Making Sustainability the Everyday Standard at UBS

Making Sustainability the Everyday Standard at UBS

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Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 4:00am

CONTENT: Article

"UBS and Society is an integral part of our responsibilities towards all stakeholders. Across all client segments we see a growing interest in sustainable investing. I firmly believe our bank is uniquely positioned to cater to this demand – and in fact we already do so, for example with novel financial products and services such as impact investing. But UBS and Society goes beyond, indeed it is our umbrella platform covering activities in sustainable investing and philanthropy, environmental and human rights policies, environmental footprint, and community investment." 
Axel A. Weber, Chairman of UBS and Chair of the UBS Corporate Culture and Responsibility Committee

UBS is pleased to announce its sustainability reporting for 2015. For the 15th year in succession, UBS has disclosed key information on its corporate responsibility and sustainability strategy and performance in its Annual Report and on its website. Moreover, in its Annual Review 2015, UBS has taken an important step toward integrated reporting. 
Central to UBS's reporting is the firm's aim to be a leader in sustainability in the financial industry. In this vein, a key focus of its disclosure, notably in its Annual Review, is on creating long-term value and providing consistent returns to its stakeholders. UBS also focuses on the need to promote the common good by being proactive, purposeful and accountable. Its key program in this regard is its UBS and Society program. UBS's commitment toUBS and Society is at the heart of its sustainability disclosure as are the goals the firm pursues with the program, including to:

  • make sustainability the everyday standard across the firm,
  • channel a growing portion of investable client assets through innovative financial mechanisms to address societal challenges,
  • make sustainable performance part of every client conversation,
  • train employees on sustainability,
  • create a credible sustainability approach,
  • measure the impact of its community investment activities, and
  • support the transition to a low-carbon economy through a comprehensive climate change strategy. 

UBS's key activities and achievements in 2015:

  • took over the leadership position in the Diversified Financials industry group of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices
  • increased total invested assets according to sustainable investment criteria to CHF 934 billion, representing 35% of the firm's total invested assets (as of 31 December 2015)
  • publicly supported international, collaborative action against climate change
  • committed to RE 100, with the goal of sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and, in doing so, reducing its greenhouse gas footprint by 75% compared with 2004 levels
  • made direct cash contributions totaling CHF 27.4 million through its Community Affairs program and an additional contribution of CHF 37.5 million to its affiliated foundations in Switzerland, to the UBSOptimus Foundation and to the UBS Anniversary Education
  • saw 27% of its employees (or 16,356) volunteer (a 26% increase compared with 2014)

UBS's 2015 sustainability disclosure has been reviewed by Ernst & Young Ltd (EY) against the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. The content has been prepared in accordance with the comprehensive option of GRI G4 as evidenced in the EY assurance report.

Contact UBS's Corporate Responsibility team for more information.