Thematic Studies


Published Author   Title 
April 2017 Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change (GIC) Transparency in Transition: A Guide to Investor Disclosure on Climate Change
  This report from the Investor Group on Climate Change (Australia/New Zealand) and the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) is thought to be the first institutional investor-specific guidance released in the wake of the TCFD draft.
March 2017 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors
  The OECD's paper “Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors” explains the application of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in the context of institutional investors.
January 2017 United Nations Environmental Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) The Principles for Positive Impact Finance - A Common Framework to Finance the SDGs
  The UNEP FI's Principles for Positive Impact Finance are a set of high-level guidelines, designed to "provide a common yet flexible framework for the business and finance community to identify and develop positive impact activities, entities and projects".
January 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) The Global Risks Report 2017
  The Global Risks Report 2017 is a survey of 750 thought leaders on global trends and economic risks, which identifies environmental-related risks such as climate change as key challenges in the next years.
January 2017 Thun Group of Banks Discussion Paper on the implications of UN Guiding Principles 13 & 17 in a corporate & investment banking context
  The Thun Group of Banks' new Discussion Paper aims to gain further understanding of how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights should be applied in the banking sector.
December 2016 Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Global Guide to Responsible Investment Regulation
  This is a global study that analyses the impact of responsible investment-related public policy initiatives. They identify almost 300 policy instruments globally that support investors taking longer-term views and mind some evidence that such policies drive better ESG performance by companies. Although currently, the report finds rather weak implementation, there are signs that governments are beginning to link sustainability and capital markets policy.
December 2016 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures
  To help identify the information needed by investors, lenders, and insurance underwriters to appropriately assess and price climate-related risks and opportunities, the Financial Stability Board established an industry-led task force: the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (Task Force). The Task Force was asked to develop  voluntary, consistent climate-related financial disclosures that would be useful to investors, lenders, and insurance underwriters in understanding material risks. In this report, the Task Force presents four widely adoptable recommendations on climate-related financial disclosures that are applicable to organizations across sectors and jurisdictions. Importantly, the Task Force’s recommendations apply to financial sector organizations, including banks, insurance companies, asset managers, and asset owners.
November 2016 Thomson Reuters Global 3500 Greenhouse Gas Performance 2010-2015 - Key Trends & Opportunities for Leadership
  Climate change, and the new risks and opportunities emerging from it, are of keen interest to policymakers, regulators, investors, corporations, and others. Similarly, the solution to climate change involves diverse communities acting together towards common goals, including the crucial role of business. This new report on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission trends from 3,500 of the largest publicly traded companies in the world is intended to help clarify trends and opportunities in this group of actors and their value chains. These companies account for about 20% of global annual emissions (without even including their value chains). As with four previous GHG trends reports, this new report examines how much emissions have increased or decreased over the most recent four-year period from this group of companies.
November 2016 New Climate Economy The Sustainable Infrastructure Imperative
  With trillions of USD expected investments in infrastructure over the next 15 years, it will be important to finance the right kind of projects to tackle three important challenges: reigniting global growth, meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and reducing climate risk. Read this comprehensive report to learn more about the decisions that need to be made regarding our infrastructure investments and mobilising the right capital for the right projects.
September 2016 UNEP Financing Sustainable Development - Moving from momentum to transformation in a time of turmoil
  This report suggests 5 steps to transform tomorrow's global financial system to include financing for sustainable development. This is in light of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement, as they are the most ambitious multilateral goals ever agreed on. The steps range from financial market reform to mobilizing technology to building capabilities, tools and standards.
September 2016 Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative 2016 Report on Progress
  This report provides a picture of sustainability initiatives implemented by stock exchanges and regulatory bodies around the world. It seeks to highlight current good practices, trends, opportunities and challenges.
September 2016 BlackRock Investment Institute Adapting portfolios to climate change - Implications and strategies for all investors
  This BlackRock study details how investors can mitigate cliamte risks, exploit opportunities or have a positive impact. They conclude that climate-aware investing is possible without compromising on traditional goals of maximizing investment returns.
