Zurich – At 82 percent the Swiss market for sustainable investments has recorded significant growth in 2017. Sustainable investments already account for 16 percent of all assets held by pension funds and insurance companies. In Europe, growth is driven by industry self-regulation and legal frameworks.
Issued by the Swiss Sustainable Finance Association (SSF), the Swiss Market Study Sustainable Investments 2018 is proof of the sector’s growing success. The study shows how the volume of sustainable investments increased by 82 percent last year to 390.6 billion Swiss francs. Most of the growth can be attributed to institutional investors, in particular to pension funds and insurance companies. Their sustainable investments increased by 128 percent to 238.2 billion Swiss francs. Sustainable assets already account for 16 percent of all assets held by Swiss institutional investors. Sustainable investments in mutual funds increased by 47 percent to 94.4 billion Swiss francs. The sustainable funds now account for 8.7 percent of the Swiss fund market. The volume of sustainable investments held in mandates increased by 25 percent to 57.9 billion Swiss francs.
Equities make up the largest asset class for sustainable investments (27.7%), followed by real estate (22.3%), government bonds (16.8%) and corporate bonds (16.3%). The main drivers of sustainable strategies are investor demand and regulatory pressure.
According to the study the growth of the sustainable investment market is expected to continue. “All in all, we see the Swiss financial market on the right track looking at the strong market development,” SSF Managing Director Sabine Döbeli is quoted in a media release. “Continuing efforts will further promote the idea of sustainable finance and position Switzerland as a key player in this increasingly important field.”
Finance Minister Ueli Maurer is pleased about this development. “I am convinced that a Swiss financial hub with a focus on sustainability can enhance its profile amongst the international competition and at the same time make an important contribution to achieving international environmental and sustainability goals,” he writes in the opening words to the study.
The study is based on a survey of 66 Swiss companies, including 34 asset managers or banks and 32 institutional investors. It was scientifically supported by Timo Busch, Professor at the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth at the University of Zurich.