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 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.
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.
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!".
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.
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.
Responsible Investment: The Vontobel Fund (CH) - Ethos Equities Swiss Mid & Small Cap celebrates its 15th anniversary
Launched in December 2004, the Vontobel Fund (CH) – Ethos Equities Swiss Mid & Small Cap invests in small and medium-sized Swiss companies that set high standards in the management of their environmental, social and governance issues. 15 years after its launch, the fund's total assets exceeded CHF 675 million at the end of November 2019.
Building on the success of its first index ESCGI, launched in January 2017, Ethos will be offering a new index allowing investors to favor companies that adhere to best practices in corporate governance and environmental responsibility. In collaboration with SIX, this new index focuses on the 20 largest companies listed on the Swiss stock market.
Ethos welcomes the publication of Boston Common Asset Management's fifth study on climate risk management by the world's major banks. This new study shows that the measures taken by the banks remain largely insufficient. Ethos has participated in this international initiative and is engaging in dialogue on this issue with Swiss banks, urging them to strengthen their commitments to finance the low carbon transition.