August 2016 Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) The Business Value of Impact Measurement
  This report highlights the connection between measuring the social and environmental performance of impact investments and the application of these data to generate business value for investors and investees. 30 practitioners were interviewed for this report who provided detailed insights into how they maximize impact based on social and environmental KPIs.
August 2016 Bundesministerium der Finanzen (Deutschland) Relevanz des Klimawandels für die Finanzmärkte
  This preliminary study of the Germance Finance Ministry focusses on climate risks and their impacts on the financial stability. It comes to the conclusion that concrete action to gradually lower the exposure on climate-intensive assets, is less risky than a sudden and abrupt one, as it would create a significant danger for the financial stability. A more in depth study will be presented later this year.
September 2016 OECD Development Co-operation Report 2016: The Sustainable Development Goals and Business Opportunities
  There is an urgent need to mobilise unprecedented resources to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The private sector can be a powerful promotor of sustainable development. Companies provide jobs, infrastructure, innovation and social services, among others. Increasingly, investments in developing countries – even in the least developed countries – are seen as business opportunities, despite the risks involved. The public sector can leverage the private sector contribution, helping to manage risk and providing insights into effective policy and practice. The Development Co-operation Report 2016 explores the potential and challenges of investing in developing countries, in particular through social impact investment, blended finance and foreign direct investment.
July 2016 G20 Green Finance Synthesis Report G20 Green Finance Study Group
  The G20 Green Finance Study Group (GFSG) work supports the G20's strategic goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth. The GFSG was established to explore how to funnel tens of trillions of dollars in order to scale up green finance. This study summarizes 14 input papers and establishes a number of options for the G20 and country authorities for consideration for voluntary adoption, to enhance the ability of the financial system to mobilize private capital for green investment. This paper was presented at the G20 event in September 2016.
July 2016 Swiss Confederation Switzerland's initial steps towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  In this report, Switzerland presents and accounts for the work it has undertaken so far in implementing the 2030 Agenda. The report discusses first experiences, lessons and successes, but also reveals the challenges Switzerland faces in fulfilling this task.
July 2016 UNEP Green Finance for Developing Countries
  This report outlines concerns and needs of developing countries in relation to green finance. In particular the report focuses on the particular challenges faced by developing countries due to their underdeveloped financial systems.
July 2016 ESG Magazine ESG Magazine: Investors move to governance checkmate
  In this issue, close attention is paid to the 2016 proxy voting season. With levels of voting by long-term investors on the rise, issues such as climate resolutions, gender equality and environmentally friendly infrastructure are gaining more attention amongst shareholders.
July 2016 Climate Bonds Initiative Bonds and Climate Change – The state of the market in 2016
  The Climate Bonds Initiative released their 2016 market report on “climate-aligned bonds”. It was found that the market is still dominated by non-labelled climate-aligned bonds as opposed to Green Bonds with an estimated $694 bn of climate-aligned bonds outstanding, an increase of $96 bn compared to a year ago.
July 2016 The Pensions Regulator (UK regulator of work-based pension schemes) Guide to Investment Governance
(to be read alongside our DC code of practice no. 13)
  This guide was published along side the new DC code of practice no. 13. It provides guidance to pension schemes mandating that trustees should take into account factors that are financially material to any investment’s performance – such as the effects of climate change – and that ESG and ethical factors can be included if trustees also believe them to be significant.
June 2016 UNEP FI, PRI and Generation Foundation Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century - Global statement on investor obligations and duties
  As part of a three year project, this statement was launched in a first step to clarify investor duties in relation to the integration of environmental, social and governance issues in investment practice and decision-making. The statement aims to call on international and national policy makers to introduce a policy instrument that clarifies investor obligations and duties, in particular, to make explicit reference to the requirement to integrate ESG issues in investment decision-making.
June 2016 FOEN and Swiss Team Proposals for a Roadmap towards a Sustainable Financial System in Switzerland
  In this report drafted by a diverse project team of finance experts, representatives of science and federal authorities coordinated by FOEN 20 concrete measures are presented. The specific proposals for action aim to promote sustainable financial services taking into account environmental, social and governance criteria in the five segments asset & wealth management, institutional investors, credit & lending, capital markets and research & education. A key requirement is to introduce greater transparency in the sustainability of financial products, while the integration of sustainability risks and opportunities in the investment, credit and rating processes is also considered to be crucial for long-term financial success.
