We identified 15 material issues in our 2019 materiality assessment:
The materiality assessment forms part of our ongoing dialogue with external and internal stakeholders. By communicating with them about key topics, we gain a better understanding of their perspectives. This enables us to actively address important issues and challenges.
Our corporate responsibility reporting activities focus on topics that are relevant to our business and our stakeholders. We regularly undertake a materiality assessment in order to identify critical economic, environmental and social issues that may either have a significant impact on the company's business performance or substantively influence the assessments and decisions of our stakeholders. We believe that this helps us recognize new trends and evolve our strategy accordingly as well as align our reporting with the interests and needs of our business and our stakeholders.
The materiality assessment is based on our ongoing dialogue with stakeholders across all parts of our organization. We strive to ensure that the list of material issues identified in the past remains relevant and that important new topics are addressed.
In 2019, we once again approached a large number and broad range of external and internal stakeholders in all regions where we operate. We reached out to these stakeholders and asked for their perspective through a structured survey, comprising both quantitative and qualitative elements. The results of this survey were subsequently combined with a dedicated media review and information from our monitoring tools. We also considered the views of internal experts who participate in an ongoing dialogue with relevant stakeholder groups. As part of the assessment, we analyzed the expected future importance of the material issues for our stakeholders to help us anticipate emerging business issues.
Throughout this process, we took into account the perspective of clients, investors and analysts, policymakers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), employees and other stakeholders. The 2019 materiality assessment is the result of this analysis and reflects average values of perceived importance.
The greatest increase in relative importance compared to the previous year was attributed to the issues of climate change and responsible investments. New topics mentioned during the assessment – in addition to the 15 most material issues identified in previous years – included transparency, the accessibility of financial services as well as the alignment of our business with international sustainability frameworks.
In the context of the materiality assessment survey, we also asked respondents about their perception of Credit Suisse's most significant impacts on the economy, the environment and society, using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as our point of reference. Among the 17 SDGs, Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9) and Climate Action (SDG 13) were mentioned most frequently.