On 8 October 2020, Ethos and BCV announced the conclusion of a strategic partnership with the aim to offer investors sustainable investment products. The six Ethos funds to BCV are now managed by BCV Asset Management and run by Gérifonds, the group subsidiary in charge of fund administration.
Ethos products for socially responsible investments
Ethos offers four product lines dedicated to socially responsible investments and to the promotion of sustainability in the finance industry.
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.
These changes may raise questions from current investors in Ethos funds as well as from investors interested in these funds.
Ethos offers two sustainability-focused indices, respectively in Swiss and world equities. These indices capitalise on Ethos’ 20 years of experience in environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis.
Ethos Swiss Corporate Governance Index (ESCGI): Sustainability index for Swiss equities
The Ethos Swiss Corporate Governance Index measures the performance of SPI components under the constraint of Corporate Governance best practice. Ethos’ « Eight SRI principles » is the reference for calculating the weighting of companies included in the « Swiss Performance Index (SPI) ». Moreover, the ESCGI index is calculated by SIX Swiss Exchange, which allows Ethos to benefit from the best competencies in the construction of indexes for Swiss equities.
Ethos Index on MSCI World: Sustainability index for world equities
The Ethos Index on MSCI World is offered in collaboration with MSCI and excludes from the traditional index companies where more than 5% of global turnover is realised through activities excluded according to Ethos’ « Eight SRI principles » (principles 2 and 3). These exclusions cover approximately 10% of the traditional index.
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.
- Principles for Responsible Investment PRIFermer
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.
- B Corp CertificationFermer
Ethos Services received B Corp certification. The label, awarded by the non-profit organization B Lab, attests to the positive social and environmental impact of Ethos on society. It is based on a detailed assessment of the company in five areas: governance, employee policies, customer and community relations, and respect for the environment.
- Montréal Carbon PledgeFermer
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.
- United Nations Global CompactFermer
Ethos is a signatory of the UN Global Compact.
Signatories commit to implement the ten principles of the Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
- Institutional Investors Group on Climate ChangeFermer
Ethos is a member of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). The IIGCC is the European membership body for investor collaboration on climate change and the voice of investors taking action for a prosperous, low carbon future. IIGCC’s mission is to support and enable the investment community in driving significant and real progress by 2030 towards a net zero and resilient future.
- UK Stewardship CodeFermer
Since 2011 Ethos adheres to the regulations of the UK Stewardship Code. The UK Stewardship Code is a best practice code for institutional investors, asset managers and consultants established by the UK independent regulator the Financial Reporting Council.
The code sets out good practice on engagement with investee companies to which institutional investors should aspire. It contains seven principles that should apply in regard to stewardship activities. The principles include the exercise of shareowner voting rights in investee companies. Institutional investors should establish clear guidelines, not only with regard to the vote, but also relative to their engagement activities and collaboration with other investors. They should also specify when and how they escalate their activities in order to protect and enhance shareholder value.
- ASIP CharterFermer
Ethos is a signatory of the Charter of the Swiss Association of Pension Funds (ASIP).
- ICGN Global Stewardship PrinciplesFermer
Ethos endorses the ICGN Global Stewardship Principles. These Principles set out ICGN's view of best practices in relation to investor stewardship obligations, policies and processes.
- Guidelines for institutional investorsFermer
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.