June 2016 BankTrack Banking with Principles? Benchmarking Banks against the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  This report assesses to what extent 45 of the largest banks globally have integrated the Guiding Principles into their operations over the past five years. To determine this the study focusses on the evaluation of human right policies, processes and reporting of the banks, against 12 criteria, based on four categories: policies, due dilligence commitments, reporting and access to remedy. The research concludes that progress in the implementation has been slow, there are no true leaders, and that the link between good policies and good implementation appears to be weak.
June 2016 WWF France Green bonds must keep the green promise!
A call for collective action towards effective and credible standards for the green bond market
  This mandated research by WWF, focusses on the green bond market and explores the diverse landscape of green definitions, standards, frameworks, and guidelines that are currently used in the market. It emphasizes the centrality of the notion of "credibility" and "effectiveness" of green bonds, which stand at the center stage of the discussions and the importance of developing criteria around adaptation and climate resilience assets and environmental challenges beyond climate change. 
May 2016 KPMG, GRI, UNEP, Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa Carrots & Sticks - Global trends in sustainability reporting regulation and policy
  This report outlines the developments in sustainability reporting instruments worldwide. It covers mandatroy and voluntary instruments that require or encourage companies to report on their sustainability performance. This year's report shows that instruments have doubled totallign approx. 400 since the last report was published in 2013.
May 2016 Alternative Bank Schweiz Gut oder Börse? Überlegungen zum ethischen Börsenhandel
  Die Studie der Alternativen Bank Schweiz (ABS) und dem Verein zur Förderung von Ethik und Nachhaltigkeit bei der Geldanlage (CRIC) besteht aus zwei Teilen. Der Erste beschreibt die Wertpapierbörse vor dem Hintergrund des ökonomischen Standardmodells und den der Ökonomie eigenen normativen Auffassungen. Der zweite Teil analysiert den Börsenhandeln aus der Sicht von CRIC relevanten ethischen Problemfeldern. In einer Replik nimmt die ABS Stellung zu den einzelnen Argumenten und Empfehlungen der CRIC Analyse.
May 2016 OECD Green Investment Banks Scaling up private investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure
  This report focusses on capitalised green investment banks (GIBs), analysing the rationales, mandates and financing activities of this relatively new category of public financial institution. Based on the experience of over a dozen GIBs and GIB-like entities, the report provides a non-prescriptive stock-taking of the diverse ways in which these public institutions are catalysing private investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure and other green sectors, with a spotlight on energy efficiency projects. The report also provides practical information to policy makers on how green investment banks are being set up, capitalised and staffed.
May 2016 KPMG, GRI, UNEP, Center for Corporate Governance in Africa Carrots & Sticks Global trends in sustainability reporting regulation and policy
  This report is the follow-up study of the one published in 2013. Since then, there has been a surge in the number of reporting instruments identified. The research identified almost 400 sustainability reporting instruments in 64 countries versus 180 instruments identified in 44 countries in the 2013 report. Especially the level of activitiy of stock exchanges and financial market regulators is noteworthy in the 2016 edition.
May 2016 Investment Leaders Group Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Feeling the heat: An investors' guide to measuring business risk from carbon and energy regulation
  This report suggests a model that quantifies the impact of potential climate and energy regulation on company profitability. Thereby aiming to improve stock picking and empowering investors to engage with companies on actions they can take to become "future proof". The research finds significant effects of climate and energy regulation on company profitability, but with important differences on a firm-level within the same sectors and geographies.
May 2016 Investment Leaders Group Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership In search of impact: Measuring the full value of capital
  Helping the investment industry to understand the impact of their investments on sustainability challenges, is the aim of this research. Therefore, a framework is suggested based on a set of six environmental and social themes (based on SDGs), which should allow investors to calculate and communicate the social and environmental impacts of their portfolio. 
May 2016 Investment Leaders Group Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Taking the long view: A toolkit for long-term, sustainable investment mandates
  This report includes investment strategies that can contribute to increased long-term value creation by companies and the economy as a whole. Such investments are guided by a clear investment philosophy, process and culture rather than a defined set of rules or criteria. This report outlines 10 design features which can be flexibly adapted to deliver varying degrees of long-term value; focusing foremost on active listed equity strategies.
May 2016 Paulson Institute, Green Finance Committee, sifma, UNEP, Bloomberg Philanthropies Green finance - a growing imperative
  This briefing underlines the importance that green finance is scaled, thereby 'industrialised'. This requires international harmonization of definitions, products and standards. Hence governments have a central role to play. This report discusses barriers, challenges, and makes suggestions on how to encourage the industrialisation of sustainable finance. 
May 2016 UNEP, Global Footprint Network ERISC Phase II: How food prices link environmental constraints to sovereign credit risk

