Sustainable investment products – our idea and methodology

Vontobel has a tradition of corporate responsibility, from sustainable investment solutions to social engagement and caring for the environment. Its wide range of commitments earns it broad recognition and regular awards.

Vontobel is now opening its investment products (certificates and bonds) business up more to sustainability, a concept with many facets that is defined first and foremost by those who demand it. In principle, it describes efforts to transform the economy into a more ecologically sound, resilient system focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns.

Our understanding of an investment product's sustainability hinges on two main factors: the issuer and the underlying, both of which need to be considered when making an assessment. A product can only be called sustainable if objective criteria confirm that both of these factors at least promote sustainable goals.

Show all sustainable investment products

The issuer

ISS-oekom, a leading ESG research and rating agency with an established rating methodology and a high level of recognition in the marketplace, assessed Vontobel's sustainability performance for the first time in June 2018 and awarded it Prime status. This means that Vontobel is among the top 6% worldwide in a peer group of 44 wealth and asset managers. ISS-oekom analyzes the ESG performance of companies from all over the world, and its rating system is among the most rigorous.

Vontobel is also rated as one of the ten most climate-friendly financial services firms in Switzerland by CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project).

The bank has been climate-neutral since 2009 and is a member of the Corporate Support Group set up by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Vontobel is a pioneer in sustainable investment solutions, having offered them to its clients since the 1990s.

Vontobel as a sustainable issuer

Analyzing the underlying

In-house research by Vontobel Asset Management’s ESG Competence Center helps internal investment teams and external clients alike to determine which underlyings qualify as sustainable. It also offers ESG assessments of specific companies and countries based on a proprietary analysis approach and a sustainable investment universe. Portfolio managers and clients can select stocks from this universe across a wide range of sectors for their investments. The ESG Competence Center's research aims to identify companies that are actively pursuing a "best in class" approach to sustainability and thus gaining a lead over competitors in their industry.

Sustainable underlying analysis by Vontobel

The Vontobel sustainability logo

Our website allows you to filter investment products by sustainability. The following logo denotes sustainability both on our website and in the individual product factsheets:

Filtering investment products in accordance with our sustainability methodology

We believe that investment products can only be sustainable if they allow investors to participate in the rising price of an underlying via a long position, since this is the only way to support the sustainable development linked to the underlying. This means that, if a product has more than one underlying, all must qualify as sustainable. We do not view speculative leverage products and those involving short positions (i.e. where the investor bets on a fall in the price of the underlying) as sustainable. In addition, we do not apply our sustainability methodology to indexes.