Approach & Reporting Sustainable Development Goals. Our contribution.

Sustainable Development Goals. Our contribution.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ratified by UN member states in 2015, set forth ambitious global development goals. These include environmental, economic, and social aspects of sustainable development. We are contributing to their implementation in a variety of ways.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) form a core element of the ambitious and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the first global development agenda to be fully negotiated by UN member states, adopted in 2015. They range from achieving gender equality and combating climate change to promoting sustainable economic growth, amongst other topics. As the SDGs are based on a participatory process, responsibility for achieving them is shared between states, the private sector, the scientific community and civil society. The target date for the realization of the goals is 2030.

The SDGs explicitly call on all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solve sustainable development challenges. Beyond that, companies can only achieve long-term success if they operate in an economically stable and socially cohesive environment. Also, the SDGs are anticipated to generate at least USD 12 trillion worth of market opportunities.

Credit Suisse and the SDGs

Credit Suisse believes that it is in the interest of both our organization and our clients for us to develop and support measures that contribute to a more sustainable economy. Since the introduction of the SDGs by the UN, we have been pursuing activities designed to contribute to their realization in our role as a global financial institution. Credit Suisse does so in various ways, including in our role as a financial intermediary and employer. Furthermore, we have been active in the sustainable investment space for more than 16 years. We are constantly broadening our sustainable investment offering and aligning it more and more closely with the SDGs. Other activities in support of the SDGs include our environmental management system as well as our global initiatives in education and financial inclusion, whose tenth anniversary we celebrated in 2018.

Apart from active support, companies can contribute to achieving the SDGs by addressing potential negative impacts on people and the environment. Our focus on sustainability risk management can help us to reduce potential negative impacts that certain business activities might have on the realization of the SDGs.

The following table provides an overview of our activities relating to selected SDG goals.

Objective Our contribution

Goal 4: Quality education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

  • We promote access to education and help to improve the quality of education through our Global Education Initiative
  • We run a financial education program for girls in Brazil, China, India, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Tanzania
  • We support regional education programs in collaboration with partner organizations

Goal 5: Gender equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

  • We foster diversity and inclusion within our organization
  • We take measures to increase the proportion of women in management positions within our organization
  • We promote access to financial services for women in developing countries and emerging markets through our financial inclusion activities and run a financial education program for girls

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

  • We provide renewable energy financing
  • We use climate-friendly energy sources for our business premises and have buildings certified according to energy efficiency standards
  • We run an ISO 14001-certified environmental management system

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

  • We offer progressive working conditions for our employees
  • We support economic growth and entrepreneurship through our role as a lender and financial intermediary
  • We are an integral part of the economy and society in our role as an employer, client, contractual partner and taxpayer
  • We support an initiative to combat youth unemployment in Switzerland
  • We help to strengthen local economies in developing countries and emerging markets through our activities in the area of financial inclusion

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

  • We supply risk capital to support growth and innovation, including through Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital AG in Switzerland
  • We help to strengthen local economies in developing countries and emerging markets through our activities in the area of financial inclusion
  • We provide renewable energy financing
  • We focus on sustainability risk management and have sector-specific policies and guidelines in place

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

  • We invest in sustainable real estate
  • We are committed to continuously improving the ESG performance (environmental, social and governance performance), energy efficiency and carbon footprint of our real estate investment portfolio

Goal 13: Climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

  • We are greenhouse gas neutral across all our operations globally
  • We offer a range of green finance products and services for our clients
  • We focus on sustainability risk management and have sector-specific policies and guidelines in place
  • We seek to address the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board's Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (FSB TCFD)

Goal 15: Life on land

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

  • We are active in the area of conservation finance
  • We have an ongoing advisory role to the Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit (SPOTT) and joined the Technical Advisory Group for the SPOTT Timber, Paper and Pulp tool development
  • We focus on sustainability risk management and have sector-specific policies and guidelines in place

We annually report on our contribution to the realization of the SDGs in our Corporate Responsibility Report.

Credit Suisse Case Studies

With the following case studies, we want to illustrate how our activities contribute to the realization of a number of specific SDGs and describe the measurable impact we aim to achieve.

The case studies were released in 2015 as part of the publication "Aiming for Impact: Credit Suisse and the Sustainable Development Goals", where we show how the SDGs provide tangible opportunities for companies to pursue business objectives while also contributing to sustainable development.