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ESG Sustainability at Investment Manager level

Sustainability at Investment Manager level

Independent – entrepreneurial – committed

This is what distinguishes Bellevue Asset Management AG, the delegated Investment Manager and administrator of BB Biotech. As an authorized manager of collective assets regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA, Bellevue Asset Management is fully owned by Bellevue Group AG, an independent financial boutique listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Bellevue Asset Management reports as follows:

Environmental practices

Within the framework of our work processes, we attach importance to environmentally friendly practices and ensure this in particular with the following measures:

CO2 emissions

Bellevue Group was certified as a climate-neutral company by the independent specialist ‹Swiss Climate AG› for the second time in 2022 (based on 2021 values). By purchasing CO2 emission certificates in the amount of the greenhouse gas emissions emitted each year, we support projects that save the same amount of emissions. Bellevue has selected a project focusing on «Climate protection and sustainable management in the Swiss forest» for climate neutrality in 2021 and 2022. The project ensures CO2 storage and sustainable management of 7 279 hectares of forest in the canton of Schwyz. This protects the climate, preserves biodiversity in the Swiss forest and enables the production of energy wood for renewable energy production.

Target 2030: As part of the certification process, Bellevue Group has set a reduction target of 30% of emissions per FTE by 2030. The CO2 emissions in 2020 adjusted for COVID-19 effects serve as a basis.

Measurement of environmental indicators

The environmental indicators were calculated for the second time in 2022 on the basis of the 2021 financial year. The updated values will be published in the following year.

Total emissions (in t CO2)






Change in %

CO2-emissions scope 1 1)







CO2-emissions scope 2 2)







Co2-emissions scope 3 3)







Total CO2-emissions







CO2-emissions/full-time position







1 Scope 1: Direct greenhouse gas emissions

2 Scope 2: Indirect energy-related greenhouse gas emissions

3 Scope 3: Energy supply (energy-related emissions not received in scope 1 or 2): business travel (external vehicles), commuting, IT equipment, paper, print jobs, waste, water

Source: CO2 Report for Bellevue Group AG issued by Swiss Climate AG (2021, 2022)

Total emissions at a glance

The 2020 balance with normalized data in the categories commuting and business flights will be used as a reference balance to assess the efficiency of the measures implemented as part of the climate policy and to verify improvements in the CO2 balance.

Total emissions (in t CO2)


Base year*






Change in % 2020/2021

Business trips




































IT equipment (computers, laptops, monitors, cell phones, phones, tablets)



























Paper and printing









Total emissions









Emissions Total / FTE (t CO2/FTE)









* Base year: 2020 adjusted for COVID-19 effects (travel / home office).

Source: CO2 Report for Bellevue Group AG issued by Swiss Climate AG (2021, 2022)

Bellevue Group’s business operations include four focus areas related to CO2 emissions: Business travel, commuting, heating and electricity. These account for 93% of emissions. The effects of the measures against COVID-19 proliferation are particularly evident in business travel. Air travel and commuting account for over 85% of CO2 emissions in a normalized year. Since air travel has been limited since March 2020 and the home office recommendation/mandatory massively reduced commuting, CO2 emissions in 2020 decreased by about 65% due to COVID-19. From 2022, significantly more business travel is expected again.

We consider good corporate practices, a binding framework for our organization, and social considerations to be indispensable success factors.

Energy consumption

At Bellevue Group’s headquarters in Küsnacht, where the vast majority of the Investment Management Team of BB Biotech is based, the building is heated and cooled with natural lake water.

When procuring electricity-operated equipment such as personal computers, monitors, printers, etc., we pay attention to the use of energy-efficient devices. Where possible, energy consumption controls are programmed to automatically switch IT components to standby mode, either individually or in groups, according to predefined time patterns. The buildings are only lit when they are in use. We use additional energy consumers such as air conditioners or radiators only when necessary and switch them off again immediately after use.

Transportation and mobility

Our locations are very easy to reach by public transport. Employees are motivated to travel by public transport. The company supports this through financial support by providing a half-fare Travelcard of Swiss public transport free of charge to all employees. Parking spaces are not subsidized and are charged at full market rates.

Due to our global investment strategies and distribution activities with employees at different locations, international contacts are important. All office locations have a video conferencing infrastructure. Most of the meetings are through telephone and video conferencing as a substitute for physical meetings to limit travel. Where possible and appropriate, we substitute air travel with public transportation such as train travel and coordinate joint site visits.

The executive management board is regularly informed about the travel activities of all employees.

Goal 2023: Further reduce CO2 emissions by car and plane to meet the overall CO2 target by 2030.

