At B&I Capital we are committed to responsible Environmental, Social, and Governance practice on both company and investment level.
On a company level, we aim to minimize the firm’s environmental footprint as much as possible and offset the remaining through environmentally positive projects. We support charities in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Indonesia to maximize the firm’s positive impact on global society, flora and fauna, and to contribute our share to global well-being.
On an investment level, we integrate ESG criteria in our investment process and operations. We understand the responsibility of being an active investor and as such are keen to actively participate in the creation of sustainable future.
In May 2019, we signed the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) to demonstrate our commitment to ESG to ourselves, our clients, our investments and general public.
B&I Capital offsets its annual climate footprint, measured in units of carbon equivalents, through the Temboan reforestation project in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, which was initiated by the Masarang Foundation in 2019. The total area acquired for reforestation is about 350 ha and the project also includes a restoration and protection of coral reefs that are in the waters right in front of the Temboan beach.
Masarang Foundation has partnered with ITM University and Delft University of Technology to study the positive impacts of reforestation on local environment. Once the area is reforested, Masarang Foundation also plans to release animals from their Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue and Education Center to create new habitats. B&I Capital started offsetting its climate footprint in 2019.
Masarang Foundation, comprised of Masarang Indonesia and Masarang International, is an award-winning NGO operating primarily in Indonesia since 2001. Founded originally to help the orangutan population in Borneo, it has evolved into a full-scale environmental NGO understanding the complexity of various ecosystems and the links between them.
Nowadays, the Foundation is oriented on restoring and cultivating entire ecosystems that have life-bringing effects on local flora, fauna, and communities, while still helping the original idea. The NGO acts locally but their efforts have a global impact. Willie Smits, the founder, is an internationally recognized environmentalist whose understanding of ecosystems is outstanding and inspirational. He is respected by the locals, the Indonesian government, global research community, and is often interviewed by leading media such as National Geographic or BBC. Masarang Foundation was nominated as one of the 12 best charities in the world by the BBC World Challenge 2007.
The Rainbow Centre is a grassroot charity setup in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. It helps students from extreme poverty with little parental support in South Western Sri Lanka where they suffer a life of crime, begging, addiction, and abuse. The Rainbow Center aims to break this cycle by enabling more than 500 children get prepared for and attend mainstream school. The Rainbow Center has expanded over the years to provide nursery, pre-school and now also a day school. B&I Capital supports the Centre annually since 2008.
Animals Asia was founded in 1998 by Jill Robinson in Hong Kong. It promotes compassion and respect for all animals and works to bring about long-term change. We specifically support the campaign to end bear bile farming, which sees over 10’000 bears kept on bile farms in China and Vietnam. Animals Asia has rescued more than 600 bears, caring for them at the award-winning bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam. Animal Trust is a Swiss-based charity founded in 2000 that works together with Animals Asia. B&I Capital supports both charities annually since 2010.
Asian Culture Transfer (ACT) of the Ressort International is an initiative of the students at the University of St. Gallen. ACT is a student exchange program which promotes intercultural respect and understanding. Every year, selected students from two participating universities have the opportunity to spend ten days in both countries to explore their economic, political, ecological and cultural differences. B&I Capital supports ACT annually since 2018.
B&I Capital has contributed to the McCombs Real Estate Investment Fund at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin. It is a student-managed fund that allows undergraduate and MBA students to analyse and make investments in both public and private real estate as part of their education. B&I Capital’s co-founder and co-CEO Christian Bernasconi acts on the Advisory Board and the company cooperates with qualified students to help them further their knowledge of public real estate markets.