The global food system is affected by changing environmental conditions (e.g. water scarcity) which will increase over the coming years, as well as the increasing demographic pressure and demand for food supplies. It is highly probable that the volatility of food commodity prices will also increase over the coming years. Furthermore, higher and more volatile food prices are key transmission mechanisms through which environmental risks and constraints (e.g. climate change) will impact national economies. If these are significant enough, they may affect a country's credit rating and risks exposure of sovereign bondholders. This report discusses how more volatile food prices, influence the different nations.

April 2016 Bruegel Financial risks and opportunities in the time of climate change
  In the scenario of a late and sudden transition to a low-carbon economy, the financial sector can be heavily exposed to environmental risks. Methodologies are being developed to measure the carbon intensity of investments, and the industry is reflecting on the importance of carbon stress tests. This policy brief proposes a Finance and Sustainability Risk Forum in which European financial supervision can share best practices and coordinate their input to the Financial Stability Board.
April 2016 World Economic Forum The Role of Financial Services in Society
  Due to the accelerated growth in technology-enabled innovation, the authors aim to consider the impact on the risk profile of the financial system. This report further describes the wave of innovation at hand and how it leads to opportunities for enhancing the stability of the financial system, and concludes with a set of recommendations on how to improve it.
April 2016 Credit Suisse, Climate Bonds Initiative, Clarmondial Levering ecosystems: A business-focused perspective on how debt supports investments in ecosystem services
  This report explores how businesses can utilize debt as a tool to restore, rehabilitate, and conserve the environment while creating financial value. The report explains how ecosystem services are relevant to companies, examines the state of markets for carbon, water, and biodiversity credits, discusses the suitability of debt financing for companies at various stages and sizes, and suggests recommendations for businesses and investors who want to take advantage of opportunities to invest in conservation finance.
March 2016 S&P Dow Jones Indices, Trucost Resource Efficiency: A Case Study in Carbon and Water Use
  In this study the authors take a closer look at extending the already well-researched approach to increasing the efficiency of fossil fuel usage to water usage. They find that resource scarcity is a complex theme to consider in investments as demand for various resources cannot be looked at individually considering the demand for resources is correlated. Results also show that carbon- and resource-efficient companies may outperform less efficient companies. Lastly, the report finds that a focus on efficiency can help companies mitigate risks on the level of regulation, resource depletion and reputation.
March 2016 Task Force on climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Phase I Report of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures
  At the request of the G20, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) engaged the private and public sector to review how the financial sector can incorporate climate-related issues in financial reporting. The TCFD undertakes a coordinated assessment of what constitutes efficient and effective disclosure and desings a set of recommendations for voluntary company financial disclosures of climate-related risks that are responsive to the needs of lenders, insureres, investors, and other users. This report sets out the scope and high-level objectives together with a set of fundamental principles of disclosure. Thereby, forming the framework for the second report (to be published end of 2016) which will describe the specific recommendations and guidelines.
March 2016 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Impact of Environmental Factors on Credit Risk of Commercial Banks
  This paper discusses the impact of internalizing environmental costs onto a firm's balance sheet and the consequent risks this creates for commercial banks. Two industries, thermal power and cement production, were selected for stress testing. A range of high, medium and low stress scenarios were used to assess the impact on the financial performance and credit rating. This bank-led approach is the first of its kind in China and provides a foundation for the discussions on the theoretical framework and analytical methodologies.
March 2016 UNEP Inquiry: Design of Sustainable Financial System, 2° Investing Initiative Building a Sustainable Financial System in the European Union
  This report present actions under way at the European level and in selected Member States to align the rules governing the financial system with environmental sustainability. The authors stress thereby five policy priorities: capital reallocation, enhancing frameworks for risk management, clarify core responsibilities of financial institutions, improve reporting and disclosure and the need of a strategic reset, seeking to link previously unconnected initiatives.
March 2016 Share Action

Transforming our world through investment An introductory study of institutional investors' role in supporting the Sustainable Development Goals


This study aims to examine how institutional investors across the world are beginning to consider the Sustainable Development Goals within investment decisions, in addition to their future plans related to the SDGs. A survey was sent to about 500 institutional investors globally of which 52 responded. The report highlights the belief that the SDG's will serve to enhance returns, mitigate risk, strengthen reputation and help achieve investment objectives of the different institutions.

March 2016 ESG Magazine ESG Magazine: Can investors lead the fight against climate change?
  This issue is the second in a two-part COP21 special and focuses on the major outcomes of COP21 for institutional investors. It also looks at leading current investment responses to climate change from asset owners.
February 2016 UNEP Inquiry, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) The Equator Principles - Do they make banks more sustainable?
  The Equator Principles (EPs) are a voluntary code of conduct and a risk management framework for determining,  assessing and managing environmental and social risks in projects, such as energy or infrastructure projects. This report combines a literature analysis, interviews with project financiers and stakeholders and an analysis of EP signatories' reports to determine how these actors are implementing the EPs. The report finds that the EPs do not create significant changes in project financing institutions and therefore enforcement mechanisms should be implemented.
February 2016 European Systemic Risk Board Advisory Scientific Committee Too late, too sudden: Transition to a low-carbon economy and systemic risk

The COP 21 Paris Agreement emphasizes the necessity of transitioning towards a low-carbon economy with a shift towards more renewable energies. The report outlines the danger associated with a late and sudden shift, where the adaptation occurs abruptly, whereas an early start in implementing the pledges could ensure a soft landing. The risks would mainly be associated with the macro impact of a sudden change in energy use, revaluation of carbon-intensive assets and a rise in the incidence of natural catastrophes. To ensure financial stability, this report suggests to enhance disclosure of the carbon intensity of non-financial firms, making stress-testing of related exposures of financial firms possible.

