Beyond adhering to the industry-leading standard established by third parties, Pictet also uses its influence to forge change.

Using our influence to enact change

For Pictet, being a responsible investor means going beyond the steps we have taken for our client’s investments and our operations, and using our influence to enact change through advocacy and partnerships. We see this as a crucial part of our strategy because we are part of a system we need to influence.

Our advocacy efforts are focused on areas which are particularly material to us, and on which we can bring expertise to provide valuable inputs to our partners.

Our advocacy partnerships

The Swiss Market

Pictet has a strong commitment to raising awareness in the Swiss market on ESG and sustainability issues, and help make it a strong centre for responsible investing. Our main involvement includes:

  • Swiss Sustainable Finance: Pictet was a founding member of SSF and co-leads workstreams for the association that promotes the integration of sustainability in the financial industry. In particular, it aims to make Switzerland a leading worldwide centre for sustainable finance.
  • Building Bridges: Pictet is a leading voice in the Building Bridges initiative, notably through its work with Fondation Genève Place Financière and Sustainable Finance Geneva. The movement aims to drive more capital to the SDGs through cross-cutting dialogue throughout the year culminating in a high-level summit and week.

The Environment

Beyond broad sustainability advocacy, Pictet has a strong commitment to tackling the climate crisis and the broader environmental issues caused by humans. This is why we have made a dual commitment in 2021 to the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative and the Science-Based Targets initiative to set interim and long-term decarbonisation targets to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

These commitments are supported by our long-standing membership in Climate Action 100+, a coalition of investors that engage the 167 most emitting companies in the world to help them reduce their GHG emissions – this allows to support the transition for over 80% of global industrial emissions. Within CA100+, we have targeted our efforts by taking a particularly active role in the engagements with Glencore and OMV.

We have been part of the Institutional Investor Group for Climate Change (IIGCC) since 2013. We are also strong supporters of Ceres, a leading environmental NGO in North-America notably around the topic of water. In particular, we are currently using our voice to push for the creation of an investor coalition to engage companies on broader environmental topics, such as adaptation and resilience, biodiversity or water, all of which are inherently interlinked.

Finally, we are members of FAIRR, an investor network focused on ESG risks in the global food sector, in which we have been an active signatory of several investor letters.

Society

Whilst Pictet’s strategic focus has been on environmental issues, partly as a result of our product expertise and of scientific consensus on the global goals, societal issues have nonetheless been important in our advocacy and partnerships. This is why we spearheaded an industry initiative with SSF to remove controversial weapons manufacturers from mainstream benchmarks and indices in 2019, as they are banned by international conventions and should not be investable. In fact, they have been excluded them from our own investments since 2011. The initiative closed in May 2021 with the following notable results:

  • Benchmark administrators seeking to have their benchmarks labelled as EU Climate Transition or EU Paris-aligned must exclude companies involved in any activities related to controversial weapons.
  • Three delegated regulations were published specifying new sustainability-driven disclosure rules for benchmark statements and methodologies, including disclosure on the weighted average percentage of benchmark constituents in the controversial weapons sector (and the source used to define controversial weapons).
  • The three European authorities published their final report and draft RTS on disclosures under SFDR, which includes specific clauses on disclosures around controversial weapons investments.

Pictet joined the Access to Nutrition initiative (ATNI) in 2018, an initiative that focuses on developing tools and initiatives that track and drive the contributions made by the 25 largest food & beverage companies to addressing the world’s global nutritional challenges. At Pictet, we leverage ATNI to take an active role in collaborative engagements on the nutritional value of these companies’ products, their commitment to providing affordable nutrition, and the responsibility of their marketing practices.

Pictet is also a member of the UN Global Compact, an organisation calling companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals. This is particularly important as we place a specific focus on engaging with companies that violates on of the UNGC principles.

Finally, Pictet has been steadily improving its diversity and inclusion, notably through the obtention of the EDGE certification, the leading global assessment methodology for gender and intersectional equity. It measures where organisations stand in terms of representation, pay equity, effectiveness of policies & practices to ensure equitable career flows, and inclusiveness of the culture. Efforts to continue improvement in this area are ongoing.

Global frameworks, transparency and robust data

Pictet recognises the importance of supporting global frameworks that allow investors and companies alike to strive towards common goals. This is why we are an official supporter of the Paris Agreement, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Global Compact and the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

Pictet is also an early signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investing in 2007, which commits us to integrating ESG criteria in our investment processes and ownership practices with a view to enhancing returns and/or mitigating risks. We also aim to embed ESG in our risk management and reporting tools to maintain high standards of transparency and accountability. We are also signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking since 2019, which provide a framework that serves as an important and complementary next step to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment. This framework focuses on the types of products and solutions provided to clients and how these ultimately create value for clients as well as for all other stakeholders. This is an essential step on the road towards a more sustainable financial system.

UN Principles for Responsible Banking: 2021 reporting

Transparency is only as good as the data that is displayed - we are  committed to improving its quality across the board, especially where it is not abundant. As  private markets represent a growing allocation in client portfolios, we see this as an area where standards and convergence need to be developed and strengthened. This is why we have participated in the creation of the ESG Data Convergence Project in Private Equity to advance an initial standardised set of ESG metrics and mechanisms for comparative reporting, in collaboration with leading global General Partners (GPs) and Limited Partners (LPs) representing more than USD 4 trillion in assets under management. The objective is to streamline the private equity industry’s historically fragmented approach to collecting and reporting ESG data to create a critical mass of material, performance-based, comparable ESG data from portfolio companies.

Recent actions

2021

  • Pictet signed the IIGCC Global Investor Statement to Governments ahead of COP
  • Pictet signed the “Where is the beef” initiative ahead of COP, aimed at G20 nations to promptly enact ambitious policies and disclose effective targets for GHG reductions in agriculture
  • Pictet signed 4 engagement letters addressed to EY, KPMG, Deloitte, and PwC to ask them to include net zero considerations in a more systematic ways in their audits.
  • Pictet participated in the SBTi Principles for Net Zero for FIs consultation paper and workshop, as well as exchanged on the needs and challenges faced by institutions such as Pictet.
  • Pictet reviewed and approved the IIGCC consultation response on the PCAF new methodologies for green bonds, sovereign bonds, and avoided emissions

2022

  • Pictet gave substantial feedback to the IIGCC consultation on Offsetting Principles
  • Pictet joined the UN Global Compact
  • Pictet reviewed and approved Swiss Banking’s response to BCBS consultation on the principles for managing and supervising climate-related financial risks
  • Pictet signed the FAIRR collective engagement on managing biodiversity and climate risks in aquafeed targeting some of the largest salmon producers
  • Pictet signed the FAIRR collective engagement on labour risks in the global meat supply chains

Public policy and industry associations

Going beyond our advocacy, Pictet participates in the relevant industry associations. Through these memberships, Pictet takes part in relevant working groups to shape self-regulation and answer public consultations around ESG topics. Pictet staff is sometimes asked to act as experts in government working groups. Some of these associations are extremely active around ESG topics, like Swiss Banking, BVI, AMAS, and EFAMA. Pictet’s conviction is that we should increase transparency around ESG metrics in the market and align around commonly agreed metrics on which we should all report.

Responsibility at Pictet

Our brochures give a full view of the Pictet Group’s approach to sustainability and responsible investing.