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L’oiseau bleu: talking sustainability through art

Which role do we, individually and collectively, have to play to achieve the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals? And where does Julius Baer stand in its sustainability journey?

As the main partner of the ‘L’oiseau bleu” exhibition at the United Nations in Geneva, we took the time to engage in a dialogue with the project stakeholders, whose diversity illustrates the importance and great potential of cross-sector partnership in the field of sustainability




From June 30, two thought-provoking urban canvases will be displayed on “Tempus”, the temporary building of the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Through this installation, Collectif 1m83 and UNOG are looking to portray a major societal issue: the UN’s call to action to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The 17 SDGs are integrated—they recognise that action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability.

SGD 17: Strengthening partnerships between governments, civil society and the private sector
Conceived by Collectif 1m83 and the Perception Change Project of the UN in Geneva, ‘L’oiseau bleu’ is an installation of five images of birds, taken in the heart of the city, created by the young Japanese photographer Yoshinori Mizutani (*1987). The work symbolises the 17th SDG, which aims to strengthen partnerships between governments, civil society and the private sector for the achievement of the SDGs across the planet. Julius Baer is proud to support this innovative project.


The installation symbolises the 17th SDG, which aims to strengthen partnerships between governments, civil society and the private sector for the achievement of the SDGs across the planet. Julius Baer is proud to support this innovative project.

Committing to the Sustainable Development Goals
Creativity, knowhow, technology and financial resources from all of society are necessary to achieve the SDGs in every context. In this short video, 1m83, the United Nations Geneva (UNOG) and Bank Julius Baer share their views on the importance of the SDGs and how corporations can help to increase awareness around them.

Julius Baer answered this call for action by joining, as founding signatory, the Principles for Responsible Banking, which are a unique framework for ensuring that our strategy and practice align with the SDG. This commitment is mirrored in our company purpose to create value beyond wealth, a purpose that is echoed in our sustainability strategy. In fact, at Julius Baer we empower our clients, employees and further stakeholders to create positive impact, aiming to create together a more equitable future and healthier planet for generations to come.

Yvonne Suter, Head Sustainability & Director of the Sustainability Board: “L’oiseau bleu” represents an invitation to reflect individually on our role in sustainability, both as individuals and as a corporation, and to come together to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This project dovetails with the recent steps we have taken on our sustainability journey at Julius Baer, and with the role we want to play in supporting capital shifts towards a better future. In fact, if 2020 was the year to develop our holistic sustainability framework and sharpen our focus, 2021 is the year to bring this enhanced strategy to life, with the ambition to empower our clients, employees, and other stakeholders to create a positive impact.” 

Didier Schwarz, founder of Collectif 1m83: “To exhibit in a place as emblematic as the United Nations, in this public space, is to address everyone. Through this installation, we wish to create meeting points with visitors, where they do not expect it, and initiate a new dialogue around these themes that concern us all.” 

Emmanuel Debons, Head French-speaking Switzerland, Julius Baer: "We are pleased to partner with an artistic approach that brings together values close to our heart. We were very eager to support this project from the outset as it embodies a commitment that is of particular importance to us in this symbolic location. The call through art to question ourselves individually and then to come together to create a positive impact on our society and our environment strongly echoes Julius Baer’s purpose to create value beyond wealth.” 

Barbara Staubli, Curator of Julius Baer Art Collection: “Art plays a crucial role in society. The questions that artists ask about today’s world and their attempts to illustrate novel aspects permeate our daily life, providing critical inspiration. The presence of art, especially in the public sphere, serve as a conversation starter, which offers people fresh perspectives, encourages dialogue and an exchange of views. We are happy to support the exhibition “L’oiseau bleu” whose images by Japanese artist Yoshinori Mizutani reflect the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” 

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> To learn more about our approach towards sustainability.

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