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SSF Newsletter October 2017: Time to harvest
 
 
Dear all
 

Sustainable Finance has definitely matured,

 

if UNEP FI – the first global association to promote sustainability in finance - can celebrate a quarter century anniversary. 25 years ago, we could never have imagined all the activities currently on-going in the market. The last 2 months are no exception, as this newsletter impressively illustrates.

 

Increasingly it is the mainstream players, supporting the promotion of sustainable finance practices. With CFA Research Foundation, SSF has found the perfect partner to publish its Handbook on Sustainable Investments in English, which should be ready before the end of the year.

 

Further mainstream players are entering the mix with UNEP Inquiry involving major financial centres in the launch of its Casablanca Statement on Financial Centres for Sustainability. This platform, launched in late September, will serve to help the exchange of experiences and take common action on shared priorities. SSF is happy to have been a part of all three initiatives in one form or another.

 

There are many opportunities to stay on top of the developments in the industry by attending the numerous upcoming events.

 

Kind regards,

 

Sabine Döbeli

CEO Swiss Sustainable Finance

 
 
 
Content
 

SSF activities

Regulatory and market news

SSF and sustainable finance in the media

New members joining SSF

Join these events

New reports & studies

 
 
 
SSF activities
 

SSF hosts side event at UNEP FI Regional Roundtable for Sustainable Finance in Europe

 

To celebrate its 25 year anniversary, UNEP FI established Regional Roundtables providing an opportunity for members and actors in the sustainable finance community to come together locally, discuss the latest trends and innovations, and share best practice. This year, the Regional Roundtable in Europe was held in partnership with SSF. At its side-event on 16 October, SSF explored the role of private investors in using their funds to create positive impact. Expert speakers discussed the existing demand from private clients and how it is driving the development of innovative products in the field. 

 
 

The panel discussion shed light on the entire supply chain of such products: originating from the demand to the development, and finally to the implications of sustainable investing for investors and other stakeholders.

Read more on the event

 

CFA Society Switzerland & SSF: the Role of ESG Integration for Swiss Asset Owners

 
 

On 9 October, as a side event of the joint PRI & CFA workshop in Switzerland, SSF co-hosted a public event on the practices of ESG integration of Swiss institutional investors. After an introduction presentation, 3 asset owners took the stage to discuss their different approaches to integrating ESG into their investment strategies.

 

Asset Owner workshop on the use of indices for sustainable investment

 

On 19 September, SSF held its first workshop for institutional asset owners focusing on the role of indices in sustainable investing. The workshop commenced with three presentations providing practical insights on the use of indices from Nest Collective Foundation, PPC metrics and Swiss Re. Thereafter, participants exchanged on experiences with the implementation of their sustainable investment strategies in smaller groups and raised further questions, which SSF will tackle in future workshops.

 

SSF responds to consultation on Switzerland’s Agenda 2030

 

The Swiss committee on the Agenda 2030 held an official consultation for private and civil stakeholders to share their contributions to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SSF has gladly shared the activities of its members, as well as its own activities, with the Committee to highlight some of the key contributions of the Swiss financial centre to the SDGs.

 

SSF supports Casablanca Statement of Financial Centers for Sustainability

 
 

On September 28, SSF took part in the Meeting of Sustainable Finance Centers in Casablanca. The meeting's focus was 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 and UN Environment.

 

The inaugural meeting of the group will take place in Milan in spring 2018.

Download the statement

 

Read more about these and other SSF activities

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Regulatory and market news
 

Swiss news

  • SIX Exchange Regulation has amended its Directive on Information relating to Corporate Governance to include an “opt-in” clause for sustainable reporting (Art. 9). Companies that choose to regularly provide information on their sustainability performance are required to follow one of the predetermined reporting standards.
  • On October 23 and 24, the results of the Swiss Voluntary Climate Alignment Pilot Tests for pension funds and insurance companies will be revealed to participants. This initiative, supported by FOEN is a big step to sensitizing institutional investors to this topic.
  • WWF Switzerland set out to initiate discussions within the Swiss banking industry on sustainable banking with the launch of their report rating the 15 largest retail banks in terms of their sustainability performance.
  • Sustainable Finance Geneva has launched a book that presents 60 financial innovations to address 10 global challenges. The highlighted solutions revolve around financing projects with a positive impact, on the one hand, and making financial services more accessible and inclusive on the other.

