Bahnhofstr. 45, P.O. Box

CH-8098 Zurich, Switzerland

T: +41-44-234 11 11




  • Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI World and Europe)
  • MSCI (ESG research – AA rating 2018) 
  • Sustainalytics (leader score within their industry) 
  • CDP A list Climate Change 
  • FTSE4Good Index 
  • Bloomberg Gender Equality Index 
  • Principles for Responsible Investment (A+ score in strategy and Governance module) 
  • Euromoney private banking (2019 – Ranked first globally by their peers for Philanthropic Advice, Environmental Social, Governance and Social Impact Investing) 
  • Corporate responsibility Prime status rated by ISS -oekom




Michael Baldinger


  • Global Private Banking Award 2018 (sustainable and impact investing) 
  • The Corporate Engagement Award 2018 winner (CEA) 
  • Charity Times Awards (UK) 20018 winner for the best social investment initiative for stepping stones fund




SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

UBS Group AG is a holding company, which engages in the provision of financial management solutions.


As the world’s largest wealth manager, UBS Global Wealth Management provides comprehensive advice, solutions and services to wealthy families and individuals around the world. Clients who work with UBS benefit from a fully integrated set of wealth management capabilities and expertise, including wealth planning, investment management, capital markets, banking, lending and institutional and corporate financial advice. Clients have access to a wide range of products from the world’s leading third-party institutions that complement UBS’s own offerings


Personal & Corporate Banking provides comprehensive financial products and services to UBS’s private, corporate and institutional clients in Switzerland, maintaining a leading position in these segments and embedding its offering in a multi-channel approach. The business is a central element of UBS’s universal bank delivery model in Switzerland, supporting other business divisions by referring clients and growing the wealth of the firm’s private clients so they can be transferred to Wealth Management. Personal & Corporate Banking leverages the cross-selling potential of UBS’s asset-gathering and investment bank businesses, and manages a substantial part of UBS’s Swiss infrastructure and banking products platform.


UBS Asset Management is a large-scale and diversified asset manager, with a presence in 22 countries. According to their website, they offer investment capabilities and investment styles across all major traditional and alternative asset classes as well as platform solutions and advisory support, to institutions, wholesale intermediaries and wealth management clients. It is a leading fund house in Europe, the largest mutual fund manager in Switzerland and top foreign firm in China.


The Investment Bank provides corporate, institutional and wealth management clients with expert advice, innovative solutions, execution and comprehensive access to international capital markets. It offers advisory services and provides in-depth cross-asset research, along with access to equities, foreign exchange, precious metals and selected rates and credit markets, through its business units. The Investment Bank is an active participant in capital markets flow activities, including sales, trading and market-making across a range of securities.

Company Sustainable Activity


Sustainable investing (SI) is an approach that seeks to incorporate ESG considerations into investment decisions. SI strategies seek to achieve one or more of the following objectives: achieve a positive environmental or social impact, align investments with an investor’s personal environmental or social values or improve portfolio risk and return characteristics. They aim to be a leader in SI for private and institutional clients, measurable by the size of SI assets under management (AuM). As of 31 December 2018, total SI assets represented USD 1,110 billion (2017: USD 1,133 billion), or 35.8% (2017: 34.7%), of their total invested assets. their core SI assets increased to USD 313 billion (2017: USD 182 billion), representing 10.1% (2017: 5.6%) of their total invested assets. Core SI products involve a strict and diligent asset selection process through either exclusions (of companies / sectors from the portfolio where the companies are not aligned to an investor’s values) or positive selections (such as best-in-class, thematic or ESG integration and impact investing). 


They believe the transition to a low-carbon economy is vital and they are focused on supporting their clients in preparing for success in an increasingly carbon-constrained world. UBS implement their climate strategy in four different ways: 

  1. by seeking to protect their assets from climate change risks;
  2. by supporting their clients’ efforts to assess, manage and protect themselves from climate-related risks;
  3. by mobilizing private and institutional capital toward investments that facilitate climate change mitigation and adaptation, and by supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy as a corporate advisor and / or with their lending capacity; and 
  4. by continuing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and increase the firm’s share in renewable energy. UBS regularly report on the implementation of their climate strategy and follow the recommendations on climate-related disclosures provided by the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).


According to UBS, they believe their clients can make a meaningful, and measurable, difference for their chosen causes with advice from their philanthropy experts and programs carefully selected through their UBS Optimus Foundation. UBS increases social impact by combining their expertise with capital and networks.

