It also includes our 2021 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) report, which outlines how we identify and manage climate-related risks and opportunities.
2021 was a pivotal year for sustainable finance as global conferences on climate change and biodiversity put sustainability higher on political and corporate agendas, and sustainability regulations began to reshape the playing field for financial actors.
In this context, we are acutely aware of our responsibility and potential to contribute to a sustainable future.
We have an indispensable role to play in tackling environmental and social challenges by aligning financial flows with the needs of the new economic system.
Guy de Picciotto, Chief Executive Officer
UBP’s sustainability approach encompasses both our investments and our direct impact on the environment, our employees and our communities, also known as corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Responsible investment on the rise
With regard to our investments, several achievements stand out. First, we finalised our sustainability risk management framework, allowing us to identify climate-related investment risks, such as those caused by natural disasters and transition risks.
Second, we enhanced the integration of sustainability factors into our investment decisions and increased our responsible product offering through the launch of several new strategies, including a biodiversity restoration strategy, an energy transition certificate and a corporate green bond.
Third, we took several steps to implement the requirements of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), which entered into force on 10 March 2021, such as classifying our EU-domiciled funds according to their degree of sustainability and adding ESG ratings into private client account portfolio statements.
As we entered our tenth year of being a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), we reflected on the evolution of sustainable finance and our own development in this space.
Collaborating for a sustainable finance future
We realise that building a sustainable finance system requires cross-sectoral collaboration. In 2021, we therefore joined new strategic initiatives. UBP became a member of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) Forum, while UBP Asset Management (Europe) S.A. joined the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative.
We also participated in industry events and groups, including the Investment Leaders Group (ILG) of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). In this video, Senior Programme Manager Lucy Auden discusses the importance of collaboration and the ILG’s role in this space.
Managing our carbon footprint
Managing our environmental impact remained a cornerstone of our CSR strategy in 2021. To help us reach our 25% emissions reduction goal by 2025, we continued to target the key drivers of our carbon footprint, most notably our consumption of electricity and heating as well as business travel.
To this end, we increased the use of renewable energy and electricity to 54% and 81% respectively, put into place several power-saving measures such as switching to LED lighting, and started to implement our 10-year renovation plan to improve the energy efficiency of our Geneva premises. We also began to apply our new travel policy in order to curb emissions from business travel as Covid restrictions were lifted in many locations.
Spotlight on UBP’s work environment
The 2021 Sustainability Report also sheds light on UBP’s work environment. A key highlight in 2021 was the finalisation of the Bank’s work-from-home policy, allowing employees to work from home one day per week. This move provides employees with greater flexibility and is expected to lower our commuting-related emissions.
Last year, we also focused on enhancing the sustainability awareness and expertise of all employees. We launched an 8-module
e-learning programme – “Sustainability@UBP” – and over 1,750 employees participated.
Engaging with our communities
Finally, the report shows how we continued to support our communities through social and environmental projects and sponsorships, such as the “Globetrotter” campaign where employees walked 63,000km, raising CHF 10,000 for five charities, or the clean-up events which saw over 140 colleagues collect waste on lake shores, by rivers and in parks in Geneva, Zurich, Lugano, London, Monaco and Hong Kong as part of World Cleanup Day. In this video, Guillaume Granelli, co-founder of Alaya, the CSR platform UBP uses, reflects on UBP’s community engagement activities.