Global Commitments

Credit Suisse, our clients and employees have, for many years, been committed to fostering inclusive growth by addressing socio-economic challenges. Together we support selected partner organizations with funding and professional expertise to enable social and humanitarian projects around the world.

Companies can only achieve long-term success if they operate in an economically stable and socially cohesive environment. To create a sustainable impact, we have established strategic partnerships to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through our global and regional initiatives. We make effective use of our social and financial capital to not only have a positive impact on society but also on employees and our core business.

Social Impact: Education and financial inclusion for inclusive growth

We regard education and access to financial services as key drivers of growth and an effective means of empowering people to help themselves. We also have the potential to increase social impact beyond the funding of long-term partnerships with selected organizations through our most valuable asset – our employees.

As part of our social commitments we have defined three focus themes: financial inclusion, education and employee engagement.

Employee Engagement 2018

18694

volunteers

190

partners receiving both funding and skills-based volunteering support

48

countries in which our partners are active

Employees: expertise, development, commitment

Our employees are an integral part of our commitment to society, dedicating over 187,900 hours of their time and expertise in 2018. As part of the bank's Human Capital Strategy, we allow each employee to devote up to four days per year to support our global partners and those active in social initiatives in the communities where we live and work.

In 2018, we continued to place an emphasis on volunteering programs that promote the transfer of skills and knowledge between employees and partners. This enables our employees to use their expertise for the benefit of our partner organizations and gives them the opportunity to enhance their own skills and professional development. In 2018, our employees around the world dedicated 58,687 hours to skills-based volunteering. These volunteering efforts also help to strengthen the bank's corporate culture and foster cross-team and cross-cultural collaboration. In addition, our internal surveys have shown that employee participation in volunteering programs results in an increase in our employees' satisfaction at work.

Increasing impact through our core business, clients and partners

The teams managing our two global initiatives in microfinance and education work closely with the Philanthropy & Sustainable Investment team to provide philanthropic advice and services to our clients and develop impact investment products to further increase their combined social impact. Through impact investing, we give clients access to alternative investments that not only generate a financial return but also produce a social and/or environmental impact – for example in the areas of microfinance and education. Moreover, we are increasingly involving our clients in the development and execution of volunteering and awareness raising programs. In Switzerland, clients and employees also have the option of supporting selected partner organizations through Micro-Donations; payments made by credit or debit card can be rounded up by a pre-defined amount. This amount, or the interest earned on their bank account, is donated to selected aid organizations and charitable institutions among our partners.

Selected Projects 2018

Project

Aim

Result

St. Jakob Foundation This volunteer assignment benefits people with special needs in the foundation’s workshops and kitchens. Together with Foundation employees, more than 300 volunteers from Credit Suisse worked under the expert guidance of bakers and pastry chefs as well as in the packaging center at the St. Jakob Foundation in Zurich in 2018.
Interview skills training Together with our partner Pro Juventute, we support young people in their last year at school in applying for apprenticeships, with a view to helping reduce youth unemployment. More than 100 Credit Suisse employees participated in this interview skills training program, working with more than 500 young people across Switzerland. Credit Suisse is a key partner in this important project, adding a new dimension to its successful Youth Unemployment Initiative, which it started in 2010.
Board Connect Board Connect offers training and placement assistance to employees interested in serving on the boards of NPOs, as well as additional support and resourcesfor existing board members. In 2018, 155 employees in Switzerland participated in our NPO Board training program. The course includes important knowledge factors such as foundation governance, fundraising, capital investment, and impact measurement, providing organizations with highly professional and well-trained board members.

Project

Aim

Result

Social Mobility Foundation The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) aims to make a practical improvement in social mobility for young people from low-income backgrounds by providing a program of career opportunities and networks of support. In 2017 and 2018, the Credit Suisse EMEA Foundation provided grant funding for SMF to reach young people in rural areas of the UK, allowing the organization to broaden their reach and impact. Participation in these areas increased by 55%. In 2018, the Credit Suisse EMEA Foundation agreed to fund the expansion of SMF into Wales.
The Difference The Difference aims to improve life outcomes of vulnerable children by raising the status and expertise of those who educate them and creating a new generation of school leaders. In 2018, the Credit Suisse EMEA Foundation provided support through the small grants portfolio to The Difference, allowing them to research and deliver a national symposium on reducing the number of young people excluded from school.
Robinson Crusoe Foundation Poland The Robinson Crusoe Foundation supports young people leaving care (state-owned orphanages, foster families, family orphanages) to achieve self-reliance. The organization delivers programming, including instruction on important life skills, such as management of their personal finances and budgeting. In 2017 and 2018, the Credit Suisse EMEA Foundation provided grant funding in connection with the organization’s "Vehicle for Self-Reliance" program, which supports 120 youth ages 16-21 who are in the process of leaving foster or institutional care, with their transition to independence.

