More than 70% of pension fund members in Switzerland want their schemes to apply sustainability criteria when selecting investments, according to a survey commissioned by RobecoSAM.

Approximately 40% of the 1,200 participants surveyed said they would be willing to sacrifice returns in exchange for sustainable investments, with 20% of that number willing to give up as much as half the return. 

More than 70% of respondents said they were convinced the application of ESG criteria would lead to more cautious investment decisions and probably even better ones.

Roughly the same percentage of participants said they would even be in favour of making it legally mandatory for Pensionskassen to apply certain sustainability criteria.

The survey also found that participants now require more transparency from Pensionskassen with respect to their investments, as well as more in-depth analyses of portfolios according to ESG criteria.

The vast majority of respondents also welcomed the Swiss National Bank’s announcement that it would sell the bonds of “ethically questionable” companies it held in its portfolio until earlier this year.

RobecoSAM said awareness of sustainable investments increased in conjunction with respondents’ age and education levels.