Volunteering

Each year, several thousand Credit Suisse employees volunteer to participate in projects and initiatives supported by the bank, giving their time for a good cause.

The Background

Our aim of being a responsible partner extends beyond our core business, which is why we have been involved in social matters for many years. As part of Corporate Volunteering, we encourage our employees to make a contribution through a personal commitment and get involved in our partner organizations' initiatives and projects. Not least, our employees grow personally and professionally in these assignments.

A Leader in Volunteering

Credit Suisse has one of the best-developed volunteering programs in Switzerland. Every employee is given up to four workdays per year for volunteering; special (international) assignments can even last several weeks. In 2016, approximately 4,000 employees invested almost 50,000 hours as part of corporate volunteering. This was complemented by at least 40,000 hours of private charitable work on boards of trustees and boards of associations. 

The Program

There is a major focus on projects where our employees can share their expertise with others. This includes passing their knowledge of finance and economics on to children and young people, providing support with finding an apprenticeship, mentoring programs at universities and universities of applied sciences, and coaching people from immigrant backgrounds. Furthermore, our volunteers lend an enthusiastic hand with environmental projects, for example, help with the integration of people with disabilities or who are socially disadvantaged, and act as extras in exercises for rescue organizations.

Our Partners

Credit Suisse works with around 80 national and regional nonprofit organizations of all sizes, with which our employees work as volunteers. Here is a selection:

The Swiss Red Cross (SRK) is Switzerland's largest and oldest humanitarian organization. It has been working in Switzerland and abroad to help people in need for over 150 years. The organization tirelessly supports health care, rescue operations, and integration programs on behalf of the most vulnerable members of society including the elderly, the disabled, the needy, families, and migrants. The SRK is one of Credit Suisse's two strategic partners. In addition to financial support, since 2010 employees have been helping by volunteering for activities including blood drives, the "2 x Christmas" gift collection campaign, the SRK car pool, exercises with the Redog rescue dog group, and the "mitten unter uns" ("in our midst") integration project.

More information can be found at: www.redcross.ch

Pro Juventute is the largest organization for children and young people in Switzerland. Founded in 1912 as an aid organization for children suffering from tuberculosis, it nowadays supports 300,000 children and young people and 100,000 parents every year with programs and activities. These include providing children with open spaces, allowing them to experience things for themselves, and thereby promoting their self-confidence. Pro Juventute also passes on life skills, and advises and assists in difficult situations and in an emergency. Credit Suisse and Pro Juventute have been strategic partners since 2017. Recent collaboration has focused primarily on the exchange of expertise, and on building up comprehensive volunteering activities. This includes application training for secondary school students looking for apprenticeships, and the well-known, traditional sale of stamps and other articles at Christmas.

More information can be found at: www.projuventute.ch

The Ernst Schmidheiny Foundation focuses on promoting the interest in and understanding of economic relationships among young people. Every year, some 180 classes are held as part of one of the Business Week events organized by the Foundation in cooperation with chambers of commerce and industrial associations. To date, more than 100,000 Swiss high-school students have taken part in a seminar week and gained first-hand insight into the relationships of the free social market economy. Credit Suisse employees take part in the program as instructors. Across Switzerland, the business weeks are considered a prime example of active and efficient cooperation between schools and business.

For more information, go to: www.wirtschaftswochen.ch

The University Children's Hospital Zurich is the largest children's hospital in Switzerland and one of Europe's leading centers for pediatric and adolescent medicine. In addition to treating sick children, University Children's Hospital Zurich trains doctors in their areas of specialization. It is also home to the only research center in Switzerland dedicated entirely to diseases affecting children and adolescents. Every year, around 100,000 children and adolescents come to the Children's Hospital for outpatient or inpatient treatment. This includes not only the best possible therapy, but also care and assistance entirely focused on their needs. Credit Suisse employees help to cheer up the young patients and their families, for example by decorating Easter eggs and gingerbread or by helping out at the annual summer party.

