SSF representatives are regularly taking part in events organised by third parties to present the objectives and activities of SSF and inform on sustainable finance.
Select an event in the table below and find out more about the events, in which SSF was involved this year.
SSF has given input at the at the UNCTAD Investment, Enterprise and Development Commission's ninth session on "Investment and enterprise development as catalysts for accomplishing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". During this ministerial meeting attended by ministers mainly from African countries, Sabine Döbeli (CEO, SSF) presented Swiss Solutions incentivising private Investments into SDGs. The group discussed in particular the growing governance power of corporations in comparison to that of states as well as the suitability and impact of investments to the local context.
WWF Schweiz hosted this event exclusively for the asset owner community. Sabine Döbeli (SSF) presented the current market opportunities of sustainable investments, whereafter Christoph Müller (Nest Collective Foundation), Jürg Tobler (Pensionskasse Stadt Zürich) and Jaqueline Oh (SVVK-ASIR) described how they each take sustainability into account in practice. The input session was concluded by Colette Nova (Federal authority for social insurance), giving insights into the regulatory dimension of the topic. Finally, a panel discussion revolving around the urgency of the topic as well as its technical implementation was moderated by Britta Rendlen (WWF Schweiz) and included Silvia Ruprecht-Martignoli (Federal Office for Environment), Marcel Metry (BVK), Dominique Biedermann (Ethos), Luzius Neubert (PPCmetrics).
Read the programme here
As part of the Swiss Green Economy Symposium SSF co-organized a breakout session on sustainable investment together with the Swiss Insurers Association (SIA). The aim of the dialogue was to establish how Switzerland could achieve the Agenda 2030 and what role the financial sector has to play. In the first half of the event, Dr. Gunthard Niederbäumer (SIA), Beat Zaugg (Inrate), Urs Berger (Mobiliar), Peter Zollinger (Globalance Bank AG) and Andrea Grisard (Ultra Brag) gave inputs on how to make sustainable investing reality. Therafter, a panel composed of Beat Frühauf (Blackrock), Andrea Grisard (Ultra Brag), Stefan Mühlemann (Loanboox), Dr. Gunthard Niederbäumer (SVV) and Beat Zaugg (Inrate) discussed in particular the regulatory barriers to sustainable investment in Switzerland as well as the need for creating adequate investable sustainable products. Sabine Döbeli (SSF) concluded the session with a short summary and an encouragement for Swiss players to partake more intensely in international financial initiatives.
Download the full programme of the event here
This event was part of the festival "Zurich meets Hong Kong" organised by the Canton and the City of Zurich with the aim of promoting Swiss capacities abroad. After a welcome by host Manuel Rybach (Credit Suisse), Carmen Walker Spaeh (Minister and State Councillor of Canton of Zurich) and Dr. Louis Cheng (Hong Kong Polytechnic University) gave short introductionary speeches on the growing role of sustainability in finance. The following panel moderated by Manuel Rybach and consisting of Jean-Marc Champagne (WWF Hong Kong), Sabine Döbeli (Swiss Sustainable Finance), Bénédicte Nolens (Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission) and Ben Ridley (Credit Suisse) shed light on steps being taken in two of the World’s global financial centres - Zurich and Hong Kong – to support the Sustainable Development Goals.
Panelists agreed that global financing needs for a sustainable infrastructure offered great opportunities both for investors and finance intermediaries. While opinions differed on the need for more regulation to promote sustainable finance, the recent announcement of Hong Kong's Chief Executive to promote green finance was seen as an important step to better anchor green finance in Hong Kong. Sabine Döbeli explained the specific Swiss situation, where the private sector can build on a tradition of continuous innovation and is therefore the main driver of further development in this field. The mayor of the City of Zurich Corine Mauch closed the session by encouraging both Hong Kong and Zurich to cooperate in making financial services fully sustainable.
SSF took part in the Meeting of Sustainable Finance Centers in Casablanca that had the focus to design the priorities for the new network which is being established to exchange experience and take common action on shared priorities. The initiative was driven by UNEP Inquiry, jointly with Casablanca Finance City an UN Environment. The inaugural meeting of the group will take place in Milan in spring 2018.
This launch event celebrated the completion of WWF's first Retail Bank Rating project, which set out to benchmark how sustainability is incorporated within banks. The rating covered the 15 largest Swiss retail banks, analysing factors related to corporate governance, savings and investments, and credit and financing. In the panel discussion, Sabine Döbeli (CEO, SSF) exchanged with Manfred Stüttgen (Professor, IFZ), Stephan Sigrist (Founder, Think Tank W.I.R.E) and Claude Amstutz (Senior Advisor Sustainable Finance, WWF Schweiz) on the topic of how the Swiss banks performed in the rating and what challenges and opportunities lie ahead for the industry.
