A Commitment to the Future
Today, climate change is recognised as one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. It has altered global discourse, bringing environmental concerns to the forefront of major decisions today. To truly mitigate its impact, it is clear that every person and industry has to contribute. This has been recognised in the investment world, where sustainable investing is the fastest growing sector, with sustainable assets under management almost doubling between 2012 and 20161. With investors voicing their concerns, asset and fund managers around the world are feeling the pressure to ensure that investments are being utilized towards positive outcomes.
However, we at UBS, have long been strongly committed to this agenda, being a founding member and signatory of the United Nations Environmental Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) since 1992. We believe that there is a direct link between responsible investment and long-term returns. While the financial objectives of our clients remain the primary focus of our investments, our responsible investment strategy also considers long-term resilience, climate change, environmental, social and governance aspects.
A Holistic Approach
At UBS, our unique, integrated approach to environmental and social factors, and to corporate governance across each of the investment disciplines, enables us to harmonize societal and financial performance. This allows for the maximum, mutual benefit of our clients and our firm, as well as to generate a sustainable and measurable positive impact on our local communities. In recognition of our sustained efforts, in 2017, for a third year running, UBS was named a leader in the diversified financials industry group of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
A Reality Check on Real Estate
UBS Asset Management's Real Estate & Private Markets business (REPM), created by the consolidation of real estate and infrastructure, acknowledges that real assets such as properties and infrastructure contribute significantly to CO2 emissions and the consumption of natural resources. We strongly believe that responsible ownership and operation of real property can have a significant positive impact, both on the environment as well as on returns for our clients. Our commitment is clear, seen in our sustained adherence to recognised international benchmarks such as the GRESB key performance indicators and third-party certifications (LEED, ENERGY STAR, BREEAM, MINERGIE®).
Our commitment, however, goes far beyond mere words. We are dedicated to tangible outcomes. It is our goal to reduce energy consumption by 10%, reduce greenhouse gases by 20%, and increase the recycling rate to 50% – all in the next 5 years.