Swiss banking giant UBS is making progress in its sustainable investing goals.
The bank reported that its sustainable investments are up, investments in new coal-fired plants have ended, the bank’s carbon use worldwide is down and its Optimus Foundation is investing in children, according to a press release.
“We see a strong business rationale for catering to the growing importance of and demand for sustainability,” said UBS Chairman Axel Weber. “We have set ourselves the goal to create long-term positive value for clients, employees, investors and society. Our goal carries with it a clear responsibility for taking a leading role driving change towards a positive future.”
At the end of 2018, total sustainable assets were worth more than $1.1 billion, (€970 billion/CHF1.09 billion) or almost 36 percent of the bank’s portfolio, while core assets that were sustainable amounted to $313 billion, (€276.6 billion/CHF310.6 billion) a 72 percent rise from 2017 that now accounts for more than 10 percent of the bank’s total assets.
Specifically, the bank significant reduced its investments in sectors that were carbon-dependent, including the coal industry.
“The bank believes the transition to a low-carbon economy is vital and is focused on supporting clients in preparing for success in an increasingly carbon-constrained world,” the press release said. “UBS significantly reduced lending and capital raising to the coal mining sector and cut support to coal-mining companies engaged in mountain-top removal operations.”
UBS, Paradeplatz Zurich. Image credit: UBS