Digital library on sustainable finance

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TITLE Schweizer Pensions­kassenstudie 2024
AUTHOR Swisscanto by Zürcher Kantonalbank
PUBLISHED Jun 2024
LANGUAGES DE 
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Summary

The Swisscanto by ZKB (Zürcher Kantonalbank) report on Swiss Pension funds is published in its 2024 edition. The second pillar is stable just before the vote on the BVG reform. The 24th edition of the Swiss Pension Fund Study confirms: the long-term reduction in occupational pension benefits has been halted. After a good year on the stock market in 2023, the financial situation of the pension funds is solid, and for the first time, benefit improvements are in sight again. According to the study, 39% of all respondents have anchored ESG criteria in their investment policy, a plus of 2 percentage points compared to the previous year.

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TITLE Swiss Sustainable Investment Market Study 2024
AUTHOR Swiss Sustainable Finance
PUBLISHED Jun 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The 2024 edition of the Swiss Sustainable Investment Market Study not only provides an overview of sustainability-related investment volumes but also offers invaluable insights into the Swiss sustainable investment landscape, regulatory updates, sustainable investment approaches and much more.

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TITLE Putting resources where stewardship ambitions are: Structured measurement to empower asset owner-asset manager conversations
AUTHOR Thinking Ahead Institute
PUBLISHED May 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report was commissioned as part of the PRI's Active Ownership 2.0 programme, and aims to promote industry discussions on stewardship resourcing issues and how to address them. Based on a survey of global stewardship resourcing with over 69 organisations managing a total of $16 trillion AUM, this report goes on to present a Stewardship Resources Assessment Framework to assist asset owners and asset managers in their collaboration and provide reference points.

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TITLE Vorlage für den Klimabericht: Wie bringe ich meine Minergie-Gebäude in den Klimabericht?
AUTHOR Minergie
PUBLISHED May 2024
LANGUAGES DE 
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Summary

As of the 1 January 2024, large Swiss companies must report on their climate risks and business impacts and submit a transition plan to reach net-zero goals by 2050. In this Minergie report, guidance is given for incorporating sustainable buildings, both mortgages and real estate investments which are part of financial portfolios, into these climate reports. The report also includes sample reports that illustrate how best to incorporate this information into reports.

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TITLE Study: Implications of ESMA's New Guidelines on Fund Names
AUTHOR Clarity AI
PUBLISHED May 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report from Clarity AI looks at the implications of ESMA’s new rule restricting the use of ESG and sustainability-related terms in the funds’ names, which suggest that over 44% of funds may need to adjust their name.

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TITLE Trillions or billions? Reassessing the potential for European institutional investment in emerging markets and developing economies
AUTHOR ODI
PUBLISHED May 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This working paper examines the potential of European institutional investors to meet emerging markets and developing economy (EMDE) investment needs, focusing on the largest insurance companies and pension funds (ICPFs) in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, which collectively manage $17.56 trillion in assets. It assesses the mobilisation potential across changes in stakeholder expectations, financial market conditions, and legal and regulatory frameworks.

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TITLE A/HRC/56/55: Investors, environmental, social and governance approaches and human rights
AUTHOR Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises
PUBLISHED May 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

In the present report, submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to Council resolutions 17/4 and 53/3, the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises clarifies the responsibilities of investors with regard to respecting human rights under the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It also outlines how investors can align the environmental, social and governance, and sustainability, approaches they take with their responsibilities under the Guiding Principles.

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TITLE Swiss Sustainable Lending Market Study 2024
AUTHOR Swiss Sustainable Finance, ZHAW
PUBLISHED May 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This first edition of the Swiss Sustainable Lending Market Study provides in-depth insights about current practices in taking ESG factors into account in the lending business in Switzerland. This publication aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the lending market by making available self-reported data on current market practices and the application of sustainable financing approaches, thereby providing transparency to both the financial sector and the broader public.

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TITLE Sustainable finance literacy and the determinants of sustainable investing
AUTHOR Filippini, M., Leippold, M., Wekhof, T.
PUBLISHED Apr 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This study examines sustainable finance literacy among Swiss households by surveying a large sample. Sustainable finance literacy is defined as the ability to assess financial products based on their sustainability-related attributes. Multiple-choice questions are employed for measurement, along with open-ended questions to gauge awareness among private investors. Despite Switzerland's high financial literacy, households demonstrate low levels of sustainable finance literacy. However, knowledge in this area positively correlates with ownership of sustainable products. The findings underscore the importance of transparent regulations and increased awareness campaigns for sustainable financial products.

