Ethos, Swiss Foundation for Sustainable Development, is composed of 228 Swiss pension funds and other tax-exempt 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. The Ethos Foundation is a foundation under Swiss law. The highest governing body of the Ethos Foundation is the foundation board. The members’ general meeting issues recommendations to the foundation board, in particular regarding the charter and the articles of association.
To achieve its objectives, Ethos created the company Ethos Services. This company is specialised in the field of socially responsible investment (SRI) and mainly focuses on institutional investors. Ethos Services is owned by the Ethos Foundation and 17 of its members. The general meeting elects the board of directors. The board of directors appoints the members of the executive board. Ethos Services currently employs about 20 persons and has offices in Geneva and Zurich.
The association Ethos Académie allows private individuals to take part in the activities of Ethos. This non-profit and tax-exempt organisation was launched in 2012 by the Ethos Foundation and has currently about 200 members. It conducts outreach activities aimed at raising public awareness in the field of socially responsible investment. The association’s board is composed of five members. Two board members are appointed by the Ethos Foundation and three members are elected by the general meeting of the association’s members.
Independence. Both the Ethos Foundation and the company Ethos Services are exclusively financed by investors.
Professionalism. Ethos has more than 20 years of experience in socially responsible investment and active shareownership and can count on a team of well-qualified and experienced analysts. Dialogue with issuers is conducted throughout the year and provides an in-depth knowledge of Swiss companies.
Transparency. The annual report and accounts of the Ethos Foundation, Ethos Services and Ethos Académie are publicly available. Ethos also publishes its voting guidelines and voting recommendations (48 hours prior to the shareholder meetings) on its website.