Procurement process

When procuring materials, furniture, food, etc., we consider local suppliers and local products whenever possible. Likewise, when selecting suppliers and service providers, their environmental practices are taken into account. In the procurement of furniture and other office materials, attention is paid to durability.

Goal 2023: In 2023, as part of the stakeholder engagement process, a survey will be carried out with external suppliers and service providers, among others, in order to increase our understanding of their procurement processes and assess the adequacy of their sustainability management.

Waste management and recycling

Systems are in place at all office locations to collect and recycle a wide range of materials, including cardboard, PET, glass, paper, batteries and IT equipment. We separate waste and dispose of it properly. We take care at the procurement stage to avoid excessive waste or other unnecessary environmental impact (e.g. use of washable dishes instead of disposable cups/plates). In addition, water filtering devices are installed to reduce PET bottle consumption. Paper consumption is a significant resource for a service company. We take appropriate measures to ensure that paper consumption is constantly reduced and can be replaced by other means (e.g. customer presentations on notebooks/tablets instead of printed handouts, video calls for customer meetings, annual reports printed on FSC paper, shipping only on request). Print programs are initialized so that printouts are two-page and black and white by default.

Key climate-relevant memberships

In 2022 Bellevue Group was awarded the Swiss Climate Label «CO2 neutral» for the second consecutive time. In addition, Bellevue Asset Management entered into a partnership with Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) to support its mission to strengthen Switzerland’s position as a leading voice and player in the field of sustainable finance and thus contribute to a sustainable and prosperous economy.



The recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) introduce uniform and transparent rules for disclosing the financial climate risks of economic actors.

We are currently working to identify and assess climate-related risks that may impact our business activities. In the coming years we are planning to revise and expand our reporting on climate-related factors.

The recommendations are structured around four thematic areas that represent core elements of how organizations operate: governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets.





Risk Management


Metrics & Targets


Disclose the organization’s governance around climate-related risks and opportunities.


Disclose the actual and potential impacts of climate-related risks and opportunities on the organization’s businesses, strategy, and financial planning where such information is material.


Disclose how the organization identifies, assesses, and manages climate-related risks.


Disclose the metrics and targets used to assess and manage relevant climate-related risks and opportunities where such information is material.


Source: TCFD, 2022


Climate-related opportunities and risks could potentially influence all areas of BB Biotech and its business – both in terms of our own business activities and the portfolio companies. Therefore the ultimate responsibility for this topic lies with BB Biotech’s Board of Directors and its dedicated Sustainability and Governance Committee (SGC).

The Investment Management Team is responsible for the implementation of the investment strategy with a focus on sustainability topics as well as overarching principles and policies.


BB Biotech recognizes that a contribution towards the realization of the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement is required. This can be achieved through the way in which we structure our portfolio. We analyse and manage climate-related risks and show how they influence our investment decisions. As a biotech investor, we naturally apply sector exclusions for controversial industries (e.g. fracking/oil sands, etc.), engage in an active dialogue with the companies or other stakeholders regarding their climate strategy, and exercise our voting rights.

At an operational level, we disclose the emissions resulting from our own business activities in our Sustainability Report. We are planning to develop our climate strategy and implement TCFD recommendations in the future. BB Biotech considers sustainability risks to be a critical element of its risk management practices.

Climate Risk Management

Risks arising from disruptions and shifts that indirectly affect BB Biotech, e.g. through the introduction of climate policy measures involving a transition to a low-carbon economy (e.g. CO2 levies, emissions or energy efficiency standards, or restrictions on «unsustainable» industries such as coal or oil), securely changing consumer sentiment or disruptive technological breakthroughs.

Metrics and targets

BB Biotech and the Investment Manager endorses the goals of the Paris climate agreement adopted in December 2015 and supports measures to mitigate global warming. Carbon intensity is measured at the portfolio level at least on a quarterly basis and these readings are compared with the relevant investment universe or the respective fund’s benchmark.

Bellevue has been purchasing electricity from renewable sources for its Swiss locations – either directly or otherwise indirectly through regional Guarantees of Origin and is further formalizing the net-zero climate strategy. Goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our business operations to net zero by 2050.

Social practices

Employees are the most important asset for the long-term success of BB Biotech and the Investment Manager. We foster a strong entrepreneurial culture with flat hierarchies, a high level of personal responsibility and flexibility in terms of working hours, workload and location.

The respectful and responsible attitude towards employees is reflected both in the daily mutual exchange and in regular institutionalized employee appraisals. These provide the framework for personal assessment and planning of further development. We support targeted training and further education both ideally and materially, thus enabling employees to benefit from a conducive and stimulating learning environment.

