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Our climate strategy: Switching to net-zero emissions

Much has been said about the threat of climate change – what counts today are actions to actually address it. One of the key elements of Julius Baer’s sustainability commitments is our new climate strategy and the concrete action plan on how we want to switch to net-zero emissions, which includes going beyond conventional measures.

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When Yves Bonzon, Julius Baer’s Group Chief Investment Officer, visited the majestic glaciers of Iceland for the first time, he was instantly captivated by the strength and serenity they embodied. That’s when he realised that preserving our nature and its resources should be a top priority for humankind.

His colleague from the Executive Board, Region Head Switzerland & EMEA Yves Robert-Charrue agrees: nobody can keep their eyes shut any longer – climate change is here and real.

To address this huge challenge, Yves Bonzon and Yves Robert-Charrue together with their colleagues from the Executive Board and Yvonne Suter, the Head of Sustainability, have designed and shaped the new Julius Baer climate strategy.

Our new climate strategy
According to the Paris Agreement, global carbon emissions should reach net-zero by 2050 in order to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

To contribute to this global effort, Julius Baer’s new climate strategy is centred on three key objectives: achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in our own operations by 2030; achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions on our treasury, lending and mortgage books by 2050 (this target on lending includes loans to corporate clients only, according to the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials); and empowering our clients to make informed decisions and have a positive impact.

Leading the way in internal carbon pricing
Besides common measures like shifting energy sources to renewable energy, the Bank is ready to go beyond the obvious: Julius Baer is proud to lead the wealth management industry by introducing an internal carbon price of CHF 100 per metric tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) for air travel.

The price is aligned with the recommendations of the UN Global Compact’s call for action on carbon pricing, and designed to incentivise behaviours and decisions leading to the decarbonisation of the global economy. In addition, the funds generated will be deployed to fund further carbon reduction and removal efforts via nature-based solutions and partnerships supporting carbon capture technology.

Empowering clients to have a positive impact
On its treasury, lending and mortgage books, Julius Baer applies a comprehensive engagement approach that focuses on a structured dialogue with emissions-intensive companies that we and our clients invest in.

Finally, to empower clients to have a positive impact, we are continuing to increase transparency on climate-related metrics, and to develop investment solutions that empower clients to contribute to climate change mitigation. All these elements are key to a climate strategy that marks an important milestone in line with our broad commitments on environmental, social and governance topics.

First Swiss wealth manager to adopt the PCAF methodology
Setting targets starts with transparency, which is why Julius Baer became the first Swiss wealth manager to apply and officially support the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) methodology to measure its emissions. This emission accounting measurement forms the basis of the new Julius Baer climate strategy.

Sustainability Report 2021

Our latest Sustainability Report provides an update on the progress we made in 2021, while also giving insights into our sustainability strategy and the road ahead. Together with the Julius Baer Annual Report, Half-Year Report, and Business Review, it is designed to empower our clients, employees, and a broader group of stakeholders to make responsible decisions based on transparent, reliable information.

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