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TITLE Climate Finance - Mobilisierung privater Mittel über gemischte Finanzierungsstrukturen (Blended Finance)
AUTHOR Swiss Banking
PUBLISHED Apr 2024
LANGUAGES DE 
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Summary

The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) estimates that USD 3.2 trillion is needed annually to stop global warming. Private investments are crucial to fill this gap, but they often lack profitability, particularly in developing countries. Blended finance has the potential to leverage public capital and attract private investments, but it must become more scalable. This discussion paper does not provide a detailed examination of individual products or specific regulatory proposals. Instead, it highlights the necessity for private capital, the potential of mixed financing structures, and existing obstacles.

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TITLE Swiss Financial Sector - Key Figures 2024
AUTHOR State Secretariat for International Finance SIF
PUBLISHED Apr 2024
LANGUAGES DE  FR  IT  EN 
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Summary

The Swiss financial sector significantly contributes to the country’s economy, making up 9.1% of Switzerland's GDP in 2023. It maintains strong global connections, with Swiss banks playing a crucial role in financial services. Additionally, insurers, the stock exchange, and emerging areas like sustainability, blockchain, and fintech contribute to the sector’s adaptability and innovation.

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TITLE SFDR Article 9: Is it all about impact?
AUTHOR Scheitza, L. , Busch, T.
PUBLISHED Mar 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The authors investigate more than 1,000 investment funds that are classified under Article 9 of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). Using the G7’s new typology of sustainable
investments, we show that Article 9 funds pursue varying degrees of ambition: while 60 % follow an impact-oriented strategy, we identify 40 % that instead pursue a general Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy. We do not find significant differences in ESG scores between ESG-related and impact-related funds. Yet, impact-related funds have higher SDG impact scores and
higher management fees. Downgraded funds that changed SFDR status, however, tend to be less
focused on impact.

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TITLE Articulating and Assessing Biodiversity Impact
AUTHOR WWF Switzerland & The Biodiversity Consultancy
PUBLISHED Mar 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The biodiversity crisis, alongside the climate crisis, threatens Earth's life-support systems and human well-being. Significant financial investment is essential to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, with resources applied effectively. WWF Switzerland and The Biodiversity Consultancy developed this Biodiversity Impact Assessment Framework (BIAF) to evaluate investment impacts on biodiversity. BIAF assesses biodiversity through extent, condition, and significance, addressing drivers of biodiversity loss. Pilot applications show promising results for decision-making, with further development needed for automation and uncertainty representation.

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TITLE Impact investing – Do SDG funds fulfil their promises?
AUTHOR European Securities and Markets Authority
PUBLISHED Feb 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

Impact investing – i.e., investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return – attracts growing interest from investors. It is, thus, important for the sustainable finance work of ESMA and forms part of a specific workstream on greenwashing, as impact investing – while essential for progressing on the EU’s sustainability objectives – may be prone to misleading, inaccurate or unsubstantiated claims. Impact investing – and ESG investing overall – have a key role to play in achieving sustainability objectives, thus the topic requires particular attention to ensure that products and strategies that aim to foster such objectives stand true to their claims. Impact claims are often based on well-known sustainability frameworks, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are a significant pillar of the international development agenda. Here specifically, these impact claims suggest a positive contribution to the fulfilment of the SDGs. Their achievement requires substantial financial resources, which can, at least partly, be sourced from private sector actors through the issuance of dedicated financial products. Increasing investor appetite for sustainable financial products has boosted the growth of investment funds claiming to contribute to achieving the SDGs (SDG funds). This article proposes and summarises a methodological approach towards identifying SDG funds and assessing the extent to which their holdings align with their claims by bringing together a unique set of different data sources. Our results highlight some of the challenges in assessing real-world impact claims and show that SDG funds do not significantly differ from non-SDG counterparts or ESG peers regarding their alignment with the United Nations SDGs. This raises questions as to whether funds claiming to contribute to the SDGs are actually fulfilling their promise to investors.

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TITLE Methodology for Eurosif Market Studies on Sustainability-related Investments
AUTHOR Busch, T.; Pruessner, E.; Oulton, W.; Palinska, A.; Garrault, P.
PUBLISHED Feb 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The purpose of this paper is to present a new methodology for market studies on sustainability-related investments. The paper is based on an earlier white paper by the University of Hamburg and Eurosif (Busch et al. 2022). The updated methodology was developed by Eurosif’s SRI Study Group (SSG) in cooperation with the University of Hamburg, the Sustainable Finance Research Group (SFRG) and Advanced Impact Research (AIR). Over the course of 2023, feedback from both SSG members and other practitioners was taken into account to make the methodology practicable.
Past market studies on sustainability-related investments typically gathered data on a range of different sustainability-related investment approaches and aggregated them to one of a number of “sustainable investments”. However, these statistics did not differentiate between investments based on their investment strategy and/or objectives to actively support the transition towards a more sustainable economy.

