Sustainability at UBS

Reimagining the power of people and capital to create a more sustainable world

Sustainability is high on our clients’ agendas and we want to help them on this journey.

Suni Harford, Group Executive Board lead for Sustainability and Impact and President Asset Management

Suni Harford

Latest Insights

Bloom or bust

Our latest white paper on how to align finance, government, and partnerships to address biodiversity challenges by the UBS Sustainability and Impact Institute

Charting progress

How are we delivering on our sustainability and impact strategy? Learn more about our achievements, progress and ambitions in our Sustainability Report 2022.

Thinking and acting with the long term in mind

What sustainability means to us

We all know finance has a powerful influence on the world. At UBS, we reimagine the power of people and capital, to create a better world for everyone: a fairer society, a more prosperous economy and a healthier environment. That’s why we partner with our clients to help them mobilize their capital towards a more sustainable world. And it’s why we’ve put sustainability at the heart of our own business too.

Our ambition

We want to be the financial provider of choice for clients who wish to mobilize capital towards the achievement of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the orderly transition to a low-carbon economy.

So we’re focusing on three key areas to drive that transition and these are some of the ways that we’ll get there.

Partnership - Working with other thought leaders to achieve impact on a truly global scale

2025

Provide best-in-class sustainability thought leadership and an expert forum to engage clients and standard setters in discussion

Planet - making climate a clear priority as we shift towards a low-carbon future

2050

Net zero across our activities (scopes 1, 2 and 3) - in line with fiduciary duties

People - Addressing societal challenges through client and corporate philanthropy as well as employee engagement

2025

Raise USD 1 billion in donations and reach 25 million beneficiaries through client philanthropy

We are committed

Net zero

We are aiming to achieve net zero across our activities (scopes 1, 2 and 3) - in line with fiduciary duties – by 2050

We've established milestones along the way to make sure our progress can be transparently tracked.

Addressing societal challenges

Our aim is to connect people for a better, fairer, more prosperous world

We’ve set some ambitious goals to reach by 2025:

  • Raise USD 1 billion in donations to our client philanthropy foundations and funds and reach 25 million beneficiaries by 2025 (cumulative for years 2021–2025).

Supporting a diverse workforce

Gender, race and ethnicity, LGBTQ+, disability, veterans, mental health matters.

Our strategy is to continue to shape a diverse and inclusive organization that is innovative, provides outstanding service to our clients, offers equitable opportunities and is a great place to work for everyone. By 2025, we aspire to

  • Increase the percentage of women in our director level and above population to 30%.
  • Reach a 26% representation of underrepresented ethnicities at the director level and above in the US and to increase our ethnic minority senior management (directors and above) headcount by 40% in the UK.

Partnerships for a better world

Together we can achieve systemic change.

  • We will continue to share best practices and engage with regulatory authorities, central banks, policymakers, academia and peers to facilitate the development of robust methodologies to help leverage the potential of the financial services sector potential to drive change.
  • We will engage with standard setters to help develop and support policies, standards and regulations that will enable the necessary transition of the whole economy.

For almost 70 years...

UBS is not new to sustainability: we started on this path decades ago. There have been many important milestones along the way.

1954

Beginnings of UBS Community Affairs at Wealth Management US

1997

First Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds

1999

First bank to obtain ISO 14001 certification for worldwide environmental management system

2006

Introduction of comprehensive climate strategy and start offsetting all CO2 emissions resulting from business air travel.

2014

Founding UBS in society, a program to further focus us on sustainable performance

2015

Sustainability Industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index

World's first Development Impact Bond (DIB) in education launched by UBS Optimus Foundation with "Educate Girls"

2016

Launching the UBS Oncology Impact Fund

2018

First 100% sustainable cross-asset portfolio for private clients

Reaching 2.8 million children through the UBS Optimus Foundation

2019

Banning project-level financing on new coal-fired power plants

2020

Founding signatory of the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative.

2021

Committed to net zero by 2050.

2022

Established the Swiss TNFD national consultation group.

Be the financial provider of choice

Whether you're an institutional investor, corporate client, or private client, we want to help you reimagine the power of investing.

Corporate client

You want help on your sustainability journey. It is our aim to support companies in their transition, from supporting issuance of green and sustainability-linked bonds and loans, to raising private capital.

Private investor

You want to invest in companies who use their resources wisely and deliver reliable, long-term returns. We'll get to know the issues close to your heart, so we can help you find good investments that fit with your values.

Institutional investor

You're thinking about the long term and want your fiduciary duties to support your sustainability objectives. We include sustainability information throughout our offering – to give you the solutions and strategies you need.

Swiss business

You want to prepare your company for the new low-carbon economy. We have programs that can help you do just that.

UBS Group is a founding signatory of the Operating Principles for Impact Management. Explore how we align with the Principles in our Disclosure Statement(PDF, 247 KB).