UBS commits to UN plan for climate action and corporate responsibility

Zurich 23 Sep 2019, 08:00 Media Releases Switzerland Media Releases Americas Media Releases APAC Media Releases EMEA Media Releases Global UBS in society

UBS signed the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). The global framework specifies roles and responsibilities for banks to support a sustainable future.

Zurich, 23 September 2019 – UBS is proud to be among the founding signatories of the historic accord, a comprehensive framework for the integration of sustainability across all business divisions. In a huge joint effort for climate action and sustainability, leading banks, holding a collective USD 47 trillion in assets, and representing one third of the global banking sector, committed to the Principles.

With the PRB, banks around the globe pledged to strategically align their businesses with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and scale up their contribution to the achievement of both.

“UBS made it a priority to become a sustainability leader even before officially becoming one of the founding signatories," said UBS Group Chief Executive Officer Sergio P. Ermotti. "Now we have a clear framework that allows us to benchmark ourselves against ambitious targets. As an industry, it’s of increasing importance to all go in the same direction and speed up efforts to support the UN SDGs.“

The Principles will provide UBS with an effective framework to systematically identify and seize new business opportunities created by the emerging sustainable development economy, while at the same time enabling the bank to effectively identify and address related risks. The common framework will help pave the way for the transformation to a sustainable global banking industry.

The bank has bold ambitions to drive change that matters. Earlier this month, UBS was confirmed as the industry leader of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), the most widely recognized corporate sustainability rating1, for the fifth year running.

At the end of 2018, UBS's core SI products and mandates accounted for over USD 300bn or 10% of UBS's managed assets, and to meet the increasing client interest in this area, UBS continues to develop ground-breaking products. This includes a 100% sustainable investing cross-asset portfolio, which features many instruments not usually available in wealth retail products such as development bank debt issued by the World Bank.

In another example, UBS's award-winning Climate Aware strategy recently reached USD 2 billion in assets under management, underpinned by our Asset Management division's active corporate engagement program that is helping to drive positive change toward a low-carbon economy. UBS also announced earlier this month that it had raised USD 225 million from private clients for an impact investing fund managed by the KKR Global Impact Fund, marking a significant step toward meeting its commitment to allocate USD 5 billion of client assets to new impact investments dedicated to the UN SDGs by the end of 2021.

Besides sustainable and impact investing, an important part of the bank's activities encompass engagement in client and corporate philanthropy, the management of environmental and social risks in our industry, and the reduction of our own environmental footprint. The bank is also proud to be raising awareness of the UN SDGs through a founding partnership in the global #TOGETHERBAND campaign, looking to reach thousands of people and raise money for selected charities supporting the UN goals.


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