UBS Launches Efforts to Make Sustainability Understandable
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UBS Chair Axel Weber argued in Davos that that the SDGs can only be achieved by raising awareness and channeling personal preferences for investing sustainably.

UBS also announced a pilot programme to enable investors to: rate their concern for ESG factors; express their preference in a personalized sustainability score; and compare their score against more than 20,000 ESG-rated stocks and bonds to determine the best match.

January 2019: UBS Global Wealth Management argues that the SDGs will not be reached until more people are aware of them, sustainability in general is easier to understand, and more solutions are available to the public for making a contribution. UBS’ vision for building the “core requirements needed to actually achieve the SDGs” is outlined in a white paper launched during the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting. UBS also announced a pilot programme to facilitate steps recommended in the white paper.

The SDGs can only be achieved by channeling personal preferences for investing sustainably.

UBS Global Wealth Management launched the white paper titled, ‘Awareness, Simplification, and Contribution,’ which sets out ways to ensure that more private capital goes towards addressing the SDGs, in an accelerated manner. The paper was presented by UBS Chair Axel Weber, who argued that the SDGs can only be achieved by raising awareness and channeling personal preferences for investing sustainably.

The paper presents an investment roadmap for meeting the SDGs, and outlines potential solutions to achieve this objective, including:

  • Simplifying and standardizing definitions and measurements related to the SDGs and sustainable development;
  • Aligning investments with personal sustainability interests, and helping investors achieve their financial goals, while addressing social and environmental causes they care about;
  • Increasing public awareness about the SDGs, and highlighting that individual investors can make a difference;
  • Defining impact investment and measurement coherently and consistently;
  • Using publicly traded strategies in traditional portfolios, focusing on market-rate performance and having a positive social and environmental impact;
  • Adopting a 100% sustainable investing asset allocation; and
  • Making philanthropy more collective and collaborative.

UBS also announced the launch of a pilot programme to enable investors to: rate their concern for environment, social and governance (ESG) factors, such as climate change and water; express their preference in a personalized sustainability score; and compare their score against more than 20,000 ESG-rated stocks and bonds to determine the best match. The pilot programme takes place in the first quarter of 2019.

The 2019 WEF convened in Davos, Switzerland, in January. [Article in Barron’s] [UBS Press Release] [Key Solutions to Achieve the SDGs Outlined in the UBS White Paper]


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