resources required for this endeavour. "If we do not want to cook our planet, we have to shape our growth more ecological. The capital demand for sustainable global development is enormous. A country such as Switzerland can become an important player in this field and create new market opportunities for itself." SSF Chairman Klaus Tischhauser is convinced that it is no longer open to question that sustainable finance is a viable business concept for the Swiss financial centre. The only question that remains is how quickly the protagonists can agree on a common strategy and join forces to achieve these goals. Time is of the essence, as the foreign competition is not sleeping.

Under the direction of Haig Simonian, an international panel of experts representing various financial sectors - Ivo Germann, SECO; Ivo Knoepfel, OnValues; Burkhard Varnholt, Julius Baer; Daniel Wild, RobecoSAM; Scott Williams, PWC - then engaged in a lively discussion of the opportunities and risks that will emerge from a sustainable Swiss financial centre. The participants agreed that Switzerland boasts excellent structures and a wealth of knowledge. In the near future the term ‘sustainable’ would become superfluous as the legal environment will require this approach. Some were sceptical about the speed of implementation: global institutional investors demand the kind of solutions that are not yet on offer.

Download presentation of Marianne Fay: Why should Bankers care about climate change?


 

15 October 2014: Reception at UNCTAD World Investment Forum (with UNEP FI and SFG)

On Wednesday, 15 October 2014, SSF, together with UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG), gave a reception at the World Investment Forum in the United Nations in Geneva. In front of over 150 participants from many different countries, Charles Anderson, CEO of UNEP FI, expressed his joy about the first joint event of the three organisations working towards sustainable finance, all of them based in Switzerland. Ambassador Remigi Winzap stressed the importance of anchoring sustainability principles in the Swiss financial centre and gave examples, on how the Swiss confederation supports this trend. The President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr. Burkhalter, had explicitely referred to the launch of Swiss Sustainable Finance in his speech for the opening of the UNCTAD World Investment Forum. Bertrand Gacon, President of SFG, gave examples of innovations created in the special Geneva ecosystem of sustainable finance. To round up, Sabine Döbeli, CEO of SSF illustrated the importance of joining forces to accelerate the integration of sustainability aspects in financing decisions.

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