# 2 / 2023

Business guidelines – financial flows and a sustainable economy (sustainable finance)

The topic of sustainable finance is rapidly gaining in importance for Switzerland. As a leading business and financial centre, Switzerland can make a major contribution to the global transition through sustainable finance, with sustainability and sustainable finance being one of the most important opportunities for the Swiss economy. The Swiss economy is setting six guidelines in order to take advantage of sustainable finance while also addressing any challenges.

Executive summary

According to a survey by Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF), the volume of sustainable investments grew again by about 30 per cent year-on-year to more than 1.9 trillion Swiss francs in 2021. At the sustainable fund level, the volume rose to about 800 billion Swiss francs and now accounts for 53 per cent of the entire Swiss fund market. Almost half of respondents also stated that sustainable investments now account for more than 90 per cent of their assets under management (AuM).

Although sustainable finance can only complement adequate framework conditions and sustainable behaviour in business and society, there is great potential to strengthen sustainable economic activity through specific financial flows and to raise the general awareness of the economy to bring about market-driven sustainability. At the same time, however, this process also poses significant challenges, such as the availability, quality and transparency of sustainable finance and investment opportunities, inflationary transaction costs, and administrative expenses related to monitoring, reporting and reviewing business activities according to tax requirements. Moreover, sustainable finance is often associated primarily with the financial sector, but the interactions and effects within the overall economy are also of great relevance. This is particularly true for Switzerland as a strong financial and real economy location.

Positions of economiesuisse

In order to best take advantage of sustainable finance while also addressing any challenges, the Swiss economy sets itself the following guidelines:

  1. Consider ecological, economic and social sustainability holistically.
  2. Take a market and evidence-based approach; no prohibitive mindset.
  3. Improve transparency and comparability in an efficient and streamlined manner and minimise transaction costs.
  4. Improve framework conditions for assets and investments.
  5. Be internationally ambitious and coordinated, while remaining confident and independent.
  6. Strengthen cooperation between the financial and real economy.

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