A responsible vision
Our ambitions and beliefs
Human progress and economic development over the last century have come at a cost to our natural environment. Population growth and rising standards of living have led to exponential demand for energy and for other natural resources. This has not only caused damage to our biosphere; the Earth’s capacity to regenerate has also been rapidly overstretched.
With the challenges the world is now facing, we need to move swiftly to a more resilient and sustainable economy. For the financial system, we believe this calls for a systemic shift in focus away from exclusively maximising financial returns. Instead, we have to embrace new models that are based on solid science and innovative partnerships and also take account of environmental, social and governance factors in investment decisions and active ownership practices. It also means further developing solutions that redirect capital flows to issuers best positioned to tackle these challenges.
“As an investment-led service company, focusing on long-term objectives allows us to achieve the dual goal of performing for our clients while deploying their capital in a way that accelerates the transition towards a more resilient and responsible economy.”
We have three ambitions before 2025
To significantly reduce the environmental impact of our activities and investments
To fully integrate ESG factors and active ownership into all investment processes
To be a leading provider of responsible products and solutions
How we conduct our activities and manage client assets
10 levers of action
To achieve these ambitions, we have identified 10 levers of action for conducting our own activities and for managing assets on behalf of our clients.
We are convinced that these 10 levers of action will make us better investors and corporate citizens and help us play our part in designing a thriving system for future generations.
As a firm, responsibility starts with what we do with our own assets
As we have full control over our balance sheet, we have committed to portfolio decarbonisation and investing in activities that help speed up the transition to a low-carbon economy. This includes our corporate treasury as well as seed investments.
Our employees are our most crucial asset and a key amplifier when it comes to sustainability and responsible behaviour. We continue to engage with our colleagues on sustainability topics and encourage them to be involved in local actions, especially where we have a strong presence.
In our own business activities we are taking every possible step to cut our carbon footprint by employing the most advanced building technology, reviewing every aspect of our operations and reducing the environmental impacts of our infrastructure and employee mobility.
Three concrete actions
- Our future Campus in Geneva will be constructed to the highest environmental standards and has been designed to meet top building certifications.
- A mindful travel portal will be introduced in 2021 (to enable tracking of employees’ carbon footprint when travelling on business).
- Introduction of a sustainable procurement policy for 100% of suppliers.
As the ultimate “risk capital”, philanthropy can be an important part of tackling some of the world’s most intractable problems. Through our initiatives and supported projects, we seek to stimulate action on environmental and social issues.
We strive to encourage all our stakeholders and partners to implement sustainability and responsible investment. We have therefore signed the UN Principles for Responsible Investment for all business lines, including our pension fund, and committed to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking.
“These 10 levers of action align us with our purpose: to protect, grow and transmit wealth, in every sense, by building responsible partnerships with our clients, colleagues, communities and the companies in which we invest.”
As an investor, our biggest impact lies in how we manage assets on behalf of our clients
We continue to develop investment strategies that provide capital to companies which help to have a positive impact on society or the environment. We also support those companies that plan to mitigate the negative externalities of their products, services, operations and supply chain.
We strive to engage with issuers that fall short of our expectations – either directly or through collaborations with other investors. Where necessary, we will escalate to Board representatives, vote against management or support shareholder resolutions. Depending on the severity of the concern and the issuers’ capacity or willingness to adopt generally accepted standards of best practice, we may choose to sell the investment.
In 2020, we engaged with 227 companies on 272 ESG topics across targeted, collaborative and service provider engagement.
Where relevant data are available, we strengthen reporting on the ESG characteristics of client portfolios and the impact of active ownership activities. Where data are missing, we encourage issuers to report according to international standards.
When relevant, we report on our strategies’ exposure to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Planetary boundaries.
We will use our substantial experience across key environmental and social themes to publish targeted research and help raise awareness and capital for a sustainable transition.
Planetary Boundaries: measuring the business world’s environmental footprint
Working in partnership with the Stockholm Resilience Centre and others, we have devised a way of applying the Planetary Boundaries framework to an investment setting by quantifying the environmental impact for every USD 1 million annual revenue that a business generates.
Climate change: impact of climate change on emerging markets
This research by Pictet Asset Management and Professor Cameron Hepburn and his team at the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment looks at the risks and opportunities emerging economies – and the world more generally – face from climate change. Their insights are based on the latest economic and climate modelling techniques.
Megatrends frameworks and mega.online
Through our partnership with the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies (CIF), we have devised an investment framework that incorporates CIFS’s 14 megatrends. This framework enhances our thematic equity capabilities and informs the construction and development of our thematic equities strategies (e.g. Water, Robotics and SmartCity).
A timeline of Pictet’s environmental achievements
Discover Pictet Group milestones in sustainability.
“As a company that takes a long-term view, we believe we’re accountable for future generations and all causes that wouldn’t be supported if there were no responsible actors in our society.”
Responsibility at Pictet
Our brochures give a full view of the Pictet Group’s approach to sustainability and responsible investing.
Pictet Wealth Management
Pictet Asset Management
Daniel Beltrá and the Prix Pictet
*Daniel Beltrá was born in 1964 in Madrid, Spain. His passion for conservation is evident in images of our environment that are evocatively poignant. In 2011 he received the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award for his work on the Gulf Oil Spill.
The two images published on top of this page were shortlisted for the fourth cycle of the Prix Pictet “Power” in 2012.
Oil Spill #15: A ship motors through oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill caused extensive damage to the marine and wildlife habitats as well as the Gulf’s fishing and tourism industries. 18 May 2010, Gulf of Mexico, United States
“On 20 April 2010, BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven crewmen and injuring seventeen, making it the world’s largest marine oil spill. More than 600 miles of coastline were affected and still show lingering signs of oil and dispersant. Layers of crude oil are spread thick on the ocean floor, radiating far from the wellhead site. Scientists have determined that up to 75 per cent of the oil from BP’s disaster remains in the Gulf environment.” Daniel Beltrá, Oil Spill 1, Gulf of Mexico, United States, 17 June 2010
Daniel’s work has been published by the most prominent international publications, including The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Le Monde, and El País. (Images courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery)
Founded in 2008 by Pictet, the Prix Pictet has become the world’s leading award for photography and sustainability. To date, there have been eight cycles of the award, each of which has highlighted a particular facet of sustainability.