February 2016 OECD Financial Instruments for Managing Disaster Risks related to Climate Change
  This article outlines potential implications of climate change for the management of financial risks. It identifies insurance as a mechanism to reduce the economic disruption of disaster events. In addition, it outlines policy approaches to aid the penetration of disaster insurance coverage and the capacity of insurance markets to absorb disaster risks. Recommendations for improving the financial management of disaster risks are also identified.
 February 2016 University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership; Environmental Resources Management The Paris Climate Agreement: Implications for banks, institutional investors, private equity and insurers
  The momentum established by the COP 21 Paris Agreement presents revenue risks and opportunities, as capital investment shifts from high to low carbon energy infrastructure and solutions. Financial intermediaries will and are already exposed to these trends, and abrupt changes could influence the overall financial stability. In order to reduce uncertainty over the energy transition and become masters of their own destiny, this reports summarizes the issues at hand and sets out some thoughts about a potential response.
February 2016 UNEP FI Sustainable Real Estate Investment Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement: An Action Framework

With an estimated value of approximately USD 50 trillion, real estate assets consume about 40% of the world's energy and contribute to up to 30% of the annual GHG emissions. Practitioners note that the effective integration of ESG measures is hindered by excessively large amounts of available information or uncertainty about relevant actions. This report suggests a framework setting out measures and actions needed to support the integration of ESG and climate risks into the business of investment and management, overcoming the barriers. Aiming thereby to transform aspirational measures into default practices for all stakeholders in the property sector by suggesting tailor-made step-by-step frameworks for individual target audiences (e.g. asset owners, bond and debt investors).

January 2016 Credit Suisse Conservation Finance From Niche to Mainstream: The Building of an Institutional Asset Class
  This report builds on the previous CS study "Conservation Finance - Moving beyond donor funding toward an investor-driven approach". Since then the field has developed rapidly. The objective of this report is to identify financial product structures that have the potential to establish finance in mainstream investment markets, reaching an estimated medium-term potential of USD 200-400bn. However, there are four central challenges currently inhibiting the conservation finance market's growth: little commercial support for early-stage projects, substantial search and transaction costs for identification and implementation of conservation projects, high perceived risk, and the lack of the scalability and replicability of current projects. The authors propose three shifts that would allow to address these challenges.
January 2016 WEF More Walls, More Warming, Less Water: A World at Risk in 2016
  For this report about 750 experts researched 29 separate global risks. The one with the greatest potential impact was found to be failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation. It's the first time since the report was published in 2006, that an environmental risk has topped the ranking. The report highlights the importance of the interconnections among the risks, suggesting that a small number of key risks wield great influence. An example is climate change exacerbating water crises, resulting in conflicts and forced migration. The report concludes that knowledge about risks (likelihood and potential impact) and their interconnections  is fundamental for leaders, helping them to prioritize areas for action.
January 2016 Credit Suisse How Corporate Governance Matters
  This report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute explores several aspects of the connection between sound governance and improved business performance. Amongst others the experts identify specific company types and sectors, in which governance can serve as a particularly robust investment strategy instrument. The report concludes that a governance-oriented investment strategy works best in distinct secotrs and periods of time.
January 2016 Credit Suisse and INSEAD Investing in Future Leaders: How Impact Investment Can Enable Underprivileged Talents to Access Best-in-Class Higher Education
  Credit Suisse and INSEAD partnered to publish a research report about investing in higher education. It explores innovative investment opportunities in this sector and demonstrates how financial instruments can trigger a significant social impact by supporting talented students from less privileged socio-economic classes to access the world’s best-in-class schools.
January 2016 UBS Climate change: a risk to the global middle class

This UBS report looked at middle-class consumption in 215 cities around the world and compared it to the level of climate-change risk in those cities. The report highlights the economic risks (i.e covering uninsured losses, shifts in consumption patterns) resulting from the interconnection between socio-economic structures and high exposure to climate change of cities.

