During its meeting on December 16, 2022, the Federal Council approved the report on sustainability in the financial sector. Fifteen measures planned for 2022 to 2025 are intended to consolidate the Swiss financial centre’s position as a leading global location for sustainable finance.
Sustainability is one of the main pillars of the Swiss financial market strategy adopted by the Federal Council in December 2020. By becoming a sustainable finance pioneer, Switzerland can strengthen its competitiveness as a financial location while simultaneously achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In its report “Sustainable finance in Switzerland – Areas for action for a leading sustainable financial centre, 2022–2025”, the Federal Council sets out 15 measures with which Switzerland can further consolidate its position as one of the world’s leading locations for sustainable finance. To be internationally competitive, it is crucial for the Swiss financial centre to also stand out in the area of sustainable finance through high credibility and the prevention of greenwashing.
The measures are aimed, among other things, at ensuring more and better sustainability data from all sectors of the economy, for instance through disclosures on climate compatibility. Transparency in the financial sector should be increased overall, for example if financial institutions apply the recently introduced Swiss Climate Score or join international net-zero alliances. The Federal Council recommends that financial institutions and pension funds state on their websites the extent to which their dialogue with the companies in which they invest and the exercise of their voting rights are compatible with the sustainability goals that they voluntarily support.
In addition, the Federal Council wishes to encourage investments that achieve a positive and measurable social and/or environmental impact, in addition to a financial return. It also wants to help shape the transition to a sustainable economy in international bodies and support global carbon pricing initiatives, for example.