The investment funds offered by Ethos saw their score increase this year during their certification by the German Forum for Sustainable Investments: three of them obtained the maximum of three stars and a fourth fund obtained two stars.

Ethos and its banking partners submitted four investment funds for certification by the German Forum for Sustainable Investments (FNG) this year: three funds obtained the maximum of three stars and one fund obtained two stars.

  • Vontobel Fund (CH) – Ethos Equities Swiss Mid&Small (managed by Vontobel): ***
  • Ethos II – Ethos Swiss Sustainable Equities (managed by Banque Cantonale Vaudoise): ***
  • Equities Sustainable World ex-CH (managed by Banque Cantonale Vaudoise): ***
  • Clartan – Ethos ESG Europe Small & Mid Cap (managed by Clartan Associés): **

“We are very satisfied with these results, which demonstrate that the strategy of our funds in terms of sustainability is particularly ambitious and comprehensive” underlines Vincent Kaufmann, CEO of the Ethos Foundation. “FNG is an independent label and certainly one of the most credible in Europe. It underlines more than 25 years of Ethos expertise in sustainable finance.”

Rigorous and transparent approach

Launched in 2015 by the University of Hamburg, the FNG label is a quality standard for sustainable investments particularly recognised in the German-speaking financial markets. Funds that achieve certification must demonstrate that they pursue a rigorous and transparent approach to sustainability. The quality standard notably includes requirements for presenting the fund's sustainable strategy, the exclusion of certain sectors (armaments, nuclear, coal, tobacco, etc.) as well as verification of the entire portfolio according to certain sustainability criteria.

With over 80 questions, the certification process covers everything from sustainable investment style to ESG research capabilities and the process of engagement with portfolio companies. Elements such as reporting, controversy monitoring and active ownership also play an important role.

The FNG Label evaluation team is chaired by Professor Timo Busch from the Sustainable Finance Research Group at the University of Hamburg. An independent committee with interdisciplinary expertise also accompanies the review and assessment process. Only funds that excel in the areas of “Institutional Credibility”, “Product Standards” and “Portfolio Focus” (stock selection, engagement and publication of key performance indicators) receive up to three stars. In 2022, this was the case for 66 of the 257 certified funds, i.e. 26% of the funds analysed.

The FNG sustainability certification must be renewed annually. Ethos intends to eventually submit its entire range of investment funds to independent certifications.

Responsible investment