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When we talk about responsible citizenship at Julius Baer, we are referring to four things in particular: our efforts to ensure a positive, inclusive workplace; giving back to the communities in which we operate; innovating for a better and greener future; and ensuring proper conduct and risk management.
A caring employer
Julius Baer’s ambition to be the employer of choice in the wealth management industry is greatly supported by our work culture, which brings out the best in people. We practice our corporate value ‘care’ to create a happy, healthy, and inclusive workplace.
To ascertain and ensure employee satisfaction, we conduct regular employee engagement surveys. As a follow-up of our first global survey in 2019, we added bi-monthly pulse surveys in 2020. These are designed to be less comprehensive but more responsive, and include questions about whether employees would recommend Julius Baer as a place to work, their satisfaction with our work environment, and our core values. Considering the significant disruption experienced by colleagues and their families in 2020 due to the pandemic, we are very proud of the fact that the highest employee engagement score to date was achieved during that year.
As an employer, we are also committed to encouraging and respecting diversity and inclusion irrespective of gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnic group, religion, or disability. Throughout our entire organisation, we believe that these practices lead to better decision-making, improve our ability to innovate, increase employee satisfaction and retention, make us more attractive to potential employees, and ultimately, have a positive impact on our results.
- Our Board of Directors consists of 40% women.
- Based on a recent global employee survey, we outperform our sector for employee engagement levels.
- The average number of training sessions per employee was up by 18% in 2020.
A community partner
We work in partnership with local organisations to support social and environmental causes, either directly as a sponsor, or through our employee-led engagement movement JB Cares, the Julius Baer Foundation, or our Julius Baer Art Collection.
Our employee-led giving and volunteering network, JB Cares, enables our people to dedicate time and resources to causes they care about. In 2020, the network launched a COVID-19 fundraising initiative, with the Julius Baer Foundation matching employee contributions. COVID-19 relief donations continued into 2021, including contributions to emergency aid programmes providing immediate support for frontline responders, and to programmes for those affected long term by the impact of the pandemic.
We also encourage our employees to volunteer by offering them two paid days per year to engage in local community projects and fundraisers.
- +CHF 8.59 million in community giving in 2020.
- The Julius Baer Foundation supports projects around the world to tackle ‘Wealth Inequality’ and to contribute to ‘Solutions Replacing Plastics’, in line with our strategic focus on addressing the underuse of human resources and the overuse of natural resources.
- The Julius Baer Art Collection contains 5000 pieces of art. It promotes the visual arts in Switzerland by supporting young emerging artists and acquiring their work. This art is displayed in Julius Baer’s meeting rooms, staff restaurants, offices, foyers, and corridors around the globe.
Conserving natural resources
We recognise how imperative it is to conserve natural resources and reduce emissions across our operations.
Julius Baer therefore introduced an environmental management framework and online monitoring tool to help keep us on track in meeting our targets. During the last seven years, we have also steadily increased the scope and rigour of our environmental data collection.
While 2020 and 2021 have been exceptional and challenging years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have substantially decreased water consumption, paper use, and waste in this environment, and are committed to further optimising our use of resources. Going forward, we will also further increase our commitment to carbon reduction with a new climate strategy, which will include a net-zero target.
- Our operations have been carbon-neutral since 2015.
- Our Swiss offices are powered with 100% renewable energy.
- We have numerous green offices, including those in the pioneering LEED Platinum building in Dubai and our new São Paulo office, which is located in one of Latin America’s first LEED-platinum-certified buildings. Our Singapore office has Green Mark Platinum and LEED Platinum certification.
Conduct and risk
Due to rapidly evolving sustainability regulations, ethical conduct and robust risk management and compliance are more business-critical today than ever. Maintaining our reputation for integrity is thus key, which is why our commitment in this area is ongoing and backed by rigorous policies and processes that define and monitor ethical conduct. In 2020, for example, we revised and re-published our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct to reflect the current operating environment and Group strategic objectives. The Code of Ethics and Business Conduct is supported by a comprehensive financial crime policy framework.
As we pursue our strategy and business, Julius Baer is exposed to risks that may have an impact on our financial, business, regulatory, and reputational standing. Managing sustainability and reputational issues has become increasingly important, as we – and our clients – face growing economic, environmental, and societal challenges. We manage these risks in accordance with the Group’s risk management and risk tolerance frameworks.
- All 6500+ employees have signed the Code of Ethics and Business Conduct
- +CHF 150 million invested in risk management systems (2016–2020).
- We are fully committed to meeting the requirements and expectations related to ESG risks.