Digital Library2020-01-22T13:59:48+00:00

Resources

DIGITAL LIBRARY

Our Digital Library contains an extensive range of resources and research on sustainable and responsible investing, searchable by theme, publication type and year. Powered by SIF Ireland and Swiss Sustainable Finance.

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Title Author Published
Aligning expectations: Guidance for asset owners on incorporating ESG factors into manger selection, appointment and monitoring Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Feb 2013
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Summary

This guide provides a framework for Asset Owners who appoint and monitor external managers to assess whether their managers’ investment policies and processes are consistent with their ESG expectations. It aims to support them in their dialogues with managers so that they gain a clear understanding of the ESG risks and opportunities affecting their portfolios and how their managers are addressing them.

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Global Sustainable Investment Review 2012 Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) Mar 2013
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Summary

Report based on the work of seven regional sustainable investment forums to compare sustainable investment practices worldwide.

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Path to the Sustainable Financial Centre Switzerland – A call to action The Sustainability Forum Zürich (TSF) and Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG) May 2013
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Summary

This white paper formed the basis for the establishment of SSF. It outlines action points that can be taken to strengthen the sustainable finance industry in Switzerland.

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UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – Discussion Paper for Banks on Implications of Principles 16–21 The Thun Group of Banks Oct 2013
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Summary

The Thun Group of Banks is an informal group of bank representatives that have been discussing the meaning of the UN’s “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework” and the Guiding Principles for the activities of banks. This paper outlines the interpretation of Principles 16-21 and identifies key steps that need to be taken as well as challenges for banks in implementing the principles.

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Insuring Climate Resilience How insurers are responding to climate change. And how they can be part of an effective government response UNEP Finance Initiative Nov 2013
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Summary

This report reflects how insurance might be used to assist countries that are most vulnerable to loss and damage from climate change. The report concludes that climate change is perceived as a real challenge to insurance companies, and that they are already adapting their risk control measures to climate risks; including the identification, prevention and reduction of risks.

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Delivering the green economy through financial policy UNEP Inquiry, Frankfurter School of Finance & Management Mar 2014
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Summary

According to the UNEP FI the absence of policy and regulatory measures related to internalizing externalities is a key barrier to private sector investments in sustainable assets. Hence, this report suggests that further finance sector regulation could incentivise financial institutions to supply capital for sustainable development. This paper therefore maps out the financial regulatory landscape, discussing how regulations can influence investment behaviour and highlights further research avenues.

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The practice of responsible investment principles in larger-scale agricultural investments Implications for Corporate Performance and Impact on Local Communities World Bank & UNCTAD Apr 2014
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Summary

Agriculture as a focus of investment is viewed by some as a promising and long-awaited opportunity to promote the sector. For others, it raised the concerns about the potential negative environment, social and economic impacts. This report adds to the growing body of literature by examining 39 mature agribusiness investments in Africa and Southeast Asia, assessing to what extent their activities can be characterized as responsible. Providing information about best-practices and pitfalls to avoid.

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The value of responsible investment The moral, financial and economic case for action University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership May 2014
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Summary

The momentum on responsible investments have been building up, over the last years – showcased for example by the numerous signatories of the PRI. This report explores the moral, financial and economic justification for responsible investment, linking it to the academic evidence. It concentrates on how ESG factors materially impact investment risk and returns.

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Integrated Governance A new model of governance for sustainability UNEP Finance Initiative Jun 2014
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Summary

This report aims to identify corporate governance practices that could promote a durable culture of sustainability within corporations, proposing the “Integrated Governance” model. This model and its implementation in practice are explained within the report. Overall the authors wish institutional investors with insights and suggestions that they could consider when engaging with companies, and exercising their ownership rights.

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The Importance of Microfinance – Swiss Institutional Investors Survey 2014 (presentation) BlueOrchard & Center for Microfinance, University of Zürich Jun 2014
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Summary

The joint work of the University of Zürich and commercial microfinance manager BlueOrchard, this survey finds that a significant and growing proportion of Swiss institutions are invested in microfinance. While social attributes are important for the investment decision they do not override return expectations.

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The Value of Responsible Investment Investment Leaders Group Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Jun 2014
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Summary

As a whole the report offers a tour of the main drivers and debates in responsible investment, with recommendations on future actions and research.

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New Investment Approaches for Addressing Social and Economic Challenges OECD Jul 2014
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Summary

This paper aims to provide an introduction to and overview of the social investment market for policy makers in OECD and non-OECD countries. Social investment is the provision of finance to organisations with the explicit expectation of a social, as well as financial, return. Social investment has become increasingly relevant in today’s economic environment as social challenges have mounted while public funds in many countries are under pressure. New investment approaches are needed for addressing social and economic challenges, including new models of public and private partnership which can fund, deliver and scale innovative solutions from the ground up.

