UBS Focused on Achieving Sustainable Performance

Apr 10, 2018 4:00 AM ET

UBS's ambition is to stand out as a winner in the financial industry: for its expertise, advice and execution, and its commitment to sustainable performance – a principle that focuses the firm's efforts to drive long term positive impact for clients, employees, investors and society. UBS provides ample evidence for its ambition in its 2017 reporting – across its Annual Report, its GRI Document, its Annual Review – and its integrated reporting. Visit for the full report collection.

In its commitment UBS strives to make sustainable performance the standard across the firm and part of every client conversation. In doing so, the firm aims to continually improve its efforts to protect the environment, respect human rights and ensure responsible behavior in all aspects of its operations. UBS strives to report openly and transparently about these areas, in accordance with the new GRI Standards, Comprehensive option. It has included the most significant information in its Annual Report – while the UBS GRI Document expands on this and constitutes the core of the firm's sustainability reporting.

"We are strongly committed to being – and remaining – a leader in the field of sustainability. Our cross-divisional organization UBS and Society focuses the firm on this direction. It covers our activities and capabilities related to sustainable investing and philanthropy with clients, our environmental and human rights policies governing client and supplier relationships, our environmental footprint and our community investments," explain Axel A. Weber, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Sergio P. Ermotti, Group Chief Executive Officer, in their letter to shareholders in the UBS Annual Report 2017.

Key facts, aims & achievements

  • UBS has a clear governing structure that ensures that the firm makes sustainable performance part of everything it does.
  • UBS's goal is to be financial provider of choice for clients wishing to drive financial capital towards investments that support the achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the transition to a low carbon economy.
  • As of 31 December 2017, sustainable investments increased to over CHF 1.1 trillion, representing nearly 35% of UBS's total invested assets. Major increases in relative terms were observed for investments in the integration and third-party categories, which increased 95% and 43%, respectively, compared with 2016.
  • UBS's climate strategy focuses on risk management, investments, financing, research and its own operations. The firm has commenced to align its disclosure with the FSB Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures' recommendations and plans to further do so over a five-year pathway.
  • For the third year running, UBS has been confirmed as the industry group leader in the Diversified Financials Industry Group in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. Other major achievements include MSCI ESG Research upgrading UBS to an A rating,  Sustainalytics ranking UBS as an industry leader and CDP awarding UBS a position on the Climate A List.

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