Sustainable Investing

Every day, wealthy investors make spending, philanthropic and even career decisions to help make the world a better place. But when it comes to investing, are portfolios aligned to personal values?


Return on values

For our latest UBS Investor Watch, we surveyed more than 5,300 investors in 10 countries on sustainable investing. Explore our report and discover the key findings.

Can my investments make an impact to the world?

What if you could do well financially while doing good in the world? Now you can. With sustainable investing, you can invest in ways that reflect your values without compromising the opportunity to get attractive returns on your money. Here's how…

How can my investments reflect my values?

As a global leader in sustainable investing, we can help your portfolio reflect your values, without compromising returns. So the investments you make don’t just say good things about you, they do good for everyone.


Before you start…

There are some things to consider before beginning your sustainable investing journey. These questions can help you get started.

What is sustainable investing?

Find out more about sustainable investing, such as what it is and what it involves.

What difference can I make?

Discover how you can help make the world a better place for everyone when you invest sustainably.

How can I get started?

There's a variety of sustainable investment choices out there. Find out how you can start exploring them.

Why choose UBS?

We want to shape the future of sustainable investing. That's because we believe you can enjoy great returns when you invest for good.


What is sustainable investing?

Sustainable investing is a way of investing that aims to give you both strong returns while staying true to your values. Unlike traditional investing, sustainable investing focuses on doing good in the world. You also don't miss out on the returns you might expect from traditional investments. In fact evidence backs this up1 2.

Three main ways to invest sustainably:


This involves removing assets from your investment portfolio that don't reflect your values, such as investments in weapons and tobacco.

ESG (environmental, social and governance) integration

ESG integration involves including ESG factors in your investments to improve your returns and reduce your risks. It also allows you to reflect your values in your portfolio. For example, you can invest in companies that focus on environmental (for example, reducing pollution), social (such as human rights) and governance (for example, stopping corruption) issues and opportunities.

Impact investing

Impact investing involves making a difference in ways you can measure while growing your money. Impact investments tend to be in private markets, such as private equity and debt, venture capital and infrastructure.


What difference can I make?

What your investments achieve depends on how you invest, such as whether you choose the exclusions, ESG integration or impact investing approaches. For example, ESG integration looks at improving your portfolio’s risk and return while matching your investments to your values. Meanwhile, impact investing aims to make sure every investment achieves a measurable and verifiable social impact as well as financial return.

What can it do for my money?

Think investing sustainably means missing out on growing your money? Think again. Evidence shows sustainable investment returns are comparable to what you can expect from conventional ones1 2. For example, a review of academic research found that investing sustainably improves returns or doesn't harm them1. So it's little surprise the global sustainable investment market is growing3.

How can my investments help change the world?

You can help shape a better world when you invest sustainably, from alleviating poverty and hunger to combating climate change and injustice. The extent of the impact also depends on the ambition and nature of your investment, whether you choose exclusions, ESG integration or impact investing.

One of the biggest ways you can help change the world is to support the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN aims to make the world a better place by 2030. It's doing this through 17 SDGs, covering everything from clean energy to zero hunger. You can play a big part in helping the UN achieve its goals by investing sustainably.


How can I get started?

  • leave out assets from your investment portfolio that don't reflect your values (exclusions)?
  • align your values to your portfolio while exploring opportunities and reducing risk by considering environmental, social and governance factors (ESG integration)?
  • make a difference by investing in measurable ways (impact investing)?

You don't have to decide alone. Our advisors are ready to help and happy to discuss your views, what you want to achieve and your choices for investing sustainably.

  • invest sustainably in one part of your main portfolio
  • apply your approach gradually across your portfolio
  • jump right in and make your whole portfolio sustainable.

Or focus your investments in green bonds or ESG funds. You can also choose from our impact investing options, which measure how efficiently organizations deliver on their promises.

If you're unsure about what to do, don't worry, help is at hand. Your UBS advisor can guide you through every step.

What more can I do?

Changing the world is about more than investing sustainably. It's about giving your time and energy to solving issues you're passionate about. For example, you can help put smiles on the faces of children worldwide through the UBS Optimus Foundation, which supports global projects focusing on young people. Our philanthropy experts can also help put your wealth and ideas to work in the best-possible way.


Why choose UBS?

When investing sustainably, it's good to do it with people who want to set the agenda for these investments. That's UBS.

We want to shape the future of sustainable investing. Why? Because we believe they can deliver great returns and less risk to your money. We're also confident sustainable investing will soon become the world's most widely accepted way of investing.

As the world's leading wealth manager, we feel responsible for helping change things for the better. We have the capital, solutions and expertise to make a big difference globally.

These aren't just words. We walk the talk. We're making sustainability the standard across our business. For example, in 2017, we pledged to invest USD 5 billion of our clients' assets into impact investments over the next five years. We promote sustainably by working with experts and organizations worldwide. And you'll always have a team of sustainable investing experts helping you do more for your finances and the world.

Everyone wins

We work hard to make the world a better place, not to win awards. But we’re grateful the industry recognizes our efforts, all the same. Here are some of the awards and recognition we’ve received for putting people – and the planet – first.

Ranked first for expertise in sustainable products and impact investments

Gold Class Sustainability Award 2018

DJSI industry group leader in the Diversified Financials Industry Group

Ranked first by our peers for our philanthropy and social impact investing capabilities / services.

Index member

A+ score in the Strategy and Governance module in the 2018 company assessment

Corporate responsibility prime status

Climate A list

Leader score within our industry

Fresh perspectives

Supporting a positive social or environmental impact as well as achieving compelling financial returns is at the heart of sustainable investing. Read about the latest insights of our Chief Investment Office.

Business with impact

Mobilizing private wealth for public good