Vontobel congratulates Swiss Climate Foundation on 10th anniversary

04.07.2018 Reading time: 2 minute(s)

In summer 2008, Vontobel and 10 Swiss service providers joined forces to establish the Swiss Climate Foundation. Their goal was to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to turn their own ideas on climate protection into reality.

Companies that are low consumers of energy receive more money back from the Swiss federal CO2 levy than they pay. Large service providers benefit disproportionately from this: They generally consume less energy when conducting their business activities and have more experts and resources to support the implementation of energy-efficient measures to protect the climate. However, climate protection works best if everyone is involved. Against this backdrop, the Swiss Climate Foundation’s 27 partner firms decided to donate their refunds from the CO2 levy to SMEs in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The Swiss Climate Foundation was established in summer 2008 with the aim of supporting climate-friendly projects carried out by SMEs. Vontobel was one of the 11 founder members of this charitable organization.

A voluntary initiative by the business community for the business community

In the 10 years since it was established, the Foundation has been able to distribute CHF 18 million to over 1,400 SMEs. It has supported companies that save energy by, for example, switching their vehicle fleet to electric models. It also selectively fosters the development of climate-friendly products – the Lucerne-based company ‘Good Soaps’ is a prime example.

Good for the climate, good for your laundry at home

Efficient laundry detergents contain surfactants made from highly saturated fats. They could previously only be made from crude oil or palm oil – both of which have a negative impact on the lifecycle assessment of the detergents.

There are clear advantages to using domestic alternatives such as rape seed oil or sunflower oil – in terms of availability, transportation and environmental sustainability. However, these alternatives contain a large proportion of unsaturated fatty acids. This means they are very popular and healthy for cooking purposes but it also makes them less powerful as detergents.

"Good washing performance or sustainability: We don’t want to have to choose between them – we want both."

The company ‘Good Soaps’ has taken the long road towards combining the best of both worlds. "This was a huge challenge in view of the different properties of tropical and European vegetable oils," acknowledges Dr. Regine Schneider, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Good Soaps. The formulas for the detergents are so innovative that the company has been able to successfully patent its invention. And it has already laid the foundations for the production of palm oil-free detergents.

Regine Schneider has developed a plant-based detergent without palm oil. The recipe is secret.

Regine Schneider has developed a plant-based detergent without palm oil. The recipe is secret.

The Lucerne-based company received financial support from the Swiss Climate Foundation when developing the detergent. Natalie Ernst, a member of the Advisory Board of the Swiss Climate Foundation and Corporate Sustainability Manager at Vontobel, stated: "The use of domestic raw materials instead of palm oil offers great potential when it comes to reducing CO2." She added that this will help to preserve the rain forest and will massively reduce the distance over which raw materials are transported – not only creating advantages in terms of climate protection but also benefiting the Swiss economy.

Supporting climate protection for 10 years

"As a founder member of the Swiss Climate Foundation, Vontobel is pleased to contribute to success stories such as Good Soaps – and to play a part in building a sustainable environment and society for the future", said Christian Schilz, Head Corporate Responsibility at Vontobel, a member of the .Board of Trustees of the Swiss Climate Foundation.

Find out more about Vontobel's membership of various organizations and its involvement in different investor initiatives

From sustainable investment solutions to social commitments and environmental sustainability: Vontobel has a long tradition of corporate responsibility. It assumes this responsibility in all its complexity – and regularly receives recognition for its efforts.