Past SSF Events 2020

Select an event in the table below and find out more about the events SSF organised in 2020.

Launch of Swiss Sustainable Investment Market Study 2020

Webinar, 8 June 2020

On 8 June, Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) published the Swiss Sustainable Investment Market Study 2020 and launched the publication during a live Webinar. After two welcome notes by SSF President, Jean-Daniel Gerber and Falko Paetzold (Managing Director, CSP, University of Zurich), the SSF team presented the main results of the 2020 study. Kelly Hess (Director Projects, SSF) outlined the details of the 62% market growth seen for Swiss sustainable investments in 2019 and shed light on some of the new quality analyses integrated in the study. Jean Laville (Deputy CEO, SSF) followed with insights into questions around aligning investments with climate considerations and market opinions. Finally, Anja Bodenmann (Project Manager, SSF) highlighted recent regulatory developments in Switzerland an abroad.

The webinar was moderated by Sabine Döbeli (CEO, SSF), who gave a final summary and fielded questions from the audience after the presentations.


 

WWF & SSF event series to meet the academics - Adapting capital requirements to the effects of climate change

Geneva, 20 February 2020

The third edition of the WWF & SSF breakfast event series took place in Geneva, with 50 participants present to learn more about “Adapting capital requirements to the effects of climate change”. After Jean Laville (Swiss Sustainable Finance) and Amandine Favier (WWF Switzerland) welcomed the attendees, Michel Cardona (Institute for Climate Economics - I4CE) presented the results of his upcoming paper entitled “Integrating Climate-related Risks into Banks’ Capital Requirements”. The necessity for research on the topic arose in light of discussions by supervisors, but also among banks wanting to become active on a voluntary basis, about using a Green Supporting Factor (GFP) or Brown Penalising Factor (BPF) to address both the climate investment gap and climate-related risks. The recent debate has often been rather confusing, given that two different approaches with different objectives are at stake; a risk approach that aims to ensure financial stability and an economic policy approach, which aims to channel financial flows towards a low-carbon economy. What the authors at the I4CE found in their review of the instruments was that depending on the underlying approach, multiple challenges arise for both a GSF and BPF. They also highlighted that supervisors seeking to pursue a risk and economic policy approach simultaneously will face considerable tensions.

 

In the following discussion moderated by Amandine Favier, Laura Canas da Costa (Credit Suisse) joined Michel Cardona to discuss what these findings mean for policy makers and market players. In light of the EU’s upcoming second package of measures on sustainable finance, Michel Cardona stated that, while he would recommend supervisors analyse the prudential needs, employing GSP or BPF instruments requires careful considerations – implementing such factors based on risk perspective in particular still has considerable shortcomings. Practitioner Laura Canas da Costa highlighted what Credit Suisse has undertaken to look into risks, focusing on TCFD and internal analysis of key sectors. While identifying and measuring climate risks is thus crucial for the bank, some doubts were raised whether prudential requirements are the right instrument. A specific problem mentioned was that a GSF or BPF could discourage financing for firms transitioning to more sustainable business practices, depending on the classifications chosen. In addition, these prudential instruments may have limited effects, if companies seeking funding simply revert to other forms of financing.

During closing remarks speakers agreed that an encompassing Basel IV that takes into account climate effects would be helpful. However, at the moment policymakers and market players need to assess and evaluate different options and instruments. The speakers and participants continued discussions during the following networking coffee.

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ICMA and SSF joint conference: Developments in the green bond markets – the Swiss perspective

Zurich, 29 january 2020

Over 150 delegates joined SSF and the International Capital market Association (ICMA) for a half-day conference to discuss the developments in the green bond markets from a Swiss perspective. After opening remarks from the conference host Stephanino Isele (Head Institutionals & Multinationals, ZKB) and Martin Scheck (Chief Executive, ICMA), insightful presentations were given by various Swiss actors active in the green bond space.

Daniel Wild (Global head of ESG Strategy, Credit Suisse) set the stage with figures of the growing market for the currently available types of green bonds (Entity based bonds, Proceed-based bonds and behaviour-based sustainability linked bonds). He also pointed out that there is a growing market for bonds from sectors and companies which normally are excluded from the green bond market (i.e. Brown companies), but could contribute considerably to meeting climate goals should they transition to greener practices.

Two case studies were presented from both the issuer and investor perspective. From the issuer side, Dario Laterza (Head of Funding, Treasury, ZKB), explained how ZKB overcame challenges when launching their green bond in 2018, used to refinance existing and future ZKB environmental loans. For ZKB an important step was the third party verification process, which was not always trivial due to the use of Swiss energy efficient building standards that had to be translated into international norms. From the investor perspective, Pascal Zbinden (Co-Head SAA & Markets, Swiss Re) presented how Swiss Re evaluated and ultimately chose to invest in green bonds as part of their impact investments, with the added benefit that the draw down linked to green bonds is often lower than for corresponding non-green bonds. He emphasized that investors need to be aware that there are many “shades of green” and must choose their investments based on their own targets, and that transitions bonds should not be ignored as they will likely play a big role in helping us reach our climate targets.

 

After refreshments, delegates were presented with another perspective by Clare Dawson (Chief Executive, Loan Market Association). She presented the efforts of the Loan Market Association, with close exchange with ICMA, to launch Green Loan Principles adapted for elements such as revolving credit facilities.

The following panel discussion, moderated by Samantha Sutcliffe (Head of Green and Sustainable Bonds, UBS) brought together four more Swiss voices active in the green bond field. Christian Hofer (Head Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, Raiffeisen Switzerland), Adriana Jost (Head of Treasury, République et canton de Genève), Johanna Köb (Head of Responsible Investment, Zurich Insurance) and Wilhelm Schäfer (Head AM Fixed Income Core & Systematic, J. Safra Sarasin) discussed the issues around why Switzerland is lagging when it comes to green bond issuance. Particularly interesting was the pioneering spirit of Adriana Jost, who explained how the Canton of Geneva became the first Swiss public entity to issue a green bond for energy efficient buildings in 2017, following up in 2019 with another one to finance rail infrastructure. All panellists agreed that investors and potential issuers should be building up their capacities to meet the increasing demand for green bonds.

Closing the conference was Nicholas Pfaff (Secretary of the Green Bond Principles and the Social Bond Principles, ICMA) adding comments about the international green bond market and Sabine Döbeli (CEO, SSF) wrapping up the key points of the afternoon.

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Download ZKB presentation

Download ICMA presentation (Nicholas Pfaff)


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