January 2016 International Monetary Fund After Paris: Fiscal, Macroeconomic, and Financial Implications of Climate Change
  After the 2015 Paris Agreement, this paper takes stick of the wide-ranging implications for fiscal, financial and macroeconomic policies coming to grips with climate change. Thereby issues such as the carbon price, climate finance, disclosure of carbon footprints, or the implications on the financial stability are discussed.
December 2015 World Resources Institute, UNEP Finance Initiative, 2° Investing Initiative Climate Strategies and Metrics Exploring Options for Institutional Investors
  Institutional Investors get increasingly active on climate change issues. The Montreal Pledge and the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition are two examples. This report reviews strategies and metrics for invesotrs seeking to reduce GHG emissions and aid transition towards a low-carbon economy through investment decisions.
December 2015 ESG Magazine ESG Magazine: COP21: Green deal or Greenwash?
  This issue is dedicated to the theme of fossil fuels, 'unburnable carbon' and 'stranded assets'. Read about how the financial industry is reacting to the risks of climate change and fossil fuel linked investments.
November 2015 University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Unhedgeable risk How climate change sentiment impacts investment
  In light of the momentum around discussions on climate risks and its impacts on assets (i.e. carbon bubble or stranded assets), this report analyzes the short-term risks stemming from how investors react to climate-related information. Thereby the study indicates the vulnerability and resiliency of different portfolio types to climate-change related risks. This allows investors to start reflecting on how to offset potential losses and invest in assets less likely to be affected by climate risks.
November 2015 Symbiotics and University of Zurich Swiss Microfinance Investment Report
  This report complements the global, annually published aggregate report on microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) that Symbiotics has been producing since 2007, and shows disaggregated data for the Swiss subset of global MIVs. It follows a first report on this subset published by Symbiotics in collaboration with the Swiss Development Agency (SDC) in December 2011. 
November 2015 Kepler Cheuvreux and IIGCC Carbon Compass: Investor guide to carbon footprinting
  This guide helps connect the themes of carbon footprint analysis with investment objectives, such as, minimising risk and meeting climate targets. With a growing number of Carbon footprint services available, different investors may require additional insights into the various methodologies. The ‘Carbon  Compass’ reviews each methodology and answers the most commonly-asked questions simply and practically.
November 2015 Natural Capital Declaration, UNEP FI, Global Canopy Programme Towards including natural resource risks in cost of capital State of play and the way forward
  The Natural Capital Declaration aims to develop evidence to evaluate natural capital dependencies and impacts as material risk for financial institutions. The first part of this study provides arguments for a business case for banks and asset managers to incorporate natural capital factors in their lending and investment decision-making processes. The second part provides an overviews of 36 financial institutions' existing capabilities to manage natural capital risk. The report concludes that there is a discrepancy between the acknowledgment of the importance of the natural capital risks, and the effective implementation in the investment and lending processes.
October 2015 South Pole Group and CSSP commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)