The health and safety of our employees and all people affected by our business activities is our top priority. As an employer, we can have a significant impact on the health of our employees through various measures and support them in remaining healthy and motivated in the long term. We promote motivation and health through various measures. At our headquarters in Switzerland we offer an annual subscription to a professional medical gym and other subsidized sport activities. Every year, employees are also offered free vaccination such as against influenza or against tick borne encephalitis.

Bellevue Group








Average length of service of employees


6.7 years


6.4 years


5.7 years


Average age


45.1 years


45 years


44.5 years


Part-time employees








Employee turnover
















Investment Management Team








Average length of service of employees


8.3 years


9.8 years


8.8 years


Average age


43.9 years


45.5 years


44.5 years


Part-time employees








Employee turnover








The added value that BB Biotech generates for its investors is inextricably linked to the professional competence, motivation and high level of identification of the Investment Management Team. Accordingly, we place great emphasis on the careful selection of suitable talent. The suitability of a candidate is usually assessed over several selection stages and assessments. In addition to professional competence, soft skills such as the ability to work in a team and compatibility with corporate values are also assessed. From the employees’ point of view, the manageable size of the company and the resulting personal contacts are a key success factor. Criteria such as age, origin and gender must not lead to discrimination.

Bellevue recruited a total of 15 employees and 6 interns in 2022 across all locations and had a total of 96.9 FTE as at December 31, 2022. The Investment Management Team for BB Biotech recruited 3 individuals in 2022 (12.2 FTE as at December 31, 2022).

Employee development and retention

The development of our employees is of central importance and an integral part of the Sustainability Plan 2030. Lifelong learning is becoming increasingly important. The company organization is designed to enable employees to develop and use their respective professional talents in the best interests of the company’s stakeholders, the company and the employee, always taking into account the family and personal environment (e.g. part-time work, IT setup for home office, support for training and development).

Under the supervision of the HR department, employees are offered a wide range of professional development opportunities as well as career and succession planning as part of Bellevue’s onboarding and induction process and education and talent management program. The regular institutionalized employee appraisals provide a framework for assessing personal performance and planning further development.

All Bellevue employees are regularly required to complete e-learning modules in the area of cyber security. In addition, employees will receive further training on the topic of sustainability, including presentations by external experts.

15 employees completed external training in 2022.

Employee engagement

Bellevue conducted a Group-wide employee survey for the first time in 2022. This was carried out in collaboration with an independent research institute5. The aim was to survey employee satisfaction and identify the need for improvement.

The results were discussed in the executive management board as well as at the Board of Directors and shared with employees. As a next step, areas of action to be worked on to achieve improvements are being defined.

The response rate was 73% which is in line with industry expectations.

Target for next employee survey, which will be conducted in 2025: Bellevue has set itself the goal of increasing the response rate to 80% and maintaining the commitment/engagement value at the current high level.

The extent to which employees are willing to go the extra mile for Bellevue is shown by the commitment/engagement score, which is shown in the following diagram.

5 iCommit 2022

Benchmark 1: Comparable Swiss financial institutions (with a total of 5264 respondents); benchmark 2: companies in the Swiss Employer Award presented in Switzerland in 2021/22

The Net Promoter Score is a metric used to measure and track employee loyalty and is therefore of great importance to the success of organisations.

Benchmark 1: Comparable Swiss financial institutions (with a total of 5264 respondents); Benchmark 2: Companies in the Swiss Employer Award presented in Switzerland in 2021/22

Remuneration policy

Within Bellevue, the following overarching principles apply to all compensation:

Compensation is transparent, comprehensible, fair and appropriate for members of the Board of Directors and Group Executive Management as well as for all employees. All compensation must take balanced account of operational and strategic responsibility, the quality of the work and the workload of the respective function. Compensation shall be commensurate with the function and shall be influenced to a significant extent by the individual achievement of quantitative as well as qualitative targets and by the results of Bellevue. When determining compensation, it must be ensured that it is proportionate and competitive compared to companies in the same labour market and economic sector, and that it is sustainable regardless of the course of business. Serious breaches of internal or external regulations (incl. ESG/sustainability) will lead to a reduction or forfeiture of variable compensation.

Further details and numbers are publicly disclosed in the audited compensation report of Bellevue Group AG as part of the annual report.

Employee profit participation

In the spirit of identification with the company and the entrepreneurial activities of each employee at his or her level, we give employees across all hierarchical levels a share in the success of their own employer.

