SRI and ESG are guiding principles at BCV

Sustainability is a global concern and an imperative for each and every one of us. As one of Switzerland's key banks, we aim to help our customers take a responsible approach to investing and incorporate environmental, social, and ethical factors into their investment decisions. To that end, we have adopted a socially responsible investment (SRI) strategy built around five core measures. This strategy involves providing investment solutions that score well in terms of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria, without this negatively impacting their potential risks or returns. We currently offer a range of institutional investment products that systematically take these criteria into account, and plan to gradually incorporate them into all our investment vehicles. 

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria

 

 

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©2019 MSCI ESG Research LLC. Reproduced by permission

 

Integrating ESG criteria into asset management

Our ESG value proposition is built around five core measures, which enable us to take a comprehensive approach to socially responsible investing.

1. Signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment

BCV is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), which seek to promote a sustainable financial system. The UNPRI, which are geared towards asset owners, asset managers, and intermediaries, are the most comprehensive and credible set of principles out there and the most widely recognized standard within the financial community.

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2. Negative screening

Our negative screening policy excludes companies involved in illegal activities or serious controversies. We use two main sources to draw up our list of excluded companies: the Swiss Association for Responsible Investments (SVVK/ASIR) and the MSCI Research list of serious controversies.

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3. AGM voting

We have drawn up guidelines based on the principles of good governance on how to vote at the AGMs of Swiss companies whose stocks are held by our investment funds.

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4. ESG-centric portfolio management

We factor ESG criteria into our investment processes by rebalancing our portfolios to prioritize companies with good ESG practices. To do this, we draw on analyses produced by MSCI Research, an international firm that evaluates and scores major stocks using a tried-and-tested methodology. Selecting stocks in this way enables us to significantly improve our investment products' ESG scores. In addition, our analyses have shown that we can achieve this without worsening our products' risk-return profiles.

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5. Excluding coal

We screen out companies that generate a significant proportion of their income from coal. Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel and alone accounts for nearly 30% of CO² emissions. So by targeting coal, we can support the energy transition and reduce our portfolios' carbon footprint.

 

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