Sustainable Investing in Switzerland

Sustainably managed assets in Switzerland grew strongly. Within the space of a year, the volume rose by around CHF 500 billion to CHF 1,260 billion (+62%). This is the result of an annual study by Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF), Switzerland’s leading body on sustainable finance. CHF 470 billion, or 38% of all fund assets, are invested in sustainable investment funds. The classification is based on a self-assessment by the asset managers, who also indicate which sustainability approach they use to manage the assets. The integration of ESG information is mentioned most frequently, followed by the application of exclusion criteria.

More Illusion than Reality?

When looking at 'sustainable' funds, it is noticeable that many portfolios have not changed much - instead, the funds are reclassified based on the criteria mentioned above. At least this procedure shows a changed awareness, which can be interpreted as improved risk management. The logical next step, in our view, is to look for the winning companies, which political and social changes will bring. These include companies that present solutions to meet global challenges (such as climate change). With innovative products and services these companies achieve a real positive impact in terms of sustainable development goals. The innovations are steps on the way to a resource-efficient economy, which takes us into the future and not back to the stone age.

We are invested in several companies that are positioned uniquely well to take advantage of the shift in demand coming from this investment program. Our portfolio companies produce technologies and products that help renovators achieve the new targets, save costs and reduce the strain their buildings have on the environment.

Risks & Opportunities

ESG integration is increasingly becoming mainstream, driven by the information needs of investors and the easy availability of relevant data. In the context of risk management, it is recommended that corresponding data be included in the investment process. However, more far-reaching concepts are needed to meet the challenges ahead. With regard to climate change, there are attractive opportunities to achieve a positive impact and an attractive financial return at the same time, e.g. in topics such as Industry 4.0, sensor technology, smart buildings, power supply, engineering, e-mobility, etc.

Animal Feed: Algae Instead of Fish

Apparently, the United Nations had Thales of Miletus in mind when drafting the sustainable development goal no. 14 "Life under water". The goal of SDG 14 is to conserve and sustainably use marine resources. In addition to pollution, industrial fishing also harms the maritime ecosystem. Today, 25 to 30% of fish grounds are considered overfished. The catch of small fish, which are processed into fish feed for aquacultures, is partly responsible. Especially in salmon farming, fish oil is an essential source of the valuable omega-3 fatty acids.

Spotlight

Regional Mentality by other means: In Germany, 16 federal states have 16 corona legal ordinances for almost every area of life - and thus also 16 corona fine catalogues. No one is like the other. While in Bayern a violation of the mask obligation can cost 150 euros, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern it is 25 euros and in Baden-Württemberg 15-30 euros.

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