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.