Photograph: The signing ceremony of the Zug Declaration on 30st October, 2017, in the Old Theatre in Zug, during the Impact Investing Summit 2017. (Photo: Credits to C. Scalici)

The Zug Declaration launched at
Impact Investing Summit Zug

On 30st October, 2017 the Zug Declaration was launched during a signing ceremony at the Impact Investing Summit Zug. Over a dozen leading Swiss foundations and supporting organisations had been selected as first signatories. More foundations are continously joining the Declaration. With the signing by an Argentinian NGO the Zug Declaration is also represented abroad

About the Zug Declaration

The Zug Declaration is a call for action for Swiss charitable foundations to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, with their financial capital. Conventionally, charitable foundations use the returns from their financial assets to fund grants or operational activities. However, the way their sometimes very large assets are invested also has an impact on society and the environment. Thus, by tracking the impact of their invested endowments, by aligning their invested financial capital to the SDGs, and by integrating sustainability and impact investing principles into their investment activities charitable foundations can significantly increase their positive impact – and taking on a leadership role for other asset owners and financial institutions.

Who can join the Zug Declaration?

Every organisation that shares the values and the vision of the Zug Declaration can join by signing the Declaration. The Zug Declaration addresses Swiss based charities and charitable foundations. Other organisations, however, are very welcome to join as endorsers and supporters.

Organisations based outside Switzerland can join the Zug Declaration, too.

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The Zug Declaration

Putting Charitable Foundations’ Financial Capital to Work for the SDGs

The roadmap to a sustainable world

In a time of unprecedented challenges to sustainable social and environmental development on our planet, the United Nations agreed on the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, in 2000. Fifteen years later, the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, have been adopted, building upon and continuing the MDGs. The SDGs aim at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all.

These goals cannot be achieved in isolation by any single institution. Every government and every individual, the private sector and all types of civil society organisations are required to act.

The role of the charitable foundations sector

Charitable foundations and associations and other like-minded organisations have a particular role to play here. As part of civil society, they have given themselves the mission to better the world, each in their respective field. However, with their large financial asset base, they are also part of the global economy and thus deeply impact the world through their investments. They recognise that their missions have to go beyond their conventional awarding of grants or operational activities. They can and have to also make use of their financial assets as a lever for furthering the SGDs. This also creates the opportunity to avoid conflicts between investments and their mission and, beyond this, to align investments and their mission. By integrating sustainability and impact investing into its investment activities, the charitable foundations sector can therefore significantly increase its positive impact on society and the environment – and take on a leadership role for other asset owners and financial institutions.

A call for action to the charitable foundations sector

This is why we, the endorsing charitable foundations, associations and other like-minded organisations, call upon the Swiss charitable foundations sector to use all its resources, in particular its financial capital, to work towards the achievement of the SDGs. We ask the charitable foundations and associations comprising the sector to leverage the power of their financial assets by including sustainability and impact investing in their investment activities. In doing so, we recognise that every organisation faces specific challenges and circumstances and that each of them will find its individual approach towards this aim.

This declaration complements and furthers existing codes and best practices, and it has been developed based on a consultation process with charitable foundations leading the field in sustainability and impact investing.

Our commitment

We, the endorsing charitable foundations and associations and other like-minded organisations, commit to guiding our own financial capital towards the achievement of the SDGs. In particular, we resolve to include sustainability principles in our investment policies, and we strive to proactively make a contribution towards the SDGs by integrating impact investing in our investment activities. In order to facilitate the implementation of this declaration, we promote collaboration and the sharing of best practices among other organisations.

The first signatories

Our first signatories

WWF Switzerland
The Gold Standard Foundation
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation
1to4 Foundation
Emergency Switzerland Foundation
Porini Foundation
Solidar Suisse
Stiftung Silviva
Stiftung Ulmus
The Esperare Foundation

Foundations & Sustainability
Venture South International


A number of media reported on the signing of the Zug Declaration, and on the Impact Investing Summit, during which it took place.


Kongress soll nachhaltiges Investieren fördern 
Luzerner Zeitung, 30st October, 2017 
(link only)

Zuger_Zeitung.png Kongress soll nachhaltiges Investieren fördern
Zuger Zeitung, 30st October, 2017
(as link)
ZD_Oct17_-_ARC_Titelblatt.png The Zug Declaration
(special insert in the official conference book and guidelinces of the Faith in Finance meeting)

(as link)
ZD_Oct17_-_DS_Titelblatt.png "Zug Declaration" verabschiedet
Die Stiftung Schweiz 2/17, p 12
ZD_Oct17_-_Zug4You_Titelblatt.png Zug Impact Summit "Faith in Finance"
(as link)
ZD_Oct17_-_Porini_Foundation_Logo.png Declaration of Zug
(as link)
ZD_Oct17_-_PFS_Titelblatt.png Zug Declaration promotes sustainable investment
(as link)



Photo description embedded in file name.

Zug_Declaration_Signing_30Oct17_-_Photo_Signing_Ceremony_-_Credits_C_Scalici.JPG Download

First signatories
Zug_Declaration_Signing_30Oct17_-_Photo_with_signatories_and_minister_M_Michel_-_Credits_C_Scalici.jpg Download


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