For the Investment Management Team of BB Biotech there is a compensation system in place with three components:

  1. Competitive fixed salaries in line with asset management industry standards,
  2. An allocation of the management fee paid by BB Biotech AG reflecting mid- and long-term success,
  3. A long-term incentive plan, fully aligned with shareholders’ interests with multi-year performance hurdles, resulting in payments between 0% and 100%.

Furthermore, Bellevue periodically offers an employee share ownership program under which rights to purchase Bellevue Group shares are offered at a discounted purchase price.

The compensation of employees is designed to motivate all employees to perform very well. This approach promotes a long-term performance culture.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Investment Manager provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, religion or other characteristics. That’s why we benefit from a diverse workforce, creating a competitive advantage.

With their different perspectives and approaches, experiences, ideas and skills, employees inspire and learn from each other. As a result, the company gains in creativity, innovation and success.

We foster a culture of gender equality and promote a balanced mix of gender and age across all hierarchical levels and functions of the company. Employee compensation is periodically reviewed for corresponding unjustified differences and adjusted if necessary. The last analysis across the Bellevue Group was carried out in August 2021 using the standard analysis tool of the Swiss Confederation («Logib»). No gender effect was identified.

Goal 2023: The next salary analysis will be conducted in 2023.

Both gender are to be represented in the executive management boards as well as on the Board of Directors. Discriminatory and other incorrect behaviour will not be tolerated. In 2022, a whistleblowing directive was adopted for this purpose, among other things together with an external reporting system.

Gender diversity: Bellevue Group has set the goal of continuously increasing the proportion of women at all levels, particularly at senior management levels, in the company by promoting the development and retention of women.

Annual comparison of full time employees


























The Board of Directors of Bellevue Group has set itself the goal of continuously increasing the proportion of women at all levels, especially at senior management level (Board of Directors and executive management). Furthermore, the Board of Directors is promoting the development and retention of women in the company. In addition, the company aims to fill vacant positions with women through targeted talent attraction measures.

17 nationalities

Governance practices


In accordance with Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union of November 27, 2019 on sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector, Bellevue Asset Management is committed to transparency with respect to:


Sustainability risks

«Sustainability risks» is defined as an environmental, social or governance event or condition that, if it occurs, could cause an actual or a potential material negative impact on the value of the investment6.

Bellevue Asset Management AG and its subsidiaries have integrated sustainability risks into the investment decision-making processes of all their actively managed strategies and associated funds with the aim of identifying, assessing and, if possible and appropriate, mitigating such risks.

While every investment strategy can be exposed to such sustainability risks to varying degrees, the projected impact of sustainability risks on the returns of the investment strategies will depend on the specific investment strategy.

100% of BB Biotech’s and more than 80% of Bellevue Asset Management AG’s assets under management as at December 31, 2022, are invested in the healthcare sector, which is characterized by lower levels of carbon emissions than the manufacturing, commodities or energy sectors and the broadly diversified global equity indices. Focus on healthcare therefore reduces the sustainability risks.

6 in Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union of November 27, 2019 on sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector (Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, SFDR

ESG investment policy

ESG framework in portfolio management

Source: Bellevue Asset Management AG, as at December 31, 2022

Exclusion criteria

Bellevue Asset Management is committed to complying with internationally recognized standards and consistently exclude companies with serious violations of human rights, the environment, labour standards and involvement in corruption from the investment portfolios it manages. No investments may be made in companies that seriously violate the environment, human rights and business ethics. This is measured by compliance with the principles of the UN Global Compact Compliance, UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, and standards of the International Labour Organization.

In contrast to exclusions based on violations of global standards, values-based exclusions are based on social, ethical and moral views. Percentages of sales per business segment are defined, that a company may not exceed in ESG-critical business segments such as conventional weapons, thermal coal or tobacco production. Issuers whose annual sales exceed the generally accepted tolerance limits defined below are excluded. For BB Biotech and the biotech industry in general, these thresholds are in practice not relevant.

Business area


Revenue threshold


BB Biotech

Controversial weapons





Conventional weapons





Thermal coal





Fracking/oil sands





Production of tobacco





Sale of tobacco





Adult entertainment










Palm oil





The defined turnover limits are based on empirical values with institutional investors and industry experts. For individual strategies with a dedicated sustainability focus, more extensive and/or stricter exclusion criteria may be applied.

Bellevue Asset Management maintains an exclusion list, which is updated quarterly. Currently, this list comprises more than 850 issuers that are excluded from all investment universes in the context of direct investments.

ESG Integration

Environmental, social and governance factors are incorporated into the fundamental assessment of a company and evaluated in terms of their financial risks or opportunities for future share price performance. This gives our portfolio managers a holistic picture of a company.

