Sustainable investment with Ethos

Read our news
Evaluate your portfolio's sustainability

Read our news
Exercise your shareholder rights with Ethos

Read our news
Engage in dialogue with investee companies

Read our news

Ethos Foundation

the Foundation for Socially Responsible Investment and Active Shareownership

Ethos, Swiss Foundation for Sustainable Development, is composed of Swiss pension funds and institutions. Ethos was founded in 1997 and aims at promoting socially responsible investment (SRI) as well as a stable and prosperous socio-economic environment that safeguards the interests of civil society today and in the future.               

Latest news

23.03.2017

At the annual general meeting of Sika to be held on 11 April 2017, the Ethos Foundation recommends to support the reelection of the 6

15.02.2017

Ethos has received approval from FINMA to open all of its investment funds to all investor categories.

14.02.2017

The Ethos Engagement Pool (EEP), launched in 2004 by Ethos and two pension funds, today consists of 130 institutional investors with AUM

Environmental
Analyser l'impact des sociétés sur l'environnement

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Social
Investir de manière socialement responsable

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Governance
Agir pour les bonnes pratiques en terme de gouvernance

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Focus

20th anniversary

Ethos celebrated its 20th anniversary. On this occasion, an event took place on the topic "As investors we are building the world of tomorrow".

 

This topic was already the central theme of the first annual report of Ethos in 1997. Several personalities spoke in the course of the day, in particular, Federal Council member Simonetta Sommaruga, Novartis Chairman Joerg Reinhardt, Council of State Karin Keller-Sutter and Mr. Luc Recordon, former Council of State. In parallel, for its 20th anniversary, Ethos publishes its 8 principles for socially responsible investment.

More information
Special focus on 2017 general meetings

Ethos provides analyses of all items of shareholder meeting agendas of Swiss listed companies. Investors can subscribe to the proxy analyses services, which include access to Ethos' online platform. For the shareholder meetings of Swiss listed companies, Ethos publishes its voting recommendations on its web page 2 working days prior to the date of the general meeting.

Ethos’ reports include a detailed analysis of each item on the agenda and voting recommendations based on Ethos' Corporate Governance Principles and Proxy Voting Guidelines. Also, the analyses include general information on each company, in particular its Board of Directors and Executive remuneration. The analyses are sent to clients by e-mail, generally at least twelve days prior to the General Meetings. A comprehensive quarterly report provides a summary of all items voted.

More information
Special focus on Sika

The announcement made on 8 December 2014 by the Burkard family (which holds 16% of the capital and 52% of the voting rights of Sika) of their decision to sell their shares to the competitor Saint-Gobain with an 80% premium was greeted by many hostile reactions. In particular, Ethos is strongly opposed to this transaction, which is contrary to the interests of Sika and its shareholders not linked to the Burkard family.

After this announcement, Ethos reacted immediately: Together with 11 major Swiss institutional investors Ethos filed a resolution to the agenda of the company's annual general meeting of 14 April 2015 requesting the removal of the opting out clause. While this resolution received support from 97% of the shareholders not tied to the Burkard family, it was nonetheless rejected, as it was opposed by the family who hold the majority of votes.

At the general meetings which followed in 2015 and 2016, the board decided to make use of Article 4 of the articles of association with the aim of preserving the interests of the company. This means that the voting rights of the Burkard Family were limited to 5% of the registered shares for decisions tied to the sale of its shares to the competitor Saint-Gobain. As a result, the family cannot take control of the board. This restriction blocks the transaction as Saint-Gobain had made control over Sika a condition for the purchase of 16% of the capital, which would give it 52% of the voting rights.

The Burkard Family filed suit at the Zug Cantonal Court against the decision of the board to limit the former’s voting rights to 5% of the registered shares. In December 2015, the Ethos Foundation was accepted as an accessory part in support of the board of directors in the trial opposing it to the Burkard Family. On 28.10.2016, the court decided to reject the suit by the Burkard Family. The latter appeals this decision at the next higher court. Ethos has decided to maintain its status as an accessory party in this new court case.

The Ethos Foundation maintains its trust in the six members of the board not tied to the Burkard family and in the executive management of Sika, as they have demonstrated their loyalty and commitment in preserving the independence of the company, which corresponds to the interest of shareholders not tied to the founding family owning 84% of the share capital as well as the interests of the employees and other stakeholders.

More information

Ethos is a signatory of

Principles for Responsible Investment PRI

The "Principles for Responsible Investment PRI" have been elaborated by an international group of institutional investors in order to meet increasing concerns of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues for investment decision-making.

This process was initiated by the ex-Secretary General of the United Nations Organisation, Kofi Annan. Ethos’ support for these principles is a matter of course insofar as its Charter of 1997 has already largely integrated the principles formulated in 2006. In fact, the Charter stipulates that the Foundation shall integrate environmental and social factors into its investment policy in order to promote sustainable development. Ethos signed the PRI in 2006.

More information
Montréal Carbon Pledge

Ethos is a signatory of the Montréal Carbon Pledge.

By signing the Montréal Carbon Pledge, investors acknowledge that their investments are exposed to long-term risks linked to greenhouse gas emissions and to climate change. The signatories of the Montréal Carbon Pledge commit to measure and publicly disclose the carbon footprint of their investment portfolios on an annual basis. In this context, Ethos communicates the carbon emissions of all its equity portfolios.

More information
ASIP Charter

Ethos is a signatory of the Charter of the Swiss Association of Pension Funds (ASIP).

Guidelines for institutional investors

Ethos adheres to the “Guidelines for institutional investors governing the exercising of participation rights in public limited companies”.

These Guidelines describe best practices relating to the exercising of participation rights. These Guidelines describe best practices relating to the exercising of participation rights. The Guidelines were presented on January 21, 2013 in Zurich by representatives of the Swiss businesses, institutional investors and proxy advisors. Ethos participated in the drafting of these principles.

More information

google_map

Ethos
Place de Cornavin 2 - P.O. Box
CH-1211 Geneva 1
T +41 22 716 15 55
F +41 22 716 15 56
46.208527
6.142892
Zurich office
Ethos
Bellerivestrasse 3
CH-8008 Zurich
T +41 44 421 41 11
F +41 44 421 41 12
47.3607523
8.5486642