The Ethos Engagement Pool Switzerland, the ESG dialogue program with companies listed in Switzerland launched by Ethos and two pension funds more than 15 years ago, has now over 150 members representing total assets of around 265 billion francs.
Ethos’s engagement program with listed companies in Switzerland reached a new milestone in September 2020. The pension fund of the city of Lugano became the 150th member to join the Ethos Engagement Pool Switzerland. A total of 10 new members joined Ethos’s ESG dialogue program with listed companies in Switzerland this year. Members of the pool, pension funds and Swiss tax-exempt institutions only, now represent combined assets totaling around CHF 265 billion.
CEO of Ethos, Vincent Kaufmann is delighted with these new memberships. "With members whose assets now exceed 250 billion francs, we have considerable leverage to engage in dialogue with companies and encourage them to review and improve their practices, whether in terms of environmental and social responsibility or in terms of governance”, he explains.
Launched in 2004, the Ethos Engagement Pool aims to enhance company awareness in the fields of sustainable development and corporate governance best practice, thereby engaging a process of improvement. The program aims the 150 largest listed companies in Switzerland. The constructive dialogue is conducted by Ethos directly with the board and management of the companies.
The engagement topics are decided each year by the members of the pool. Current topics include, for example, climate change strategy and risk management, CO2 reduction targets aligned by the Paris agreement, executive remuneration, the composition and functioning of the board of directors, implementation of a code of conduct or corporate tax responsibility.
Since 2017, Ethos also operates a dialogue program with companies listed outside Switzerland. The Ethos Engagement Pool International currently counts 60 members managing total assets of around CHF 182 billion. Dialogue with companies is initiated either directly or in the form of participation in international initiatives of collective engagement. The members of the pool thus benefit from an international network made up of institutional investors or groups of investors with whom Ethos has worked closely for many years.