More information can be found at: www.kispi.uzh.ch

The Love Ride Switzerland is a charity event in aid of children and young people with muscular dystrophy. Since 1993 it has been held on the first Sunday in May each year on the Dübendorf airfield (near Zurich). The aim is to stage a ride for disabled people – and raise funds – to give them the opportunity to experience some of the mobility and freedom that bikers in particular so enjoy. With around 20,000 participants, the Love Ride Switzerland is the largest charity event of its kind in Europe, and the most important gathering of the Swiss Harley-Davidson fraternity. The climax of the day is the ride of 60 kilometres itself, when all the bikes ride out together. Up to 300 children and young people with muscular dystrophy accompany them in sidecars or on trikes. Credit Suisse volunteers support the ride in the directing of traffic.

For more information, go to: www.loveride.ch

People with a physical or mental disability can find tremendous fulfillment through sport. It is a way of enhancing their quality of life and independence, and helping them to integrate. For nearly 50 years, PluSport, the umbrella organization for Swiss disabled sports, has coordinated and supported the sports-related activities of almost 12,000 people. The highlight of the year is the annual PluSport Day held in Magglingen in early July, which is a major event in the sporting calendar for recreational athletes with disabilities. Credit Suisse volunteers support PluSport with the setup and dismantling process as well as with the supervision of individual disciplines.

For more information, go to: www.plusport.ch

Schweizer Tafel was founded in 2000. Its goal is to pick up fresh food that has not been sold and distribute it to the needy. With its tagline "Waste Not, Want Not," Schweizer Tafel currently supplies more than 17 tons of food per day to around 500 social institutions in 11 regions throughout Switzerland. Credit Suisse has supported the organization since 2011. Employees from the bank work as volunteers at the national fundraising event, on Soup Day, and on delivery runs.

For more information, go to: www.schweizertafel.ch

The St. Jakob Foundation provides a safe, structured workplace for over 500 people with special needs. A friendly, motivating atmosphere enables program participants to maximize their potential. Employees learn from experienced professionals and gain self-esteem and the recognition that comes from participating in society. The foundation's wide range of internal positions and comprehensive training and continuing education programs promote a sense of community and inclusion while teaching skills. The result: high-quality work, wonderful products at market rates, and especially, happy people.

Together with employees from the Foundation, volunteers from Credit Suisse work under the expert guidance of bakers and pastry chefs at the St. Jakob bakery to produce baked goods.

For more information, go to: www.st-jakob.ch

The Stöckenweid Foundation in Feldmeilen provides support, care and assistance to people with disabilities. It operates according to the idea in social therapy of integrating people with severe disabilities into work processes. The overall experience, backed up by the affection, respect, and assistance they encounter, both serves as encouragement and contributes to happiness in their lives. Training, education, and therapy are not only a means of providing the disabled employees with a stable basis, they also represent opportunities for personal development.

Together with the residents of the Stöckenweid Foundation, Credit Suisse volunteers help with seasonal work in the garden.

For more information, go to: www.stoeckenweid.ch

WWF

WWF's ultimate goal is to protect natural areas and wild populations of plants and animals, including endangered species.

The exquisitely colorful dry grasslands in Valais and the Engadine are among Switzerland's most species-rich habitats. Credit Suisse staff's deployment in such areas helps maintain these valuable dry grasslands and the habitat for countless animals and plants.

For more information, go to: www.wwf.ch

Young Enterprise Switzerland (YES) inspires young people and raises their awareness of subjects ranging from entrepreneurship, money, consumer spending, and personal professional development to community involvement. Hands-on educational programs prepare them for finding their own path to success within the global economy. In Switzerland, almost 6,000 students take part in the program every year. Through its partnership with YES, Credit Suisse is able to offer targeted support to children and young people. Thanks to Credit Suisse, single classes or entire schools can participate free of charge in the attractive programs offered by YES and benefit from the professional experience of the bank's employees, amongst other things.

For more information, go to: www.youngenterprise.ch