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10 Finance Innovations – Geneva, the sustainable finance laboratory Sustainable Finance Geneva Sep 2014
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Summary

In this book, Sustainable Finance Geneva seeks to highlight the key role that the Lake Geneva region has played in these developments. Thanks to its unique advantages, Geneva has acted as a testing ground for many of these major innovations, which have often gone on to spread worldwide.

This book does not aim to provide an exhaustive list. It selected ten innovations initiated or developed in the Geneva area, which are considered to be emblematic of how this laboratory of sustainable finance operates. Although these initiatives are not all “world firsts ”, they have in common that they all benefited from Geneva’s unique ecosystem, which brings together a leading financial center, a network of international organizations, major foundations, and an active and enterprising academic sector, all in one place.

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Overview of the “Green” Swiss Financial Market PwC Oct 2014
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Summary

This report is based on a request of the Swiss Federal Office of the Environment (FOEN). FOEN wants to receive a comprehensive overview of the green and sustainable financial market landscape in Switzerland, based on a desktop research and the experience of PwC subject matter experts.

Overview of the sustainable and ‘green’ financial market in Switzerland:

The financial sector is an important pillar of the Swiss economic system and Switzerland has a long tradition of being a financial centre of global relevance (e.g. it is the number one destination for offshore-wealth). With its supply of money (loans, insurance services, equity and other financial products) the financial sector has a significant direct and indirect impact on the sustainable development of the economy. One of the key findings of this report is that there is a general trend towards sustainable investments in Europe. In Switzerland, the volume of sustainable investments has increased since 2005 by 23 percent on average per year, and this trend is assumed to continue. However, sustainable investments represent a niche and their share of the overall volume in the market is with roughly 4 percent still low. This is surprising as there is evidence (refer to ‘The Added Value of Sustainable Investment’ in this study) that responsible investments create additional values for investors. The market overview revealed that Switzerland is still in a leading position, but that other financial centres are catching up in becoming a hub for sustainable finance. Without influencing the markets by regulations or major incentives, there will not be a very big step towards sustainable finance; rather we will see gradual growth corresponding to the overall worldwide development of sustainable financial markets.

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Stability and Sustainability in Banking Reform: Are Environmental Risks Missing in Basel III? University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Oct 2014
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Summary

International Banking regulations (i.e. Basel Capital Accord) have gained much attention in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Simultaneously, interest in environmental risks for banking and their potential systemic impacts are also on the rise. The author highlights some initial programs (i.e. Brazil, China, Peru), where banking regulation and governance practices address environmental risks. This report concludes that the Basel Committee should learn from these experiences and consider reforms to the Basel III Pillar 2 Supervisory Review framework and the Pillar 3 Market Discipline framework, by recognising systemic environmental risks as material risks which can potentially threaten banking stability.

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European SRI Study 2014 Eurosif Oct 2014
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Summary

The report highlights the scale of Sustainable and Responsible Investment practices and trends across 13 European countries.

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From the Stockholder to the Stakeholder: How sustainability can drive financial outperformance Oxford University and Arabesque Partners Oct 2014
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Summary

Based on more than 190 academic studies, industry reports, newspaper articles, and books, this meta-study showed three compelling arguments.

  • 90% of the studies on the cost of capital show that sound sustainability standards lower the cost of capital of companies
  • 88% of the research shows that solid ESG practices result in better operational performance of firms
  • 80% of the studies show that stock price performance of companies is positively influenced by good sustainability practices
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Members’ Survey: The future of sustainable finance in Switzerland Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) Nov 2014
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Summary

SSF members confirmed the positive view on sustainable finance in the first members’ survey.

  • A vast majority is convinced that Switzerland will expand its market share in this field in the years to come
  • There is a clear consensus that the sustainable finance market will grow at a double digit rate
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Microfinance Market Outlook 2015: Growth driven by vast market potential responsAbility Investments AG Nov 2014
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Summary

The fifth annual Microfinance Market Outlook published by ResponsAbility is available. The 2015 study concludes that the global microfinance market is expected to grow by a further 15-20% in 2015 and examines the potential impacts of changes in interest rates on microfinance investments.

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Private Sector Investment and Sustainable Development UN Global Compact, UNCTAD, UNEP FI, PRI Jan 2015
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Summary

This paper outlines the role of companies, institutional investors and foundations in contributing to global sustainability goals through their financing strategy and general conduct. Actors in the private sector are driven by sustainability challenges to come up with innovative solutions which need appropriate funding and support. The paper emphasizes the benefits of a well-functioning system to reach sustainable development goals, fostering an innovative and collaborative environment.

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