Swiss HNWIs consider climate change to be one of the most important aspects of the Swiss economy, ahead of recession fears, mass redundancies and market volatility.

In addition, more than seven in ten Swiss HNWIs stated that sustainable investments were important to them and, even in times of crisis, their interest would persist or increase.

This is according to Lombard Odier’s survey of 300 Swiss HNWIs on sustainability and a possible upcoming recession.

Despite concerns, a large proportion of HNWIs hold less than 40% of their portfolio in sustainable investments, but more than a third want to invest more in the area in the future. Among younger generations, this number exceeds 40%.

Furthermore, the research said that the share of respondents investing between 41% and 80% of their portfolio sustainably will almost double. This is also regardless of wealth.

In terms of returns, opinion was divided. 54% of under-35s believed that sustainable investments can generate higher returns, versus only one-third in the other categories surveyed.

However, among 50-70 year olds, only 25% of them think that sustainable investments can outperform other investments. On average, one third of respondents are already convinced that sustainable investments have the potential to generate above-average returns.

Philippe Gay, head of Swiss market offering at Lombard Odier, said: “It is striking that climate change is mentioned as one of the most influential factors in the Swiss economy, in fourth place, ahead of fears of recession, mass redundancies and market volatility. The survey results show that wealthy investors in Switzerland are increasingly aware that sustainability plays an important role in the economy, and that investments in this field should be a priority.”

Gérard Felley, limited partner and head of Swiss and Francophone private client markets at Lombard Odier, added: “Growing concerns about climate change are also reflected in investor behaviour. HNWIs in Switzerland understand that they can play a key role in the transition to a carbon-neutral world. They are seeking sustainable investment opportunities and want to understand how they can help reduce emissions and minimise their carbon footprint. This proactive attitude can help trigger the changes our planet needs to ensure a sustainable future.”