Swiss association
for responsible
investments

Questions, Answers, Quintessences

Here you will find answers to your questions as well as interesting facts about SVVK – ASIR services.

 

Why are nuclear weapons not excluded?

According to the agreement on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, SVVK-ASIR makes a distinction between nuclear weapon and non-nuclear weapon states. The former are sanctioned to develop, produce and store nuclear weapons, while non-nuclear weapon states are prohibited from performing these same activities. As Switzerland is a non-nuclear-weapon state, nuclear weapons are prohibited to all Swiss companies as per the Swiss Munitions Act. However, an American or French arms manufacturer is allowed to produce and sell nuclear weapons as long as they are not delivered to a non-nuclear weapon state. Therefore, the SVVK-ASIR only recommends the exclusion of arms manufacturers that produce nuclear weapons in a non-nuclear weapon state or that sell them to non-nuclear weapon states.

 

On what sources of information are exclusion recommendations of banned weapons based?

SVVK-ASIR collaborates with the research company ISS Ethix in order to form its recommenda-tions to exclude manufacturers of banned weapons. ISS Ethix employs a team of specialists with many years of experience in the armaments sector who have the detailed knowledge of the various weapons programs, and who have access to relevant sources of information. The analysis results are then monitored for plausibility internally and by other external sources before being discussed by the executive board. 

 

Why are companies that abuse human rights or cause environmental damage not excluded?

The association has identified a number of companies that exhibit systematic and potentially se-rious violations of normative criteria. A dialogue is sought with these companies in a first step, which can last for a period of up to three years. If this process does not lead to an improvement in the behavior of the company or the company refuses a dialogue, SVVK-ASIR then considers an exclusion. The association provides no information to the company during this phase of the dialogue. 

 

Why are companies with high CO2 emissions (Paris Convention) not recommended for exclusion?

The association bases its recommendations on applicable Swiss law and international conven-tions that have been ratified by Switzerland. In September, the Swiss Federal Council submitted the climate agreement for consultation. The outcome of the consultation process will determine how the Swiss Federal Council is to draw up a bill, which will then be discussed and approved in parliament. The submission is subject to referendum. Should an amendment to the existing laws and regulations impact investments in companies with high CO2 emissions, this would be re-flected in the screening criteria of SVVK-ASIR. 

 

What asset classes are covered by SVVK-ASIR?

The stock and bond holdings of portfolios are reviewed according to the normative criteria of SVVK-ASIR.

 

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