Banking Agreements and Memberships
Credit Suisse actively participates in a number of sustainability networks and initiatives worldwide.
The UN Global Compact is a voluntary United Nations initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt responsible business practices. Over 9,900 businesses from around 160 countries have pledged to uphold its Ten Principles relating to human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption efforts. The UN Global Compact supports companies in aligning their strategies and operations with these principles and to advance broader societal goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Credit Suisse has been a signatory to this leading international initiative since its inception in 2000. We are an active member of the Global Compact Network Switzerland and communicate annually on the progress we have made in implementing the Ten Principles.
For detailed information on the implementation of the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact at Credit Suisse, see the Corporate Responsibility Report 2018 (PDF).
The Finance Initiative of the UN Environment Programme is a global partnership of more than 240 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 to 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.
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 13 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. Credit Suisse maintains active participation in the Wolfsberg Group, a reflection of our continued commitment to understand the latest financial crime risks and controls, while also staying abreast of important regulatory and market developments.
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. More than 90 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. 2018 marked the 15th anniversary of the Equator Principles, which have had a strong impact on the project finance market. In the same year, the Equator Principles institutions launched a process to update the Principles, and Credit Suisse actively contributed to these discussions. We also continued our active role on the Steering Committee of the Equator Principles and served as the regional representative for Europe within 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.
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 4,000 members who represent 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.
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.
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.
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.
Comprising more than 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.