Together with the UBS Optimus Foundation, their experts offer clients unique access to social and financial innovation and philanthropic advice, as well as tailored program design, co-funding and co-development opportunities. The UBS Optimus Foundation is an award-winning grantmaking foundation that helps their clients use their wealth to drive positive and sustainable social change for children. The Foundation connects clients with inspiring entrepreneurs, new technologies and proven models that make a measureable difference to the world’s most vulnerable children. In 2018, the Foundation’s work helped improve the well-being of 2.8 million children globally. 


UBS on their website considers environmental and social risk (ESR) management critical to their sustainability strategy. their comprehensive ESR framework governs client and supplier relationships and applies firm-wide to all activities, meets the highest industry standards (as recognized by ESG ratings) and is integrated in management practices and control principles. They have set ESR standards pertaining to environmental and human rights topics in product development, investments, financing and supply chain management. UBS have identified certain controversial activities that they will not engage in at all, or only under stringent criteria. As part of this process, they engage with clients and suppliers to better understand their processes and policies, and to explore how any environmental and social risks may be mitigated.


UBS recognizes that their long-term success depends on the health and prosperity of the communities of which they are a part of. They seek to redress disadvantages through long-term investments in education and entrepreneurship. They provide strategic financial commitments and targeted employee volunteering to drive change. 


UBS’s environmental program has a history of more than 20 years and encompasses investments in sustainable real estate and efficient information technology, energy and water efficiency, paper and waste reduction and recycling, the use of environmentally friendly products, such as renewable energy or recycled paper, and business travel and employee commuting reduction. 

“We manage our environmental program through an environmental management system, in accordance with the ISO 14001 standard. In 1999, we were the first bank to obtain this certification for their worldwide environmental management system. The management system covers the entire scope of UBS’s products, services and in-house operations that may give rise to an environmental impact. It is externally audited, on an annual basis with their last recertification taking place in 2017.

Additionally, we have further developed our Environmental and Energy Management System in our European locations in order to be compliant with ISO 50001. We received the first ISO 50001 certification (energy management system standard) in 2017. Our environmental indicators (energy, waste, water, travel and paper) and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data are externally verified on the basis of ISO 14064 standard. These comprehensive audits confirm that appropriate policies and processes are in place to manage environmental issues, and that they are executed in day-to-day practice.” according to the company. 


  • Global Reporting Initiative (user of GRI reporting framework since reporting year 2008) 
  • SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, member of board of directors since 2013)
  • LEED certification
  • ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System (since 1999)
  • ISO 50001 certified Energy Management System (since 2017)
  • ISO 14064-certified Greenhouse gases (since 2004)

Sustainable Development Goals

How company covers SDGs



  • Core sustainable investments rose to USD 488 billion or 13.5% of invested assets at the end of 2019, surpassing a three-year goal ahead of schedule.
  • Carbon-related assets on the balance sheet cut by more than 40% to USD 1.9 billion, or 0.8% of total gross banking products exposure.
  • UBS has already directed USD 3.9 billion of client assets into impact investments related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), making substantial headway on a 2017 WEF goal to mobilize USD 5 billion by the end of 2021.
  • UBS is also well on track to meet its target of reducing the firm’s own greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 by 75% from 2004 levels, with a 71% reduction already achieved in 2019.
  • In 2018, UBS’s GHG footprint reduced by 11%, or 14% per full-time employee, year on year, a total reduction of 63% from baseline year 2004.
  • In 2018, they reduced their energy consumption by 12% compared to 2016 and 25% compared to 2012.
  • Across UBS’s global building portfolio, 13 projects achieved LEED certification in 2018.
  • In 2018, 59% of UBS’s worldwide electricity consumption was sourced from renewable energy. They have already been sourcing electricity from 100% renewable sources in Switzerland since 2007, in Germany since 2012, in the UK, Luxembourg and Austria since 2016 (mainly hydropower and wind power). In 2018, Monaco and their key locations in the US started sourcing renewable energy. 
  • They cut pages printed from 169 million in 2017 to 136 million in 2018 – a reduction of more than 15%. This trend is set to continue, with further cuts of 20 million pages expected next year, bringing total output down to around 30% below 2017 volumes. 
  • In 2018, 51% of waste produced in UBS locations was recycled
  • They reduced their water consumption by 18%, compared to 2016.

UBS’ business model is not based on sustainability. The company appears to be a responsible bank, evolving by taking into account climate change in their management and to do business. They achieved certifications as LEED and ISO certifications, they are recognized in numerous sustainability rating as the DJSI or CDP A list Climate Change, and finally they have received a lot of sustainable awards. Yet, UBS has been involved in tax evasion affairs and has financed extreme fossil fuels with $25.84 B since the Paris Agreement was adopted (2016–2018). It achieves the rating C.


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