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Swiss Sustainable Finance News: May 2015

SSF has reached further milestones this spring


First and foremost: We have found the independent president we were looking for: Former Head of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Jean-Daniel Gerber has agreed to take on this role and will be proposed for election at the next Members’ Assembly in June. We are very happy to have gained with him a very well-renowned chairperson with a strong network both in Bern as well as in the financial centre. In addition, we are very proud to have welcomed more members from all parts of Switzerland. With the two largest banks in Switzerland as part of our team, SSF is sure to have an even stronger local and global presence.


Kind regards


Jean Laville

Deputy CEO Swiss Sustainable Finance


SSF in the media

Save these dates

Our activities

Our new members

New studies & reports

Closing thoughts

SSF in the media

Read the latest SSF press releases


Together with Swiss Sustainable Finance to the top, 6 May 2015


The industry association Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) is continuing to grow, and now has 83 members and partners, a trend that is continuing to gather speed. 11 new members joined over the past six months alone, including three of the largest Swiss banks.


Read this press release


Jean-Daniel Gerber nominated as new SSF President, 1 April 2015


A new head at the top promises additional momentum: the SSF Board nominated Jean-Daniel Gerber for election as President at the June members’ assembly.


Read this press release


Prominent articles on SSF and Sustainable Finance in Switzerland


7 May 2015, Le Temps: La Suisse brigue une place de choix dans les investissements verts


6 May 2015, Fondstrends.ch: Schweiz soll Zentrum für nachhaltige Anlagen werden


5 May 2015, NZZ: Nicht ohne den Finanzsektor


Visit our website for regularly updated articles


11 May 2015, L'Agefi: Le cercle suisse de la finance durable s’élargit aux majors

2 May 2015, Finanz und Wirtschaft: Besser anlegen, weniger verlieren

23 April 2015, finews.ch: Für mehr Sinn nehmen Banker grosse Lohneinbussen in Kauf

7 April 2015, Responsible Investor: The leadership of Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF)

1 April 2015, finews.ch: Credit-Suisse-Verwaltungsrat engagiert sich für nachhaltiges Finanzwesen

1 April 2015, Banque & Finance: Jean-Daniel Gerber nouveau Président de SSF

1 April 2015, cleantech.ch: Jean-Daniel Gerber soll neuer SSF-Präsident werden

21 March 2015, SOZ Beilage: Vermögensverwaltung: Wissensvorsprung für die Vermögensverwaltung nutzen


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Save these dates

Basel, 27-28 May 2015: Global Infrastructure Basel

Under the theme “Transforming Momentum into Real Impact,” this year's conference will highlight key challenges linked to infrastructure investment as a transformative path for sustainable development. It will provide networking opportunities with diverse stakeholders and create fertile ground for innovative ideas, knowledge sharing, and defining concrete steps on how to move forward, and serve as a vital matchmaking platform for participants.


SSF members and network partners receive a 30% discount on the conference price.


Geneve, 1-3 June 2015: Fourth European Research Conference on Microfinance

Over 110 researchers from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas will present the results of recent investigations in 28 break-out sessions over the two and a half day conference.


Geneve, June 4 2015: Geneve Forum for Sustainable Investment

The 6th edition of the GFSI aims to promote Switzerland as a pioneer in sustainable finance in a context of increased competition. A broad set of speakers will introduce innovations in responsible investment and the issues they address in social responsibility, governance and the environment. Participants will have the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences and network leaders in sustainable investments.


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Our activities

Throughout the spring, SSF members and partners have continued their work in the different workstreams.

  • Institutional Asset owners met for the first time to identify the main barriers for a more prominent adoption of sustainable Investment strategies and discussed ways to address them.
  • In the Workgroup "Investments for Development" the base was laid for a consistent market survey.
  • The workgroup on private wealth management decided to prepare strong arguments for sustainable investments for relationship managers and will develop a comprehensive glossary to ensure a common understanding of terms in the industry.
  • Finally, the Education Workgroup has been drafting a survey which will be used to collect data from members on what processes are already in place and where the gaps are in terms of educating sustainability professionals.