Download the WWF report
The Caux Forum Ethical Leadership in Business retreat-conference aimed to offer a range of answers to the question: how to lead business in times of extremes? 56 business executives, academics and social entrepreneurs from 21 countries, gathered in Caux, Switzerland, to take part in this new event, hosted by the CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation and its partners. In the opening plenary, Sabine Döbeli, CEO of Swiss Sustainable Finance, stressed the importance of responsible decision-making in business and the positive impact of values on the economy.
See highlights from the event here
The 8th edition of the Geneva Forum for Sustainable Investment (GFSI), co-organised by Voxia communication and Conser, also integrated a contribution in form of a presentation by Sabine Döbeli (CEO, SSF). It is common knowledge that Switzerland is an important market place for large players in sustainable investments making this convention an ideal opportunity to introduce the latest Swiss Sustainable Investment Market Study. After the welcome speech by Angela de Wolff (Associate, Conser Invest), Sabine Döbeli kicked-off the event with an overview of the Swiss Sustainable Investment Market Report 2017 and some interesting facts and figures. Among the speakers following her were Christoffer Dahlberg (Head of Investor Realtions, Symobiotics) with a comment on the perspectives in 2050 and Isabelle Cabie (Global Head, Sustainable and Responsible Investment, Candriam Investor Group) with an analysis of the exercise of voting rights of shareholders. Between the speeches, to ensure an interactive event, panel discussions were held covering topics such as the future of the Swiss financial market and the potential of sustainable finance and decarbonizing of portfolios in the course of the energy transition.
The full program of this event can be downloaded here
The 7th New Energy Investor Summit at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue in Zurich aimed at connecting investors, project developers, suppliers and service providers in the field of renewable energy. Following the presentations of selected keynote speakers and a panel discussion on the first day, the second day offered participants different presentations and workshops to discuss strategic, financial and technical issues. In this context, Sabine Döbeli (CEO, SSF) moderated the workshop “Asset Class Renewables: Attractive Investments for Institutional Investors”, which featured input presentations from Wilfried Breuer (Managing Director, TenneT Offshore/Member of Executive Board, TenneT Holding) and Christoph Sutter (Head Division Renewable Energy, Axpo Power). The following panel discussion also included Frank Wolf (CFO, Green City Energy) and Ralph Kretschmer (Founder & Managing Partner, EBG Investment Solutions AG). The four panellists discussed with the audience why investments in renewables ideally complement existing asset classes and how they’re currently represented in institutional investors’ portfolios. Suggestions on how to further expand renewable energy investments in the portfolios of institutional investors ranged from the definition of a new asset class, the demonstration of the track record to the creation of liquid forms of such investments.
For further information see the official brochure.
In this webinar, featuring David Harris (Head of Sustainable Investment, FTSE Russell) as presenter and Sabine Döbeli (CEO, SSF) as moderator, an overview was provided on:
- How ESG investing has evolved over the past fifteen years worldwide and is becoming the new normal
- The state of global ESG disclosure
- Future trajectory and emergence of “smart sustainability” indexes
The webinar was co-hosted with Partners for Sustainability.
Listen to the recording here
The PK-Netz, an association of 17 Swiss unions, held an event on sustainable investing for pension funds focusing upon the discussion on the “carbon bubble”, which re-ignited after the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015. A recent study of the Federal Office of the Environment (FOEN) contributed to this discussion in Switzerland. This study not only shows that Swiss pension funds are invested massively in CO2-intense assets, but also that the emissions intensity associated with investments could be reduced by 10 to 90 percent. To steer investments into this direction, the PK-Netz’s seminar held on 11 May 2017 at Karl der Grosse brought together the most important actors associated with this topic. Speakers included Sabine Döbeli (CEO, SSF), Silvia Ruprecht (Project Leader, Climate and financial markets, FOEN), Claude Amstutz (Senior Advisor Sustainable Finance, WWF Switzerland) and Patrick Uelfeti (Deputy CIO, Publica).
For further information see the official seminar flyer.
The Responsible Finance & Investment (RFI) Summit 2017, held on 3 and 4 May 2017 at the Atlantis Hotel by Giardino in Zurich, Switzerland, was an initiative of the RFI Foundation and the Swiss Arab Network. While the first day focused on ethical, responsible and Islamic FinTech, the second day gave room for an interactive discussion on areas for collaboration between the specialists in responsible investments, which total to $22 trillion in assets, and the Islamic finance community, which oversees more than $2 trillion. The second day also featured a panel on the subject of “Finding shared values in responsible finance” moderated by Sabine Döbeli (CEO, SSF). While agreeing that the common denominator for responsible finance and Islamic Finance is the impact for a better world, the panellists each shared their experiences in their respective fields of action. Dr. Jan Amrit Poser (Chief Strategist & Head Sustainability, Bank J. Safra Sarasin) from J. Safra Sarasin told the audience about examples where clients of his bank started recognizing stranded asset risks. Phyllis Costanza (CEO, UBS Optimus Foundation) reported on UBS Optimus Foundation’s development impact bond, and referred to challenges still existing in the field of impact investing. Hasan Al Jabri (CEO, SEDCO Capital) described an example of sustainable, Shariah compliant forestry investment of his asset management firm and presented several research findings about positive performance impact from Islamic Finance.