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2024.02.15 Final Report Eurosif Classification_2024 (pdf 416.3 kB)
TITLE Indirekte Immobilienanlagen auf dem Weg zu Netto-Null: Stand und Aktivitäten
AUTHOR SVVK-ASIR
PUBLISHED Feb 2024
LANGUAGES DE 
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Summary

Im Sommer 2023 hat der Schweizer Verein für verantwortungsbewusste Kapitalanlagen (SVVK) die Anbieter von Immobilienfonds über ihren Weg zu Netto-Null befragt. Die daraus resultierenden Ergebnisse zeigen, wo der grösste Handlungsbedarf besteht.

In der Schweiz stammen rund 30% der inländischen CO2-Emissionen aus dem Immobiliensektor. Um die Schweizer Klimaziele zu erreichen, spielen Immobilien daher eine zentrale Rolle. Als bedeutende Investoren im Schweizer Immobilienmarkt haben sich die Mitglieder des SVVK entschieden, den aktuellen Stand der Klimaanstrengungen bei den Anbietern von indirekten Immobilienanlagen zu erheben.

Die Ergebnisse der Umfrage, an der 22 Fondsanbieter teilgenommen haben, zeigen, dass im Schweizer Immobiliensektor mittlerweile ein Bewusstsein für die Thematik vorhanden ist: Alle befragten Fonds haben mit der Datenerhebung begonnen. Die Transparenz zur Beurteilung der tatsächlichen Fortschritte ist jedoch noch nicht ausreichend. Zwar veröffentlichen immer mehr Immobilienfonds Klima- oder Nachhaltigkeitsberichte, was erfreulich ist. Diese weisen jedoch grosse Unterschiede in Qualität und Tiefe auf.

Auch bei der konkreten Umsetzung von Massnahmen der strategisch definierten Absenkziele sind die Anbieter von Immobilienfonds noch sehr unterschiedlich weit. Die Qualität der entwickelten Umsetzungspläne lässt sich nur schwer überprüfen. Wichtig ist, dass die Fondsanbieter ihre Ziele zur Reduktion von Klimaemissionen mit konkreten Massnahmen verknüpfen, damit diese nachvollzogen und verifiziert werden können.

 

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TITLE Sustainability Software Radar
AUTHOR Swisscom
PUBLISHED Feb 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The market for carbon management and sustainability software solutions is constantly changing and is characterised by new start-ups, M&A activities and portfolio expansions by established providers. Legal regulations and new customer requirements are causing companies to continuously expand their product portfolio and place new solutions on the market. As a result, there are more solutions than companies, which which is reflected in the following market overview.

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TITLE Sustainability on the M&A agenda
AUTHOR PwC
PUBLISHED Feb 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

Financial services providers play a key role in channelling capital to - or ensuring the risks of - companies that are actively facilitating the transition to a more sustainable economy. At the same time, sustainability topics are increasingly on their strategic agenda. Over the past years, many of them have sought to integrate sustainability into their operations, reviewed their investment portfolios from a sustainability perspective and offer their clients products with a sustainability angle (e.g. funds, loans or insurance products).

This report explores how sustainability considerations and practices are incorporated into mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the financial services industry. It focuses on larger players headquartered in Switzerland and Liechtenstein – highlighting the current market status and providing insights into where the market is expected to shift.

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TITLE Flying Blind: In a Holding Pattern
AUTHOR Carbon Tracker Initiative
PUBLISHED Feb 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The Flying Blind series reports analyse whether companies and their auditors are assessing the financial impacts of climate and energy transition matters and reflecting these impacts in financial statements today. This year’s report will be published in four parts. The first, this Overview, discusses the overall results of our assessments and common themes. Management, investors, market regulators, policymakers and standard-setters can reference and use this report in the face of growing risks and company strategies. The basis for this work has not changed; accounting and auditing standard-setters are clear that climate and energy transition risks should be considered today

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TITLE Regulating Sustainable Finance in Europe
AUTHOR Tadas Zukas
PUBLISHED Jan 2024
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The European Sustainable Finance Action Plan marked its 5th anniversary in 2023. Since its publication in 2018, the Action Plan reshaped the European sustainable finance. It has also substantially impacted the European and global sustainable finance debate.
As this book goes to publication, the Action Plan's four key regulations are now all in force. The sustainable finance market is also in the process of reaching a new level of maturity in tackling greenwashing. The new European regulatory architecture for sustainable finance is getting closer and closer to its conceptual completion.

