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? With sustainable investing, you can invest in ways that reflect your values without compromising the opportunity to get attractive returns on your money.

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 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 2 when you invest for good.


What is sustainable investing?

Sustainable investing is a way of investing that aims to give you the opportunity for 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 up 2 3.

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

This uses ESG factors to seek out opportunities or manage risks better. The key difference is that ESG integration as a strategy is seeking to outperform using these factors, whereas exclusion strategies are simply seeking to align your portfolio with your values (typically without underperforming). 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 helping improve your portfolio’s risk and return while matching your investments to your values. Meanwhile, impact investing aims to make investments achieve 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 ones 2 3. For example, a review of academic research found that investing sustainably improves returns or doesn't harm them 2. So it's little surprise the global sustainable investment market is growing 4.

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 5. It's doing this through 17 SDGs, covering everything from clean energy to zero hunger. You can play a part in helping the UN achieve its goals by investing sustainably.  


How can I get started?

With UBS, you have lots of opportunities to invest sustainably – for the good of your finances and the world.

Get off to a great start

Our UBS Sustainable Investing portfolio makes it easy to get started. It mirrors our award-winning portfolio 6 approach but replaces conventional assets with sustainable ones.

Every asset in your portfolio aims to give you great returns on your money. You can also relax knowing our experts are always managing your portfolio and helping you make the most from your investments.

What our UBS Sustainable Investing portfolio consist of

For illustrative purposes only. Source: UBS

Equity shares in companies that sell products and services tackling environmental or social challenges, and/or whose businesses are good at managing a single ESG factor, such as gender equality.

Equity shares in companies that are getting better at managing various critical ESG issues and opportunities.

Equity shares in companies that manage various critical ESG issues and seize ESG opportunities better than their competitors.

Bonds that finance environmental projects. Issuers include corporations, municipalities and development banks.

Bonds issued by companies that manage various critical ESG issues and seize ESG opportunities better than their competitors.

An approach where fund managers take active equity stakes. They do this to encourage company management to improve their performance on ESG issues and opportunities. This approach has the most potential with smaller companies.

Bonds issued by the World Bank, a multilateral development bank (MDB). Multiple governments back MDBs, which aim to finance sustainable economic development.

How will we build and manage your portfolio?

Your client advisor will discuss your feelings about risk and whether the portfolio is right for you. From there, we'll build your UBS Sustainable Investing portfolio. Rest assured, we'll always be working hard to help you achieve your goals.

  • Choosing the right assets: We choose sustainable assets that can offer you similar returns to conventional assets. If we can't find a sustainable substitute for a traditional asset, we'll look for suitable alternatives.
  • Reducing risk: To help reduce risk to your money, we'll diversify your portfolio across assets, regions and sectors. Over 200 analysts also monitor the markets continually, using the latest technologies to help your investment perform.
  • Selecting successful fund managers: We look for fund managers that invest sustainably and successfully. To help them deliver appealing returns on your money, we also challenge and question them on their investment choices.
  • Picking single stocks: Would you rather have single stocks (a minimum investment of £500k is required) in your portfolio than funds? To help you pick the right ones, more than 140 data analysts will examine stocks worldwide. We'll then use this data to build your portfolio.

The value of investments can fall as well as rise. You may not get back the amount originally invested. Past performance is not a reliable indication for future results.

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 2 3.

As the world's leading wealth manager 7, we feel responsible for helping change things for the better. We have the capital, solutions and expertise that could 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

Let's talk

Discover how we can help you.

1 ' Source: Scorpio Partnership Global Private Banking Benchmark 2017 (UBS, Credit Suisse, Pictet, Deutsche Bank, J. Safra Sarasin); public data such as websites and annual reports (BNP Paribas, HSBC, Lombard Odier, Vontobel, Bank A, Triodos).

2 'ESG and financial performance: aggregated evidence from more than 2000 empirical studies', Journal of Sustainable Finance and Investment, Gunnar Friede, Timo Busch, Alexander Bassen, 2015

3 'Introducing the Impact Investing Benchmark', Global Impact Investing Network and Cambridge Associates, 2015

4 'GSIA Global Sustainable Investment Review', 2016 ("In the period since the last report was released, the global sustainable investment market has continued to grow, and in most of the regions covered by GSIA’s member organizations, its share of professionally managed assets has also grown.")

5 'As set in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by world’s leaders in September 2015

6 ' Every year we win industry awards that reflect our dedication to our clients. Such as Euromoney Best Global Private Bank, Global Finance World Best Investment Bank in 2017. For full detail, please visit:

7 'Source: World’s best bank for Wealth Management 2018, Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2018