The environmental area includes, for example, whether a company systematically measures and discloses its environmental footprint. The area of society includes, for example, product quality, data security and employee development. Good governance includes, for example, independence and compensation of the board of directors or business ethics.

As a basis for the integration of sustainable business criteria in the investment decision process, the Investment Manager uses an ESG rating per issuer, which is composed of various sub-scores. The scores are based on data from the independent third-party providers MSCI ESG Research and Sustainalytics. Their relevance and consequently weighting can vary significantly depending on the industry affiliation.

Over the past year, it has also proven important to interpret aggregated ESG ratings with caution and to critically scrutinize them. Most ESG rating methodologies are based on predefined systematics that do not lead to an objective or «fair» risk assessment in all cases. Especially small-capitalized and young companies, such as those still in the start-up phase, are typically systematically disadvantaged compared to large companies. A lack of human resources and experience in dealing with ESG issues can lead to a poorer sustainability rating. Our portfolio managers and analysts stand in close contact with our portfolio companies and in many cases may have a more profound fundamental understanding of certain processes with the company than an external ESG rating agency. Accordingly, our portfolio managers take a critical look at potential or alleged «ESG laggards» (rating CCC, B) and repeatedly seek personal discussions with the ESG specialists of our cooperation partners and the companies concerned. Our ESG investment guidelines tolerate an investment in an alleged “ESG laggard” provided that our rationale to do so is clearly explained and documented in detail. Nonetheless, an investment in a so-called «ESG laggard» does under no circumstances qualify as an investment with «sustainable characteristics» nor as a «sustainable investment» with regards to the calculation of our regulatory ESG investment proportions. (c.f. also chapter Proportion of ESG Investments).

ESG stewardship

As a responsible investor with a long-term focus, BB Biotech supports all measures and initiatives that increase the value of the companies invested in over the long term in the interests of shareholders and investors. This includes engagement activities as well as the exercise of voting and election rights on the occasion of general and shareholders’ meetings.


Active management means investing with conviction. We know what we are investing in and pursue this with great discipline. We have neither overarching investment committees nor a CIO. In independently operating product areas, the respective teams of experts are equally committed to a high level of self-responsibility, respect and their own vision. Our employees are also not only investment experts, but at the same time entrepreneurs and participate in the success of our investors.

This commitment to active investment management also highlights the importance of engagement as a key element in our ESG framework. Portfolio managers generally engage in an active and constructive dialogue with the management and other relevant representatives of the invested companies regarding environmental, social and governance aspects. If there are indications of substantial controversies in the area of ESG, these are constructively raised in the company dialog and progress (e.g. strategy, process adjustments, improvement of ESG rating) is documented over time. Engagement activities must also be placed in the context of materiality and proportionality. Engagement activities can take place to varying degrees depending on the size of the investment strategies involved, the capitalization of the company, the stage of development of the company, and other factors.

ESG engagement activities are recorded as part of the regular documentation for the company meetings. In addition, in 2022 we established a proprietary tool in which ESG engagement activities are systematically recorded and progress is documented over time.

Climate Change Factors

In accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement of December 2015, Bellevue Asset Management is committed to climate goals and supports measures to reduce global warming. We emphasize climate-friendly portfolios that can contribute to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. CO2 intensity (tons of CO2 per USD 1 million of sales) is regularly measured at portfolio level and assessed against the relevant investment universe or benchmark.

100% of BB Biotech’s and more than 80% of Bellevue Asset Management AG’s assets under management as at December 31, 2022), are invested in the healthcare sector, which by its nature is exposed to much lower CO2 emissions than industrial, commodity or energy sectors or broadly diversified global equity indices.

To the extent that a stock contributes 10% or more to the overall portfolio intensity, or a stock’s carbon intensity is 10% or higher than the comparable industry average, we initiate special consideration as part of our consideration of principle adverse impacts on sustainability factors (PAIs), which may result in, for example, an engagement.

We are in an extended transition phase to a lower-carbon society and this requires a clear picture of which companies are more affected or limited by this transition, and which companies might even emerge as beneficiaries from this transition phase.


Since 2019, Bellevue Asset Management AG has been a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI). PRI reporting is the world’s largest responsible investment reporting project. It was developed with investors for investors. Reporting on our sustainability activities and progress is one of the six principles of the UN PRI. Bellevue Asset Management is also a member of Swiss Sustainable Finance Association (SFF). We fulfil our responsibility in ESG reporting through monthly factsheets, Bellevue and BB Biotech websites, UN PRI Responsible Investment (RI) Report and internal ESG reporting.

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