Kohlenstoffrisiken für den Finanzplatz Schweiz

Summary German

Summary French

  This study commissioned by the FOEN analyses indirect greenhouse gas emissions linked to the Swiss equity fund market. The report outlines risks and costs involved in equity investments should stricter carbon pricing and regulations be put in place. The study also includes a closer look at 11 of the largest 25 pension funds in Switzerland and how future carbon pricing scenarios will affect beneficiaries.
October 2015 UNEP Inquiry The Financial System We Need: Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development. The UNEP Inquiry Report
  The UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System was established in January 2014. The Inquiry has looked in-depth at practice in over 15 countries - including Switzerland - and worked with central banks, environment ministries, international finance institutions as well as major banks, pension funds, insurance companies and stock exchanges to reach its findings. Five types of measures are presented: Enhancing market practice, harnessing the public balance sheet, directing finance through policy measures, transforming financial culture, upgrading system governance.
September 2015 Bank of England Prudential Regulation Authority The impact of climate change on the UK insurance sector A Climate Change Adaptation Report
  This report is the Prudential Regulation Authority's (PRA) response to the invitation of the Department for Envionment, Food & Rural Affairs (UK) to complete a Climate Change Adaptation Report. It analyzes the climate risks from the standpoint to ensure the safety and soundness of firms and appropriate protection of policyholders. The PRA concludes that there is potential for climate change to present a substantial challenge to the business model of insurers. Possibly creating new opportunities within climate-change related business, but more importantly potentially reducing or eliminating the sector' appetite to provide insurance cover for specific sets of activities, assets or customres.
September 2015 UBS The investment drought: How can the problem of weak investment be fixed?
  This White Paper aims to address some of the potential causes of the recent lack of investments ('investment drought'). Investments in long-term projects are necessary for steady economic growth but are often not appreciated by investors and taxpayers. The report concludes that changes in the tax systems, compensation structures or impact investing could reinvigorate investment and secure stable and attractive returns over time. It also concludes that governments should pay more attention on how to restore investment, in order to be able to overcome future challenges and have sufficient funding for areas such as data transmission and processing, battery technology, or education.
September 2015 ESG Magazine ESG Magazine: European Capital Markets Union-a game-changer for sustainable finance?
  ESG Magazine (launched September 2015) is the first dedicated print publication for sustainability in capital markets covering responsible investing, responsible banking, sustainable insurance, sustainable finance, impact investing, corporate sustainability and more.
August 2015 Olaf Weber The banking sector's contribution to sustainable growth - risks assessment, sustainable finance, voluntary initiatives and regulations
  Financial intermediaries, via their financing activities, have important impacts on the environment and sustainable development. This paper highlights the historic development of regulating the financial sector in order to minimize environmental and social impacts, which started in the 1980s. It further indicates how hard and soft law instruments are currently aiming to push financial intermediaries to encourage sustainable development, by channeling their capital to environmentally or socially sound projects.
August 2015 World Resources Institute, UNEP Finance Initiative Carbon Asset Risk: Discussion Framework
  The low-carbon economy provides significant opportunities for investments and growth. On hindside the transition also represents significant financial risks, ranging from a reduced profitability of investee companies to loan defaults from the stranding assets. This report suggests a framework for carbon asset risk management, intending to help financial intermediaries and investors to think more consistently and systematically about climate risk.
August 2015 The Economist The cost of inaction: Recognising the value at risk from climate change
  This research highlights the relevance of climate change to the asset management industry and beyond by estimating the value at risk (VaR) to 2100 as a result of climate change to the total global stock of manageable assets (the climate VaR). The VaR calculated in present value terms is US$ 4.2trn, however, it could be much higher if more extreme warming occurs. The authors conclude that although direct damage will be more localised, indirect impacts will affect the entire global economy, accordingly, asset managers will face significant challenges diversifying out of assets affected by climate change. Therefore, investors need to assess their climate-related risks and take steps to mitigate them.
July 2015 Natural Capital Declaration Bank and Investor Risk Policies on Soft Commodities
  This study and the tool lay the foundation for linking financial sector decisions to deforestation and forest degradation. It aims to help financial institutions better understand the dependencies of soft commodity producers on forest ecosystems, and how their businesses affect these ecosystems. This, in turn, allows financial institutions to gain more insight into their own risks and opportunities.
June 2015 OECD Overcoming Barriers to International Investment in Clean Energy
  This report identifies and explains certain barriers (specifically the often mandated local sourcing of jobs, components, or costs) that exist within the solar PV and wind-energy industry and provides policy makers with evidence to guide their decisions when designing clean-energy support policies.
June 2015 Mercer Investing in a Time of Climate Change

 This study helps address the following investor questions:

  • How big a risk/return impact could climate change have on a portfolio, and when might that happen?
  • What are the key downside risks and upside opportunities, and how do investors manage these considerations to fit within their current investment process?
  • What plan of action can ensure an investor is best positioned for resilience to climate change?
June 2015 WWF Financial market regulation for sustainable development in the BRICS countries
  This report, focused on the BRICS countries, outlines what financial market regulations these emerging market policy-makers have introduced or are considering introducing to manage and mitigate environmental and social risks of investments.
April 2015 Universität Stuttgart RISIKO, RENDITE – UND WIRKUNG? Die Anlagebereitschaft deutscher Stiftungen und vermögender Anleger für wirkungs-orientiertes Investieren (available in German)
  Wirkungsorientiertes Investieren (WI) bzw. Social Impact Investing (SII) umschreibt eine Möglichkeit für Anleger, zivilgesellschaftliche Verantwortung gezielt und mit messbaren Wirkungen durch ihre Kapitalanlagen wahrzunehmen. Die Studie stützt sich auf qualifizierte Interviews mit Vertretern von Stiftungen (17), mit Family Offices (18) sowie mit vermögenden Einzelpersonen, sog. High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) (15).
March 2015 Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) ImpactBase Snapshot: An Analysis of 300+ Impact Investing Funds
  This report provides an in-depth analysis of the impact investment intermediary landscape. Information on topics such as fundraising, fund activity, track record, social and environmental metrics, target returns and more are presented in the report.
February 2015 OECD Social Impact Investment: Building the Evidence Base
  This report provides a framework for assessing the social impact investment market and focuses on the need to build the evidence base. The report highlights the importance of further international collaborations in developing global standards on definitions, data collection, impact measurement and evaluation of policies.
February 2015 Novethic  Financement Vert
  An assessment of the contribution to green finance of the 32 largest banks and insurance companies in Europe reveiled a mixed picture. The amount of classical green projects funded is increasing, but little transparency is given as to the carbon intensity and environmental risks of the total credit portfolios. (study in French)
February 2015 Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group Energy Efficiency - the first fuel for the EU Economy
How to drive new finance for energy efficiency investments
  The Energy Efficiency Financial Institution Group was established to determine how to overcome the documented challenges to obtaining long-term financing for energy efficiency. Recommendations have been elaborated by the Group over two years, which are summarized in this report.
January 2015 UK Pension Funds A Guide to Responsible Investment Reporting in Public Equity
  This iterative document was the product of a number of roundtable meetings with UK pension funds and open consultation with fund managers and sets out to encourage improvements in the quality of RI reporting for individual mandates.
January 2015 UN Global Compact, UNCTAD, UNEPFI, PRI Private Sector Investment and Sustainable Development
  This paper outlines the role of companies, institutional investors and foundations in contributing to global sustainability goals through their financing strategy and general conduct. Actors in the private sector are driven by sustainability challenges to come up with innovative solutions which need appropriate funding and support. The paper emphasizes the benefits of a well-functioning system to reach sustainable development goals, fostering an innovative and collaborative environment.
October 2014 University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Stability and Sustainability in Banking Reform: Are Environmental Risks Missing in Basel III?

