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Mapping sustainable finance in Switzerland

A new report by onValues provides an overview of the organizations and associations active in sustainable finance in Switzerland. The report, entitled "Mapping Sustainable Finance in Switzerland", builds on previous work by onValues benchmarking international financial centres on sustainability. It presents descriptive statistics on 220 individual actors in all segments of the financial sector, including asset management, banking, research, pensions, insurance, academia, government and the voluntary sector. The report also lists 26 associations and platforms that coordinate activities among sustainable finance actors in Switzerland.

This research confirms that Switzerland enjoys a strong ecosystem of sustainable finance organizations with a high degree of interconnection. onValues hopes that this preliminary mapping exercise will be a first step toward enhanced coordination and will support the strategic positioning of sustainability within the broader Swiss financial sector.

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«Mapping Sustainable Finance in Switzerland» 

European foundations mark the trail for mission investing

For the second year running, European foundations and foundation association representatives gathered to share their experience on "mission investing", an umbrella term that refers to the conscious consideration of mission in endowment investment decisions. The meeting was organised by onValues and co-hosted by the Mistra Foundation, EFC and SwissFoundations. Nearly 30 participants from nine European countries met in Zurich to share experiences, discuss challenges and look for practical actions to advance mission investing in the foundation sector.

The meeting report, "Putting mission investing to work", highlights a range of recommended actions for foundations, foundation associations and foundation advisors aimed at accelerating the uptake of mission investing in Europe. It summarises meeting insights on critical topics ranging from the strategic framing of mission investing as part of a foundation's post-financial crisis strategy, to advice on sourcing and implementing impact investments directly linked to a foundation's goals. The report also includes a section drawn from research on the rapidly evolving European landscape of mission investing and a section on current thinking on fiduciary duty in relation to foundation mission investment.

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«Putting mission investing to work» 

onValues calls attention to investment gold

Over the past five years, the gold price has risen by almost 20% annually. Investors account for 40% of total gold demand and have been integral in driving gold prices to their current levels. In an article in the September 2012 issue of Investments & Pensions Europe, onValues Managing Director Ivo Knoepfel calls on investors to understand the role they play and the responsibility they bear in supporting the extraction of the precious metal. "Their perception is that they are a negligible player in gold and unlike the jewellery sector, industries and central banks do not carry any major responsibility," says Knoepfel. With contributions from the World Gold Council, pension funds and asset managers, the article discusses the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in gold production and introduces actions that investors can take to ensure an environmentally-friendly, conflict-free, socially sustainable supply of gold.

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«Extracting the true cost of gold - I&PE September 2012» 

Impact investing for foundations – Swiss Foundations Report 2012

The annual reference document of the Swiss foundation sector (Schweizer Stiftungsreport) this year includes a guest article by onValues MD Ivo Knoepfel on ways in which foundations can better align their investments to their mission. The article discusses the spectrum of options available to foundations ranging from program related investments to venture philanthropy, impact investments, and sustainable and responsible investments. It recognises the challenges that implementing such investments can pose to smaller foundations with limited resources and proposes more collaboration between foundations to overcome this, e.g. in the context of a newly formed working group of the SwissFoundations association.

Download the report
«Swiss Foundations Report 2012» (available in German and French only)

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