Vontobel Sustainability Report 2020: the next level of sustainable investment
Vontobel has raised its profile as one of the leading providers of sustainable investment solutions, fostered a healthy work-life balance, and continued its commitment to environmental sustainability.
Sustainable investing, ESG, impact investing – these terms have taken on even greater meaning in the investment world in 2020. Globally, providers of sustainable investments have seen large volumes of incoming funds. Vontobel once again convinced with its investment solutions: As of December 31, 2020, our sustainably managed assets reached a new high of 126.5 billion Swiss francs. These now include our two product categories “Sustainable” and “Integrated ESG.” The latter also includes the funds and mandates of our Quality Growth strategies.
Top ratings and awards received
As a global investment company, Vontobel has continuously developed its product offerings and its expertise in sustainable investments since the 1990s. This commitment was once again recognized in 2020: Vontobel was named the best Swiss asset management company at the Swiss Sustainable Funds Awards (SSFA). At the “Swiss Derivative Nights,” the firm’s very own “Aqua Index” won the award for the best ESG product. Vontobel also once again received an above-average rating from the UN initiative “Principles for Responsible Investment” (PRI) for its sustainable investment strategies. Vontobel has been a signatory to the PRI since 2010.
ESG criteria now part of the valuation of Swiss equities
ESG stands for “environmental, social, governance,” in other words factors from the areas of the environment, society, and business management. Since October 2020, the Swiss Equity Research team has taken ESG criteria into account in the valuation of Swiss equities. The team believes that ESG should be fully integrated into company valuations rather than being treated as a separate factor. Simon Fössmeier, analyst at Vontobel, explains this as follows: “For example, we don’t say company X is worth 100 Swiss francs and the ESG rating is AB or 45 percent. For us, the value that ESG creates or destroys is included in the price target.”
More time off for fathers and mothers
Employees should be able to strike a balance between work and family life. To ensure the best possible start to family life, Vontobel therefore introduced extended parental leave. Paternity leave is now four weeks, and mothers receive six months of maternity leave, regardless of length of service. This is far more than is required by law.
Committed to a climate protection project in Colombia
Vontobel has been climate-neutral since January 1, 2009. We acquired the emission credits for 2020 from the Vichada climate protection project in Colombia. It combines reforestation with the protection of biodiversity and the regeneration of the entire ecosystem. Forests provide habitats for native plants and animals, enrich the soil, filter water, and sequester carbon to combat climate change.