Watch summary film of the event.
Watch picture gallery of the event.
For more information go to the Summit Page.
Swiss Global Compact Dialogue 2017 on Responsible Business: Let's Make Global Goals Local Business
Bern, 2 February 2017
The Global Compact Network Switzerland hosted a dialogue on responsible and sustainable business to learn from small and large companies, business schools, NGOs and media, and to provide a better understanding and improvement of responsible long-term business practices. Sabine Döbeli (CEO, SSF) held a speech on the role of investors in promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and joined the panel, which discussed what the impact of this phenomenon for Switzerland will be and why Swiss companies should engage into CSR and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For further information see the official brochure.
Professional Investors' Conference Finanz'17 with Roundtable on SRI/ESG/Impact Investing
Zurich, 1 February 2017
The Professional Investors' Conference was a side event to the Finanz'17 and had finance professionals as its target audience. In the roundtable on SRI/ESG/Impact Investing, moderated by Sabine Döbeli (CEO, SSF), the representatives of five mainstream asset managers gave insights into their approaches and debated current developments in this booming field. Matt Christensen (Global Head Responsible Investment, AXA Investment Managers), Ben Constable-Maxwell (Corporate Finance & Stewardship, M&G Equities), Andrew Howard (Head of Sustainable Research, Schroders), René Nicolodi (Head of Equities & Themes, Swisscanto Invest by Zürcher Kantonalbank) and Isabelle Rucart (Leader Impact Investing, iShares) agreed that the shift to mainstream sustainable investing has taken place. Nowadays, ESG far exceeds traditional equity investments and is applied across all asset classes. To be successful with ESG integration, a change in corporate culture is indispensable. Moreover, communicating fund performance to clients would be key.
For further information see the program.
Seif Impact Investing Congress 2017
Zurich, 24 January 2017
The seif Impact Investing Congress 2017 aimed to act as a platform for the exchange of know-how and best practices in impact investing and to foster collaboration between the different actors on stage. Attendees were invited to discuss the current situation and the future of impact investing, and to expand their networks with peers and experts. The goal was to strengthen the ecosystem for its future sustainable development throughout Europe and Switzerland in particular. In general, the Social Entrepreneurship Impact & Finance (seif) supports individuals or teams seeking to apply innovative business ideas to respond to current social and/or environmental problems, otherwise known as “social enterprises”. To build up the capacity of the social enterprises, seif also acts as a bridge between stakeholders by connecting actors from the financial sector, corporate world, universities, foundations and others.
After a welcome by Markus Assfalg (Director Division of Business and Economic Development, Canton Zurich) and Introduction by Prof. Mariana Christen Jakob (CEO & Founder, seif), the diverse audience enjoyed inspiring speeches from Caroline Mason (CEO, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation), Rod Schwartz (CEO, ClearlySo), Dr. Martin Vogelsang (Germany Country Representative, EVPA), Antoni Ballabriga (Global Head of Responsible Business, BBVA) and Phyllis Costanza (CEO, UBS Optimus Foundation). The afternoon program offered the opportunity to participate in several workshop sessions on different topics more in-depth.
At the close of the conference, Sabine Döbeli (CEO, SSF) joined a panel moderated by Jürgen Solms (Head Private Equity, Bonafide) including Philipp Cottier (Head Equity Investments, ResponsAbility), Fabio Segura (Head of International Programs, Jacobs Foundation) and Kostis Tselenis (Head of Investments, Quadia) to discuss "What is next for the Swiss Impact Investing Field". Switzerland already has a leading role in the field of investments for development, a term referring to investments which involve a clear intention to improve the social, environmental and/or economic situation within developing and emerging countries while aiming for a market return. According to SSF's market study "Swiss Investments for a Better World", Switzerland manages close to a third of global investment products in this segment. One of the topics touched on in the discussion was that in general defining and standardizing how specific impacts are measured are key to further foster this market. Public and private investors alike need to be able to compare both the financial as well as the social/environmental/economic impact of their investments as a basis for their investment decision. Looking ahead, the panel expects that impact investing will gain evermore importance. For the many foundations based in Switzerland it offers an ideal combination of investment and impact. Furthermore, banks are likely to increase cooperation with existing specialised asset managers in this field and create impact investing offerings for their private clients.
For further information and interviews with speakers and panelists see the brochure that were distributed during the day.