After having defined a consolidated framework for the management of all sustainability-relevant topics in 2014, Julius Baer has taken a structured approach to the integration of corporate sustainability into the daily life of the Group, with various initiatives launched in 2015 and built upon in 2016.
A wide range of topics being addressed
Recognising the multitude of fundamental shifts taking place in society and the environment, the international community in late 2015 defined a set of 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs came into effect on 1 January 2016 and call for involvement and participation of the private sector in solving the most pressing social and environmental issues the world is facing. Julius Baer is already undertaking a variety of steps that contribute to the SDGs – a summary of which can be found in the Corporate Sustainability Report 2016.
The strongest area of impact is the integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into our investment decision process and ownership practices. To underpin our commitment to the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), in 2016, the work on the integration of ESG criteria was moved from project phase into a formal Responsible Investment programme, with a dedicated Board chaired by Philipp Rickenbacher, Head Advisory Solutions.
Caring for our clients, staff, and the world around us
During 2016, we progressively broadened the depth of implementation of sustainability topics within our core business and beyond. The Corporate Sustainability Report 2016, compiled according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework, gives an overview of the different activities and initiatives in place.
The report is structured along the topics of sustainability in our business, social responsibility and caring for the environment. It presents Julius Baer’s corporate sustainability strategy and how it takes shape in our daily business, be it with regard to the process of investment analysis and selection, corporate governance, compliance and risk management or procurement. In addition, the document highlights how Julius Baer takes care of its most important asset: its employees. Addressed topics include, among others, health protection, training and development, performance management and diversity.
Giving active support to social causes has always been an important part of our Group’s culture. The report therefore also gives an update on our different community engagements: the Julius Baer Foundation (the formal philanthropic arm of the Group), Julius Baer Cares (the employee-run community engagement organisations), as well as the Julius Baer Art Collection and various sponsoring activities.
Furthermore, our efforts to proactively manage the company’s ecological footprint are explained in detail, including how we are working to meet the goals set for 2015 to 2020, specific measures conducted during 2016, and our continuous commitment to carbon-neutrality by purchasing offsetting certificates through South Pole Group.
At the end of the report, in the Facts and Figures section, quantitative economic, social and environmental indicators show the development within the Julius Baer Group. They are being tracked on an annual basis, intending to see improvement in line with the set goals.
You can read the Julius Baer Corporate Sustainability Report 2016 in full here.