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SSF Newsletter August 2017: Sustainable finance initiatives reaching new peaks
Dear all

This summer was full of record breakers:


all time temperature highs in Switzerland and the earliest Earth Overshoot Day (2 August) – the day symbolizing when our society has overstepped the planetary boundaries. On a more positive note, mainstream initiatives to redirect financial flows towards a more sustainable development also reached new peaks. Swiss Re, one of the largest re-insurance companies announced a switch to sustainable benchmarks for their asset management. Shortly after the publication of the final TCFD report, 11 major banks committed to develop industry tools and indicators to fulfil the climate risk reporting recommendations. Last but not least, the European High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Sustainable Finance presented encompassing draft suggestions on how to adapt frameworks of the European financial centre in order to promote sustainable finance. These initiatives are important steps on the path to a sustainable financial centre. Their full potential will unfold if many other players in the financial world join them.


Read more about recent trends in sustainable finance and enjoy the rest of the summer!


Kind regards


Sabine Döbeli

CEO Swiss Sustainable Finance


SSF Activities

Regulatory and market news

SSF and sustainable finance in the media

Save these dates

New reports & studies

SSF Activities

Summary film on SSF annual event published



On 13 June, SSF held its Annual Event in Bern, featuring the President of the Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard, and Christian Thimann, Chair of the High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance of the EU. A short film recaps some of the key messages from the day.


SSF at the Caux Forum


The Caux Forum - Ethical Leadership in Business conference aimed to offer a range of answers to the question: how to lead business in times of extremes? Business executives, academics and social entrepreneurs from 21 countries, gathered in Caux, Switzerland, for the event hosted by the CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation and its partners.


On the opening night's panel, Sabine Döbeli, introduced the financial view of responsible decision-making in business and the economic value of values.


Read more about these and other SSF activities

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Regulatory and market news

Swiss news


International initiatives

  • The High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Sustainable Finance of the European Commission launched their interim report this July and held a public hearing to present their findings in Brussels. A consultation process is currently open with feedback requested by 20 September.
  • The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) released their final report in late June. The recommendations have caught the attention of many key players in the industry, with organisations such as the PRI announcing they will be adapting their reporting framework to incorporate these recommendations.
  • The G20 Green Finance Study Group launched a new report entitled: Enhancing Environmental Risk Assessment in Financial Decision-Making. The report highlights 5 ways to mainstream green finance.
  • Earlier this year, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in Japan has revised its Stewardship Code, with a focus on more effective oversight by asset owners and improved voting disclosure. Consequently, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) has issued a letter to its external asset managers requesting that they disclose details of the proxy shareholding votes they undertake on behalf of the pension fund.
  • China announced plans to set up pilot zones for green finance to support its industrial upgrades and anti-pollution campaign. The goal is to provide financial institutions with incentives including easier market access, financial support and favorable land policies.


Market trends

  • Swiss Re shifts its portfolio to ESG benchmarks. The world’s second largest reinsurer plans to shift a further $130 billion in assets to the MSCI ESG indices by the end of the year. Swiss Re published a report (Responsible investments – Shaping the future of investing), to outline the considerations taken to come to this decision.
  • 11 of the world’s leading banks – representing $7 trillion in assets - announced a collaboration with UNEP FI aiming to promote climate transparency in financial markets. The banks welcomed the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and have committed to develop tools and indicators to aid the assessment and disclosure of climate related risks and opportunities.
  • The first Swiss issuer of a green bond has emerged: environmental consultancy Helvetia Environnement. With a yield of 3.625% for 5 years the green bond gained popularity among retail and private investors.
  • Climetrics, the first climate impact rating for funds, was launched on July 6, 2017. The rating system was catalysed and funded by Climate-KIC, the EU’s climate innovation initiative, with the objective of enabling private investors to more easily integrate climate impact into investment decisions.


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SSF and sustainable finance in the media


Visit our website for more articles and regular updates

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Save these dates


Further events are listed on the SSF Website

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New reports & studies
  • 1 August 2017: The Thun Group of Banks has released a discussion paper after their annual meeting on 19 June. The paper outlines the topics covered during the meeting and how the Thun Group plans to move forward regarding the UN Guiding Principles.
  • 25 July 2017: The latest ESG magazine – TCFD: May the Task Force be with you – contains an in-depth report of the final TCFD guidelines including the history behind the taskforce and opinions from key stakeholders.
  • 13 July 2017: The High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance published its Interim Report. This report outlines first results and policy options to create a financial system that supports sustainable investments.
  • 5 July 2017: PRI produced a report outlining how investors and credit rating agencies are takeing ESG factors into account for credit risk analysis.
  • 28 June 2017: The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (an FSB task force) released its final recommendations report. The report is meant to set out recommendations that help businesses across all sectors disclose climate-related financial information.
  • 22 June 2017: According to a market study by UBS, sustainability is a key issue for milliennial investors. The report finds that investors under the age of 35 are roughly twice as likely as other age cohorts to withdraw from investments that have sustainability problems.


Read these and other recent reports

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Best regards

The SSF team



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