Sustainability in the financial sector

Sustainability in the financial sector is becoming increasingly important. Both internationally and in Switzerland, financial players are increasingly striving to make responsible financing and investment decisions that take account of their impact on the environment and society.

Switzerland is working both nationally and internationally to ensure greater sustainability in the financial sector.
Switzerland is working both nationally and internationally to ensure greater sustainability in the financial sector. © FDFAE Presence Switzerland

The UN has set Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement has also established a framework for the future development of all countries. Sustainability is a broad concept that encompasses not only the environment but also the social arena and corporate governance. Companies' investment policies are increasingly taking sustainability into account. Policymakers and business leaders have set up national and international task forces and study groups to further explore the issue of sustainable financing. In 2016, for example, the G20 created a Sustainable Finance Study group in which Switzerland is also participating. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) are examining the ways in which climate change affects the stability of financial markets. 

Switzerland is actively involved in the work of the international financial organisations concerned and has also launched national projects to promote a sustainable economy, including studies on the climate compatibility of the financial portfolios of Swiss insurance companies and pension funds. While the state acts as a mediator and facilitator, business and environmental associations are developing strategies and measures for the sustainable management and operation of financial markets. 

Thanks to its environmental expertise, quality awareness and a strong financial sector with extensive specialist knowledge, Switzerland is already well positioned to increase sustainable investments.