You are here

The new platform ”Swiss Sustainable Finance” promotes sustainability in the Swiss financial centre

Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) aims to promote Switzerland as the leading centre for sustainable finance. More than 60 organisations – financial service providers, investors, research organisations, public sector entities and others – have joined forces to foster social and environmental aspects in investment and financing solutions. This will create opportunities while strengthening the Swiss financial centre.

The Association Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) forms a new platform which brings together broad know-how in sustainable finance. Targeted activities will foster further integration of sustainability principles into the Swiss financial marketplace. ”Swiss Sustainable Finance aims to drive change across financial centre Switzerland and so contribute to its sustainable future,” Sabine Döbeli, CEO of SSF, explains. ”A growing share of clients explicitly asks for a long-term view in finance. Building on Switzerland’s existing strengths we want to support this trend.“ Planned activities include the development of practical tools, promotion of training and education for financial specialists as well as provision of market data.

A leading centre for sustainable finance
Swiss firms contribute highly to international developments in this field through their innovative products and services. Today, sustainable assets of CHF 57 billion are managed in Switzerland, a significant proportion of which is for international clients. A third of global microfinance investments are managed by Swiss players. Over the past 10 years, Swiss companies have developed a variety of innovative services related to sustainable finance, including a risk index based on environmental and social risks as well as a fair-trade fund to pre-finance agricultural goods.

Extensive know-how through a broad membership base
Swiss Sustainable Finance includes 55 members and 9 network partners so far (see below for the complete list). “The large number of founding members illustrates the growing importance of sustainable financial services and reveals the importance our members place upon finding new solutions in cooperation with other actors,“ says Jean Laville, Deputy CEO of Swiss Sustainable Finance in Geneva.

Strong network partners
The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) acts as a network partner and supports the foundation of the organisation. Liliana de Sá Kirchknopf, Head of Private Sector Development within the field of Economic Cooperation and Development at SECO explains why: ”The initiative facilitates the mobilisation of private funds for development and climate finance. Switzerland has excellent prerequisites to foster the achievement of international sustainability goals through targeted financing services, going beyond international cooperation.”

Large institutional investors such as Helvetia, SUVA and Swiss Re are amongst the SSF founding members. David Bresch, Global Head Sustainability at Swiss Re and a member of the SSF Board, comments on the company's engagement as follows: ”Environmental and socio-economic challenges increasingly pose a threat to society's sustainable development. For re-insurers and insurers this creates both new opportunities and risks. Solutions require new collaboration models – firms need to team up to raise public awareness and to position Switzerland as a hub for sustainable finance”.

Public Event in autumn
The first public Swiss Sustainable Finance event “Sustainable financial centre Switzerland – combining strengths for success” takes place on October 23rd 2014 in Zurich. State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch will present her view as Director of SECO on the role of the financial centre in longterm sustainable development. An international panel of experts will then discuss the opportunities and risks associated with a sustainable Swiss financial centre.

Some facts on the Swiss sustainable finance marketplace

  • Sustainable investments of CHF 57 billion are managed in Switzerland. The segment has grown strongly for many years and increased by 17 percent last year.
  • Hub for microfinance investments: Of the global microfinance assets of USD 10 billion approximately one third is managed in Switzerland.
  • More than 200 Swiss organisations are involved in sustainable finance.

Swiss Sustainable Finance
Swiss Sustainable Finance is the main point of information for all questions on sustainable finance in Switzerland. The association groups financial and non-financial service providers, investors, universities and business schools, public sector entities and other interested organisations to foster the integration of sustainability principles into all financial services and strengthen Switzerland as the leading centre for sustainable finance. SSF closely cooperates with Sustainable Finance Geneva to reach this goal.