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Objective 2: We incorporate Sustainability Considerations in our core Investment Activities

30 years of Sustainable Investments

In 2019, Bank J. Safra Sarasin celebrated 30 years of success as a sustainable investment pioneer and thought-leader.

A major environmental accident of a Pharma company on the doorstep of our headquarters in Basel prompted the Bank in 1989 to undertake its first analysis of a company through the lens of sustainability. This led to the first dedicated mandates based on environmental criteria and, a few years later, to the launch of the first environmentally-oriented mutual fund.

Sustainable investment is the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into financial analysis. At J. Safra Sarasin, sustainability is consistently integrated into every step of the investment process. Conventional analysis criteria such as risk, return and liquidity are expanded to include environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in order to reduce investment risks and be able to take advantage of appropriate opportunities.
Today, Bank J. Safra Sarasin is one of Switzerland’s market leaders in the field of sustainable investments – a market enjoying an extremely dynamic pace of growth, according to statistics from the industry association Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF). For the Bank, sustainability is not a niche offering, but an integral part of its brand. The claim, “Sustainable Swiss Private Banking since 1841” is a clear expression of Bank J. Safra Sarasin’s commitment to ensuring that sustainability is firmly embedded in every aspect of our business activities.
Besides incorporating sustainability into every stage of the investment process, Bank J. Safra Sarasin has further developed investment-supporting activities such as the exercising of voting rights (also by retaining specialised firms) and engaging in a strategic dialogue with decision makers of invested companies. One key aspect of the Bank’s offering is the ability to discuss with clients their specific requirements across a broad spectrum of sustainable investing approaches and criteria, which enables it to provide customised client solutions.
The attention towards sustainability and sustainable investments has been triggered by various key world events. Bank J. Safra Sarasin has developed an offering taking into account these developments in order to minimize risks, and use emerging opportunities.

Illustration: Key Events, Objectives and Approaches