Environment Climate Protection
Credit Suisse addresses the challenge of climate change at various levels. We take account of environmental and climate aspects in the areas of product development and risk management, and our operations have been greenhouse gas neutral globally since 2010. We are also engaging in dialogue with stakeholders to gain insight that can help us develop sustainable business practices.
Products and Services
In the area of renewable energy, Credit Suisse is involved with a significant number of debt, tax equity and equity financing transactions, opening up sources of capital for companies active in this field. Our expertise is diversified across various renewable energy technologies, including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biofuels, fuel cells and energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency in buildings is also an important component in the global response to tackling climate change. The sustainable Swiss real estate fund Credit Suisse Real Estate Fund Green Property (CS REF Green Property) invests in 16 properties in Switzerland with a total value of CHF 874.7 million (as of December 31, 2015). All buildings that are part of the fund fulfil the requirements of the "greenproperty" quality seal developed by Credit Suisse for sustainable property. In 2015, we also launched the Credit Suisse (Lux) European Climate Value Property Fund, which offers professional investors the opportunity to invest in a climate-neutral real estate portfolio.
Moreover, Credit Suisse supports the Green Bond Principles and is a partner in the Climate Bonds Initiative. Both of these initiatives seek to mobilize investments in the capital markets for environment and climate-related projects.
Ecosystem services are closely linked with climate change as changes in the climate have an impact on ecosystem services, and changes in ecosystems impact on the climate. Recognizing the need for capital in conserving ecosystems, Credit Suisse has continuously expanded its activities in the area of conservation finance.
Client transactions that could pose a risk to the environment, the climate, biodiversity or human rights are analyzed through our internal risk review process. We apply our own sector policies and guidelines to set out the environmental and social standards that we expect clients to observe. These guidelines take into account standards developed by international organizations such as the UN and the World Bank and cover areas such as forestry and agribusiness, mining, oil and gas, hydropower and nuclear power.
We are committed to minimizing our own operational climate impact. Credit Suisse therefore first achieved global greenhouse gas neutrality in 2010. To this end, we pursue a four-pillar strategy based on operational efficiency improvements, investments, substitution and compensation. In 2015, we again took action on a number of fronts to continue implementing this strategy. As a result, our net global greenhouse gas emissions decreased by around 2% to 240,300 metric tons of CO2 equivalents during the year.
Credit Suisse participates actively in discussions on how to promote a more sustainable, climate-friendly approach to business, and we exchange knowledge with a variety of organizations and expert groups.
For example, Credit Suisse has for five years been hosting the Lifefair Forum event series in Zurich at which climate issues are among the topics discussed. In 2015, these included financing models for the transition to a low-carbon economy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In continuation of our 2011 study "Transition to a Low Carbon Economy - the Role of Banks ", Credit Suisse conducted an analysis of its real estate investment portfolio in Switzerland together with WWF in 2012. The study, entitled "Decarbonizing Swiss Real Estate", explores the energy and carbon efficiency of real estate portfolios and helps investors to understand their exposure to carbon-related risks. As a result of this analysis, our Real Estate Investment Management (REIM) was able to set CO2 reduction goals for every single real estate fund.
CDP represents institutional investors with invested assets of around USD 95 trillion; its aim is to provide guidance to investors on climate-related opportunities and risks for companies. Credit Suisse has participated in CDP since 2002. In 2015, more than 5,500 companies worldwide disclosed information on their climate strategies and greenhouse gas emissions. Credit Suisse was assigned 99 out of a possible 100 points for its disclosure score and grade A for its performance score (rating scale: A to C). We were also included on CDP's "Climate A List". Further information on Credit Suisse’s disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions can be found on the CDP page.
Raising Employee Awareness of Environmental Issues
The need to make responsible use of natural resources is set out in our Code of Conduct. We actively inform employees about environmental issues and give them the opportunity to make a personal contribution to environmental protection.
- Earth Hour: Credit Suisse participated in WWF's Earth Hour again in 2016 by switching off the lights in a number of office buildings globally. During this symbolic annual climate initiative, thousands of cities, towns and buildings worldwide turn off their lights for one hour.
- bike to work: In 2015, 52 teams of Credit Suisse employees registered to take part in this campaign – which took place in June across Switzerland – and cycled approximately 68,400 km.
- Sustainability Network: Around 2,400 employees worldwide have signed up to our Sustainability Network – an internal platform that enables them to take part in a range of sustainability events. In 2015, these included the Kids Ocean Day in Hong Kong and test drives with environmentally friendly cars in Switzerland.
- Training: Credit Suisse, together with various service providers, conducted 7,655 hours of training on environmental management to 5,521 employees in 2015.