Des groupes comme ABB représentent un exemple à suivre, car ils prennent de plus en plus au sérieux la protection du climat et s’engagent à respecter les objectifs climatiques de Paris.

Sustainable investments: Green equity funds do not keep their climate promises


Today, these mutual funds often do not oblige companies to act in an environmentally responsible manner. The pressure should be exerted by asset managers, says Greenpeace Switzerland.

Corporations like ABB are setting a good example, are taking climate protection more and more seriously and are committed to complying with the Paris climate targets.


The idea is attractive: you invest your money in sustainable equity funds that enable you to increase your assets while doing good at the same time. Almost all banks have now recognized this need and are offering “green” investments.

But “what is currently presented as a sustainable investment is usually not,” explains Peter Haberstich, financial expert at Greenpeace Switzerland. Most banks certainly offer sustainable investments, but the portfolios are not exclusively made up of climate-friendly companies, as there are also some that are a little less sustainable than the others.

Too few climate-friendly companies

In the professional world, they are called “best in class”, i.e. the best among comparable products. For example, a fund can also contain shares in an airline that is simply more environmentally friendly than its competitors. But that doesn’t mean the company is truly sustainable.

A “Mystery Shopping” by Greenpeace confirmed this disillusionment. Potential customers come to the banks with the desire to invest 10,000 francs sustainably. So far, no bank has been able to offer you a completely climate-friendly fund. “There are still too few truly sustainable companies to fill a well-diversified ‘green’ portfolio,” explains Peter Haberstich. But how would such a wallet look like?

According to the Greenpeace expert, only companies that have committed themselves to the Paris climate goals would be represented there: They continuously, timely and measurably reduce their CO2 emissions.2 tend towards zero. A fund with this strategy should also consider the emissions emitted by the companies’ products and services. The airline would then be eliminated and the railroad integrated.

A big influence of money managers

According to a study by the research institute GFS, this also corresponds to a need of the population: 67% of those surveyed want a climate-friendly investment, and 36% believe that investment products should redistribute capital – from environmentally harmful companies to truly sustainable ones.

But how can you put pressure on companies? “Responsibility lies with the asset managers,” says Peter Haberstich. The latter would have a great influence because the companies are dependent on the price of their shares.

Here are the first glimmers of hope. “Fund managers like Black Rock are now influencing companies,” says Peter Haberstich. However, the return should not suffer as a result: “Companies such as ABB, Mammut, Ikea or Tschibo are taking climate protection more and more seriously and still run their business successfully.”

Since wealth managers have a great deal of influence, Greenpeace now wants to establish a ranking in which those who are most committed to protecting the environment receive the highest scores. “Funds that consist exclusively of shares in really sustainable companies would send a strong signal, an incentive for other fund providers,” says Peter Haberstich.

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