Helping investors choose sustainability and social responsibility
Sustainable investing is a growing trend worldwide, and is starting to impact financial and business decisions in the broadest sense. As investors and their families - especially younger generations, who are more open to the idea of social and environmental responsibility - attach increased importance to making a positive impact on the world, achieving that goal through investment decisions is becoming a key motivating element in their lives and financial behaviour.
The challenges facing the world, led by climate change and including pollution, excessive consumption, environmental degradation and unsustainable manufacturing processes, have prompted investors and the financial industry to ensure their own activities contribute to the goals of benefiting society and the global environment.
For wealthy individuals and their families, this may involve managing their wealth through financial service providers who are clearly committed to sustainable and responsible investment principles, in particular the integration of environmental, social and governance standards into their decision-making.
The future of the sustainability agenda will increasingly depend on the millennial investors set to inherit their family’s wealth. Recent research conducted by US Trust, a private bank, found that three-quarters of wealthy millennials believe a company's social and environmental impact to be an important aspect of investment decision-making, while two-thirds view their investment decisions as a way to express their social, political or environmental values.
Swiss Life shares the same concerns as our clients and partners – we believe it is our corporate responsibility to adopt sustainability and environmental concerns as core values of our business. We have systematically integrated ESG standards into our risk and investment management structures, which inform our asset selection decisions.
We are also convinced that the group has a civic duty to contribute to society at large. We run a program of charitable activities to promote individuals' self-determination and confidence, for example through the Perspectives Foundation and the Stiftung für Chancengleichheit (Foundation for Equal Opportunity). We also support other institutions that help people from a wide range of backgrounds to develop their education and improve their lives.
Concern for the environment drives our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our business premises and increase use of renewable energy. Swiss Life is well placed to play an effective role in this area, as one of Europe’s leading real estate investors and manager of Switzerland's biggest private real estate portfolio. Around 80% of our properties are in urban areas, enabling up to help shape the country's urban character and make it attractive to live in.
As a funder and purchaser of real estate developments, Swiss Life aims to use environmental and economic resources with maximum efficiency, and make an active contribution to sustainable urban development. The group also invests in renewable energy that supply households around the world, including solar power installations in Italy, Canada, Chile and Japan, and wind power facilities in the UK and US.
Since the core ambition of Swiss Life is to help clients lead a self-determined life, we and our business partners are ready to help them embrace sustainable investing practices as part of their life goals.