Working together. Membership of sustainability networks.
We actively participate in a number of sustainability networks and initiatives worldwide. An overview is provided below.
UN Global Compact
The UN Global Compact is a leading corporate sustainability initiative, which supports companies in aligning their strategies and operations with its Ten Principles relating to human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption efforts as well as in taking actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the Sustainable Development Goals. Over 10,000 businesses from around 160 countries have pledged to uphold the Ten Principles. In 2000, Credit Suisse was one of the first companies to sign up to the UN Global Compact. We annually communicate on the progress we have made in implementing the Ten Principles, and we are actively participating in the Global Compact Network Switzerland.
For detailed information on the implementation of the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact at Credit Suisse see the Corporate Responsibility Report 2019 (PDF).
UNEP Finance Initiative and the Principles for Responsible Banking
The Finance Initiative of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP FI) is a global partnership of more than 300 banks, insurers and investors with the aim of promoting a sustainable approach to business within the financial sector. Credit Suisse was one of the first signatories of the UNEP Statement of Commitment by Financial Institutions (FI) on Sustainable Development in 1992. In the UNEP Statement by Financial Institutions the signatories recognize the interaction between the economy, society and the environment, and commit to sustainable development.
The Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) were developed by 30 banks from around the world in partnership with UNEP FI. The Principles call for the alignment of the banking sector with the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement and represent a comprehensive framework for the integration of sustainability across all areas of banking. In 2019, Credit Suisse became a founding signatory to the Principles. Amongst other things, signatory banks make a commitment to align their business strategy to contribute to individuals' needs and society's goals, and to set targets designed to continuously increase the positive impacts from their activities, products and services.
In furtherance of our commitment to comply with all laws, rules and regulations applicable to our businesses in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, Credit Suisse is one of the founding members of the Wolfsberg Group. The Wolfsberg Group is an association of thirteen global banks which aims to develop frameworks and guidance for the management of financial crime risks, particularly with respect to Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing policies.
The Equator Principles (EP) are a leading voluntary financial industry benchmark for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk for specific types of finance for industrial and infrastructure projects. The Equator Principles are used for applicable transactions, including project finance and project-related corporate loans. They are based on the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards on social and environmental sustainability and on the World Bank Group Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines. Around 100 financial institutions have adopted the EP, thereby committing to review environmental and social impacts of relevant projects before agreeing to provide financing or advisory services. These financial institutions require clients to take concrete measures to mitigate the potential negative impacts of such projects on people or the environment.
Credit Suisse was one of the first banks to sign up to the EP in 2003. The Equator Principles were updated in 2019, following an EP Association process involving extensive dialogue with a wide variety of stakeholders – including the EP Financial Institutions (EPFIs), EPFI clients, industry bodies and NGOs. As a result, the Equator Principles' scope of application has been expanded to capture more project-related transactions. Amendments and new commitments have also been made with regard to human rights, climate change, indigenous peoples and biodiversity. Credit Suisse played an active role in the update process and was involved in the management of the Equator Principles Association.
The Sustainability Affairs team at Credit Suisse provides global coverage to business units on Equator Principles transactions as well as other transactions that entail potential sustainability risks. This includes training and advising business units on the appropriate application of the Equator Principles and on wider sustainability risk management procedures and policies.
Our sector policies and guidelines require the submission of Equator Principles transactions to Sustainability Affairs for review. These policies and guidelines also ask that, where there are significant environmental and social issues associated with a transaction, the business escalates the prospective transaction to our Reputational Risk Review Process, for consideration by members of senior management.
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is the leading certification standard for palm oil and promotes the cultivation and use of sustainable oil palm products through global standards and the engagement of stakeholders across the supply chain. The objectives of the RSPO are supported by over 4,500 members representing all parts of the palm oil supply chain, from growers and traders to retailers and NGOs. Credit Suisse has been a member of the RSPO since 2010. Consequently, our Forestry and Agribusiness Policy includes requirements regarding RSPO membership and RSPO certification that we expect our clients to observe.
Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
In 2014, Credit Suisse signed up to the UN's Principles for Responsible Investment – a voluntary, investor-led framework that helps signatories to better understand the implications of sustainability for their business activities and incorporate environmental, social and governance information into investment decisions. As a signatory to the PRI, we emphasize our commitment to acting in the best long-term interest of our clients by incorporating ESG criteria into our investment process and decisions.
Operating Principles for Impact Management
Due to the lack of a common standard defining impact outcomes in the area of impact investing, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) introduced the Operating Principles for Impact Management in 2019. The Principles establish a framework for impact investing focused on ensuring that impact considerations are purposefully integrated throughout the investment lifecycle. Credit Suisse believes that transparency and a common understanding of standards in impact investing are crucial to developing this market, and we decided to be a part of this initiative as a founding signatory.
The Green Bond Principles
The Green Bond Principles (GBP), a set of voluntary guidelines on the recommended process for the development and issuance of Green Bonds, were launched by 13 investment banks in 2014 and endorsed by Credit Suisse in the same year. The Principles encourage transparency, disclosure and integrity in the development of the green bond market and suggest a process for designating, disclosing, managing and reporting on the proceeds of a green bond.
Climate Bond Initiative
The Climate Bond Initiative (CBI) is the world's leading market tracking and advocacy organization in the green bonds space. Its strategy is to develop a large and liquid green and climate bonds market that will help drive down the cost of capital for climate projects in developed and emerging markets; to grow aggregation mechanisms for fragmented sectors; and to support governments seeking to tap debt capital markets. In September 2019, we launched a "Sustainable Transition Bonds" initiative in collaboration with the CBI to develop a new concept framework. The framework aims to ultimately lead to a more inclusive segment of the public bond markets that helps facilitate, accelerate and support corporate transition pathways.
Öbu – Swiss Business Council for Sustainable Development
Comprising around 300 Swiss companies as well as other organizations and institutions, Öbu supports its members in using sustainability management as a strategic instrument for business and organizational development.