The book offers an in-depth overview of this new emerging field of European law. It starts with a discussion of the purpose and underlying principles of the new European regulatory framework for sustainable finance, proceeds with an analysis of the four key regulations that have emerged out of the Action Plan's legislative agenda and closes with a section on tackling greenwashing.

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TITLE Transition Plan Taskforce: Asset Managers Sector Guidance
AUTHOR TPT (Transition Plan Taskforce)
PUBLISHED Dec 2023
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The TPT Asset Managers Sector Guidance adds further depth and detail for preparers of transition plans that are operating in the Asset Management sector.

The Guidance is open for consultation until 29th Dec 2023

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TITLE Global Sustainable Investment Review 2022
AUTHOR Global Sustainable Investment Alliance
PUBLISHED Dec 2023
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) has today published its sixth edition of the biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review (GSIR), sponsored by HSBC Global Research, finding that US$30.3 trillion is invested in sustainable assets globally.

The report shows that in non-US markets – Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand – there has been a 20% increase in sustainable assets under management (AUM) since the 2020 GSIR.

The report also showcases a maturing of the industry, which includes the adoption of tighter definitions of when a fund can be described as ‘sustainable’. These newly imposed standards were a direct response to growing concerns around ‘greenwashing’ and thus impacted how the US SIF has measured ‘sustainable assets’ in the period to 2022.  As a result of the US SIF’s methodology change, the report finds a drop from $17tn in reported AUM in the United States in 2020 to $8.4tn in 2022.

Similarly, in Europe, the long-term trend suggests that the proportion of assets defined as ‘sustainable’ has been declining by around 5% per year. Increased requirements around disclosure regulations and the tightening of definitions around sustainable investing and its related approaches may be contributing to this decline.

A wider trend is also emerging globally highlighting the need for clearer definitions and a more shared understanding around what makes a sustainable asset ‘sustainable’. Further developments can be expected in the years to come, as the EU’s Sustainable Financial Disclosures Regulation (SFDR) continues to evolve, alongside other global disclosure and labelling approaches, and as data availability and quality increases.

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TITLE Findings of a high-level scoping study exploring the case for a global nature-related public data facility
AUTHOR Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures
PUBLISHED Dec 2023
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This document is a paper that responds to questions from number of G20-member governments about how addressing nature-related data challenges could enable and accelerate the uptake of corporate reporting and target-setting by business and finance, in line with Target 15 of the Global Biodiversity Framework. 

Key focus areas 

  • An outline of nature-related data needs to respond to key nature data challenges 
  • An overview of solutions to nature-related data challenges: the case for a global nature-related public data facility 

Key outcomes 

  • Providing global solutions to nature-related data challenges to enable and accelerate uptake of corporate reporting and target-setting by business and finance 

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TITLE Discussion paper on proposed sector disclosure metrics
AUTHOR Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures
PUBLISHED Dec 2023
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This document provides draft core sector disclosure metrics for the following sectors:

  • Apparel and textiles
  • Construction materials
  • Infrastructure
  • Real estate

Key focus areas

The discussion paper presents:

  • Proposed guidance on how to apply the TNFD core global disclosure metrics in each sector, where relevant
  • Proposed core sector disclosure metrics
  • Proposed additional sector disclosure metrics

Key outcomes

  • Enable disclosure at sector level 
  • Support financial institutions in comparing across organisations within that sector, who often face common nature-related issues 

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TITLE Discussion paper on proposed approach to value chains
AUTHOR Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures
PUBLISHED Dec 2023
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This document is a discussion paper on how organisations can approach the analysis of their upstream and downstream value chains. It includes discussion of when it is appropriate to seek full traceability, and where use of secondary data may be an acceptable alternative to the direct measurement of dependencies and impacts.

Key focus areas

  • Outline of value chain characteristics that can create challenges assessing nature-related issues 
  • How organisations can approach these issues using the LEAP approach 
  • An overview of data needs for assessing value chains and how to address them 
  • How related disclosure frameworks and standards approach value chains 

Key outcomes

  • An understanding of TNFD’s approach to assessment of nature-related issues along value chains  

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