 

International initiatives

  • The PRI in Person 2017 took place in Berlin, and brought together PRI signatories to network and exchange during a three-day programme. To provide data on the perception of climate change, best practices and future engagement topics, the organization has partnered with Novethic to aggregate members’ data in a comprehensive report.
  • CFA has intensified its collaboration with the PRI. To make sure their report on ESG in Equity Analysis and Credit Analysis is thoroughly applied, the institutions are holding 20 joint workshops for investors across the globe, one of which took place in Zurich, where SSF contributed by co-hosting a side-event.
  • The World Bank and Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) have entered an official partnership with the aim to channel more capital into sustainable investments by conducting research on the performance of ESG integration in fixed income markets.

Market trends

 

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SSF and sustainable finance in the media
 

 

Visit our website for more articles and regular updates

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New members and network partners
 

We welcome the following organisation as new SSF member:

 
 
  • OLZ & Partners Asset and Liability Management AG

The full list of our members and network partners can be found on the SSF Website.

 

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Join these events
 
  • Free tickets for Innovation Forum on Sustainable Finance at Swiss Green Economy Symposium - The Swiss Green Economy Symposium(SGES), taking place on 30 October in Winterthur, brings together a great number of sustainability leaders from different industries. SSF and the Swiss Insurance Association (SIA) are co-organisers of the “Innovation Forum on Sustainable Investments and the SDGs”. Courtesy of SIA, SSF can offer its network a limited number of free tickets for the afternoon session. Furthermore, for the morning session we can offer tickets at a 20% discount rate. To sign up, please send an email to anmeldungsvv@sges.ch indicating if you wish to attend the afternoon only or the full day and the guest code gastsvvssfnm. The free tickets are given away on a first come first serve basis.

Further events are listed on the SSF Website

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New studies & reports
 
  • 19 October 2017: EY released a study, Targeting transparency - How Switzerland's largest companies report on sustainability, which outlines the ESG and sustainability reporting practices by Swiss companies.
  • 28 September 2017: The European banking federation has issued a report, Towards a Green Finance Framework, laying out the role of banks in green finance. After mentioning the obstacles for banks, the report also gives concrete recommendations on how to adapt the regulatory and supervisory framework to better mirror risks related to climate change.
  • 26 September: The Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen and the NKI – Institut für nachhaltige Kapitalanlagen GmbH published guidelines on sustainable investments for small and medium investors.
  • 15 September: The study Bonds and Climate Change: State of the Market 2017, published by the Climate Bonds Initiative, provides an overview of the Green Bond market as well as other bonds that help finance the transition to a low carbon economy. The study identifies a universe of “climate aligned bonds” with a value of $896 billion.
  • 6 September 2017: In the report Sustainability in the Swiss retail banking sector, rating the 15 largest Swiss retail banks, WWF Schweiz establishes the sustainability performance in the categories of savings, investment, provisions and lending and financing, as well as corporate management. Only three banks are labelled appropriate, while the majority get labelled average, and two are assessed to be inadequate.
  • 9 August 2017: The whitepaper Sustainable Signals: New Data from the Individual Investor from the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing follows up on its 2015 survey on sustainable investment. According to the research, interest in sustainable investment has grown particularly amongst milennials and the sustainability consciousness from consumers has spilled over to investors.
  • 7 August 2017: The article Sin Stocks Revisited: Resolving the Sin Stock Anomaly in the Journal of Portfolio management aims to get at the bottom of the suggested outperformance of the so-called ”sin-stocks”. The authors find there is no evidence that sin-stocks provide a premium for reputation risk after controlling for their exposure to the factors profitability and investment in today’s asset pricing models.
  • 3 August 2017: The working paper Ultra High-Net-Worth Individuals (UHNWIs), Private Banks, and Sustainable Finance from the University of Oxford finds UHNWI have considerable interest in sustainable finance, but are not satisfied with their private bankers’ related services. The working paper identifies five key barriers to further demand from UHNWI, namely measurement and reporting, a generational gap, skepticism over returns, importance versus other concerns, and inertia on the part of private bankers.
  • July 2017: The Economist Intelligence Unit issued a report, The Road to Action - Financial regulation addressing climate change, reviewing issues concerning climate-related financial disclosure. In more detail, it investigates the role of ten different financial institutions in supporting climate-related financial risk reporting and looks at the recommendations put forward by the TCFD.

 

Read these and other reports

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Best regards

The SSF team

 

 

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