Zurich, June 10, 1999
Six global financial players launched the Sustainability Investment Partners (SIP) Initiative. The common objective is to develop and explore commercial business projects that advance sustainable development. Member companies have committed to share their international commercial and environmental competence available to companies and projects in which the members invest.
Gerling, the initiators of SIP, has been joined by three other insurance companies, Storebrand of Norway, Swiss Re, and Victoria/Ergo of Germany, and two financial institutions, ING Group of the Netherlands, and Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) of Switzerland.
The first specific project under the initiative is to launch the Sustainability Fund, a venture capital fund that will invest in companies likely to become key players in enabling sustainable growth. The new partnership is also exploring the set up of a Carbon Offset Investment program that can encourage investment in green-house gas-reducing projects, linked possibly to solutions enforcing permits trading. In a third project the partners are exploring project financing in the area of sustainable development, such as geothermal plants or sustainable urban development.
The Sustainability Fund aims at making $100 million available for equity investments in younger companies that both promise outstanding financial performance, and whose sustainable technologies are critical for mainstream companies to sustain long-term profits. The Fund is also open to investors from out-side the SIP network.
"Gerling believes that there are important business opportunities in this sector, especially when we can combine the expertise of such a broad group of leading companies", said Dr. Jrgen Zech, CEO of the Gerling Group, when he announced the initiative at the Annual meeting of the UNEP Insurance Initiative in Oslo. "We have decided to invest in the new Sustainability Fund, because we believe that companies caring for sustainable development are also well-managed."
For further information contact:
Reto Ringger, Managing Director
Sustainable Asset Management
Tel. +41 1 389 11 01