International Banking regulations (i.e. Basel Capital Accord) have gained much attention in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Simultaneously, interest in environmental risks for banking and their potential systemic impacts are also on the rise. The author highlights some initial programs (i.e. Brazil, China, Peru), where banking regulation and governance practices address environmental risks. This report concludes that the Basel Committee should learn from these experiences and consider reforms to the Basel III Pillar 2 Supervisory Review framework and the Pillar 3 Market Discipline framework, by recognising systemic environmental risks as material risks which can potentially threaten banking stability.

June 2014 UNEP Finance Initiative Integrated Governance A new model of governance for sustainability
  This report aims to identify corporate governance practices that could promote a durable culture of sustainability within corporations, proposing the "Integrated Governance" model. This model and its implementation in practice are explained within the report. Overall the authors wish institutional investors with insights and suggestions that they could consider when engaging with companies, and exercising their ownership rights.
June 2014 OECD New Investment Approaches for Addressing Social and Economic Challenges
  The paper provides an introduction and overview about the social investment market for OECD member countries. Other topics covered in this paper are market evolution and the role of policy makers to help facilitate the development of the market.
April 2014 World Bank The practice of responsible investment principles in larger-scale agricultural investments Implications for Corporate Performance and Impact on Local Communities
  Agriculture as a focus of investment is viewed by some as a promising and long-awaited opportunity to promote the sector. For others, it raised the concerns about the potential negative environment, social and economic impacts. This report adds to the growing body of literature by examining 39 mature agribusiness investments in Africa and Southeast Asia, assessing to what extent their activities can be characterized as responsible. Providing information about best-practices and pitfalls to avoid.
March 2014 UNEP Inquiry, Frankfurter School of Finance & Management

Delivering the green economy through financial policy


According to the UNEP FI the absence of policy and regulatory measures related to internalizing externalities is a key barrier to private sector investments in sustainable assets. Hence, this report suggests that further finance sector regulation could incentivise financial institutions to supply capital for sustainable development. This paper therefore maps out the financial regulatory landscape, discussing how regulations can influence investment behaviour and highlights further research avenues.

November 2013 UNEP FI Insuring Climate Resilience How insurers are responding to climate change. And how they can be part of an effective government response.
  This report reflects how insurance might be used to assist countries that are most vulnerable to loss and damage from climate change. The report concludes that climate change is perceived as a real challenge to insurance companies, and that they are already adapting their risk control measures to climate risks; including the identification, prevention and reduction of risks.
October 2013 The Thun Group of Banks UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights - Discussion Paper for Banks on Implications of Principles 16–21
  The Thun Group of Banks is an informal group of bank representatives that have been discussing the meaning of the UN’s “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework” and the Guiding Principles for the activities of banks. This paper outlines the interpretation of Principles 16-21 and identifies key steps that need to be taken as well as challenges for banks in implementing the principles.
May 2013 The Sustainability Forum Zürich (TSF) and Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG)  Path to the Sustainable Financial Centre Switzerland – A call to action
  This white paper formed the basis for the establishment of SSF. It outlines action points that can be taken to strengthen the sustainable finance industry in Switzerland.   

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