Human rights and Environment: Ethos’ position on the new legislation put forward by the Federal Council

Following the rejection of the Responsible Business Initiative in November 2020, the Swiss Federal Council has been working on implementing the indirect counter-project adopted by the Swiss parliament. As the open consultation on a draft ordinance on the duties of diligence and transparency in the fields of minerals and metals from conflict zones and child labor (ODiTr) comes to an end, the Ethos Foundation regrets the lack of ambition of the new bill.

Climate change: substantial risks for Swiss pension funds

Two weeks before a key vote on the revision of the Swiss CO2 Act, the Ethos Foundation publishes a report dedicated to climate risks for pension funds and their policyholders. While there are various means for pension funds to manage these risks, a regulatory framework remains more necessary than ever to supervise and encourage sustainable and responsible investments. For this reason, the Ethos Foundation supports the revised CO2 Act. In addition, a public online conference is being organised on 10 June to discuss these questions.

Ethos strengthens its climate and diversity voting guidelines

Ethos published this Thursday the 20th edition of its voting guidelines and governance principles for the 2021 general meetings. Ethos asks the major emitters of greenhouse gases to publish and submit to shareholders' approval an annual report on their climate strategy and introduces new voting criteria into its guidelines.

Ethos and BCV to pool their expertise in sustainable finance

Ethos Foundation, which specialises in socially responsible investing (SRI), and BCV, Switzerland’s fifth-largest universal bank, have entered into a long-term strategic partnership through which they will offer sustainable investment products. In the first phase, six Ethos funds will be managed by BCV’s Asset Management department.

Ethos and Clartan Associés join forces to launch a sustainable investment fund

The purpose of the "Clartan Ethos ESG Europe Small & Mid Cap" fund is to invest in European companies with small and medium-sized capitalisations that take social and environmental aspects into account in their business model. It is intended for private and institutional investors who wish to seize the significant performance potential of these companies while investing in a sustainable and responsible manner.

Nuclear weapons: Never again!

On the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, Ethos and other investors of the Shareholders for Change (SfC) network reassert their strong opposition to the financing of nuclear weapons. Together with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and the survivors of the attacks, they raise their voice to say "Never again!".

Ethos supports the Workforce Disclosure Initiative requesting more workforce transparency

On April 30, 2020 the Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI) released its 2019 annual report. Coordinated by ShareAction and supported by more than 130 investors, including Ethos and the members of the Ethos Engagement Pool International, this initiative calls for greater transparency by listed companies regarding the management of workers in their direct operations and supply chains. An additional 28 of the targeted companies agreed to complete the WDI questionnaire in 2019 bringing the total number of responding companies to 118.

Investments: Ethos tightens its exclusion criteria

The board of Ethos Foundation has decided to amend the eight Socially Responsible Investment principles of Ethos. All companies that generate more than 5% of their turnover with unconventional oil and gas are now excluded from the investment universe. Companies that transport these energy sources by oil or gas pipeline are also excluded. This decision will have no impact on Ethos' funds as the concerned companies had insufficient ESG evaluation to be part of Ethos’ investment funds.

Mandatory human rights due diligence in Switzerland: Ethos and institutional investors join forces to support ambitious legislation

Ethos Foundation and 26 institutional investors with CHF 808 billion in assets under management, have sent an investor statement to the members of the Swiss upper house to ask them to support legislation for mandatory human rights due diligence. The legislation has been approved by the lower house on 13 June and will be discussed again on 18 December 2019 in Bern. The initiative committee has already indicated that it agrees to withdraw the original initiative if the proposed legislation is approved.

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