The environmental transparency of Swiss real estate funds is to be increased

In the future, Swiss real estate funds will report their environmentally relevant key figures on the basis of uniform and broadly supported data standards. This will improve comparability in terms of environmental and climate compatibility.

On September 30, 2023, the free self-regulation of the Asset Management Association Switzerland (AMAS) in the area of sustainability will come into force. It is mandatory for the member institutions of AMAS as well as other institutions that have joined. AMAS published the environmentally relevant key figures for all Swiss real estate funds for the first time on May 31, 2022. With the self-regulation, AMAS aims to increase transparency towards investors and to create comparability across the different products. In this way, the asset management industry also creates incentives to reduce the carbon footprint of real estate funds and to take measures for better energy efficiency. As part of the AMAS self-regulation on transparency and disclosure for collective assets with sustainability relevance, the environmentally relevant indicators also serve the goal of establishing Switzerland as a leading hub for sustainable finance.

Fundamentals are to be based on a uniform standard

AMAS recommends that providers of Swiss real estate funds always follow the current CO2 report «Methodological Principles» of REIDA (Real Estate Investment Data Association). REIDA's fundamentals are widely supported in the Swiss real estate industry and are considered a uniform methodology for standardized data collection and comparability. «The Climate Change Act mandates an 82% reduction in CO2 emissions in Switzerland by 2040. Swiss real estate is responsible for slightly more than a quarter of Switzerland's total CO2 emissions. Standardized data collection is an indispensable basis for presenting the environmental and climate impact of real estate funds in a comparable way», says Adrian Schatzmann, CEO of AMAS. «The methodological basis to be applied should be as homogeneous as possible for the comparison of energy consumption data and CO2 emissions and should therefore be based on a uniform standard», affirms Stephan Artus, Senior Business Counsel at AMAS.

Implementation has gained momentum

The implementation of the environmentally relevant key figures as part of the self-regulation has gained momentum in the past twelve months. For the first time, the environmentally relevant key figures of real estate portfolios must be published in all annual reports with a closing date on or after December 31, 2023. Some fund management companies have already published the environmentally relevant key figures in the annual reports of their real estate funds. AMAS has taken the feedback received from this as an opportunity to supplement the provisions of May 31, 2022 with a best practice.

AMAS recommends the immediate application of this best practice on environmental key performance indicators to real estate funds. From December 31, 2024, the application is mandatory in all annual reports.