In addition, due to our engaged member base, we have already seen increased visibility in the press and amongst international platforms. We would like to highlight three of our past activities.


SSF supports UNEP Inquiry into Design of a Sustainable Financial System


At a symposium entitled «Swiss Finance in a changing world» held in Bern, national and international experts identified and debated ways in which the financial system can contribute to the transition to a green economy.


The symposium was organised jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP, the Federal Office for the Environment FOEN and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO in partnership with Swiss Sustainable Finance.


Read more


Download the full Swiss Team input report


Download Sabine Döbeli’s Presentation on the Swiss Team input


SSF contributes to SSE Model Guidance first round of consultations


Jean Laville, Deputy CEO SSF, participated in the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) meeting in Geneve to discuss in person the direction and objective of the Model Guidance ‘zero draft’. This was set up to review the first draft of the upcoming SSE 2015 Model Reporting Guidance for stock exchanges.


Read more


Private wealth allocation to sustainable investments: assessing barriers and opportunities


In an event hosted by SSF, Falko Paetzold, Fellow, Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University, presented his PhD and the results of his three papers to 70 professionals. Investments in sustainable products have globally seen above average growth rates over the last years.


However, it has become apparent that they are underrepresented in wealthy private clients’ portfolios, although they are recognised as highly suitable for their needs. He presented reasons for and ways to overcome this "sustainable investing gap".


Read more


Download Falko Paetzold’s presentation


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Our new members

We are happy to welcome Credit Suisse, UBS and Valeur Fiduciaria SA as our newest 3 members.


SSF now counts on the support of 83 organisations and therewith gains further traction in addressing the ambitious goal to make Switzerland the leading centre in sustainable finance.

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SSF New Members


  • Credit Suisse AG
  • UBS AG
  • Valeur Fiduciaria SA

 full list of our members can be found on the SSF Website.


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New studies & reports

Four reports you should not miss


Swiss Team input to UNEP Inquiry, May 2015


This report, authored in part by SSF members and partners, debates the core questions of the UNEP inquiry from a Swiss perspective, i.e. why sufficient investments are not being made in the transition to a green economy despite the availability of abundant private financial resources throughout the world, and what kind of framework conditions are needed for a financial system that would serve the needs of a green economy.


Download report


FNG Sustainable Investment Market Report 2015, May 2015


The past trend continues: the growth rate of sustainable investments in Switzerland lies at 26% (2013-2014) with a total of CHF 71.3 billion invested.


Download general report

Download Swiss report


From the Stockholder to the Stakeholder: How sustainability can drive financial outperformance, March 2015



Based on more than 190 academic studies, industry reports, newspaper articles, and books, this meta-study from Oxford and Arabesque Partners shows three compelling arguments supporting the fact that sound sustainability practices and profit are mutually supportive.


Download report


Corporate Sustainability: First Evidence on Materiality, February 2015


This Harvard Business School study focuses on the financial performance of firms related to their sustainability performance on material vs. immaterial sustainability issues. Using calendar-time portfolio stock return regressions the study finds that firms with good performance on material sustainability issues significantly outperform firms with poor performance on these issues, suggesting that investments in sustainability issues are shareholder-value enhancing.


Download report


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Closing thoughts

An outside perspective can sometimes help to discern relevant attributes. At the UNEP Inquiry Symposium, Naina Kidwai, Head of HSBC India, pointed out the three strengths Switzerland should build on when promoting its financial centre: High environmental standards, strong finance know-how and an economy with innovation power. Her call was clear: “Rebrand your financial centre – you have all the necessary ingredients”. SSF is convinced that she’s right and we look forward to supporting this process. The new forces we managed to get on board will help us in doing so!


Best regards


The SSF team

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8001 Zürich
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