Project

Aim

Result

Pro Bono School Strengthen the capacity of our non-for-profit partners to ensure that our grants are managed effectively and are scalable. Our Singapore office started a series of free workshops for charities in 2016. In 2018, Credit Suisse partnered with an intermediary organization (providing shared services to non-profit organizations) to deliver the Pro Bono School which is a school (run by Credit Suisse volunteers) for social sector leaders to learn and enhance their skills/knowledge. Credit Suisse hosted a total of 4 sessions on improving donor tracking process and budgeting. Over 60 staff participated in these sessions benefitting almost 30 social organizations in Singapore.
Community Day Enable all Credit Suisse staff in India to volunteer together at the same time, to collectively transform low income community schools in their neighborhood into vibrant learning spaces. Almost 500 staff from 6 different Credit Suisse offices across India participated at the same time dedicating over 1,800 volunteering hours. The community schools were pre-selected based on a prior needs assessment and volunteering activities included painting educational murals in classrooms and on the school’s walls. We plan to continue our engagement with the same schools over a 3 year period to be able to witness the transformation through the sustained efforts of our volunteers.
Adopt a Charity Encourage departments to take responsibility for one charity throughout the year and help lead volunteering events and opportunities for the whole group. This builds a stronger relationship between staff and the selected charity. Through 10 events run in 2018, over 160 Credit Suisse employees volunteered over 50 hours to participate in warehouse sessions and office based activities for a recycling charity. They also raised funds for that charity during subsequent targeted fundraising events, including a quiz night event held at the Credit Suisse’s Hong Kong office.

Project

Aim

Result

Employee Engagement To help employees maximize their impact for causes they care about. In 2018, 94% of employees in the Americas were involved in Corporate Citizenship programming – marking the ninth consecutive year of at least 70% of employees being engaged in our efforts. In addition to supporting employees in lending their time and talents, the Credit Suisse Americas Foundation provides financial support to organizations that benefit from employee involvement through the Employee Volunteer Grant Program and Board Service Matching Gifts Program. These organizations, as well as others selected through a nomination and voting process, are also eligible for additional funding through the Holiday Charity Initiative, our annual employee giving campaign.
Disaster Relief Corps To support communities affected by natural disasters through funding and volunteer support. Corporate Citizenship in the Americas has supported disaster relief efforts across the globe for over a decade. In 2018, employees from across the region volunteered as part of three separate relief trips, helping to rebuild homes and communities affected by hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Houston.
Henry Street Settlement Henry Street Settlement delivers a range of social service, arts and health care programs to over 50,000 New Yorkers each year, including shelters for abused women, programming for the elderly, and job training for those seeking employment. In 2018, Henry Street Settlement celebrated its 125th anniversary. Credit Suisse was among four institutional benefactors recognized for their vital and longstanding support of the Settlement’s critical work. The Settlement has been a Credit Suisse Americas Foundation partner for over twenty years. During this time, the Foundation together with employees have committed over USD 2.6 million in funding to support the Settlement’s work.

Project

Aim

Result

go tec! Foundation Switzerland The go tec! foundation Switzerland aims to stimulate the interest and passion of children and young people for technology. In order to introduce girls in particular to topics relating to math, computer science, natural sciences, and technology, the foundation offers courses, together with the Ecole Polytéchnique Féderale Lausanne, in which coding can be learned in a playful manner under expert female guidance.

Financial Inclusion Initiative

Through our Financial Inclusion Initiative, we help to improve management training and development and foster product and process innovation in microfinance institutions at a global level to give people at the base of the income pyramid better access to banking services. Furthermore, the initiative finances small businesses through microloans, savings, insurance and other financial products and services targeted at low-income clients. It is an effective means of helping people to help themselves and makes an important contribution to the reduction of poverty. At the same time, microfinance generates both a social return and a financial return for investors.

Education

Our Global Education Initiative and our regional education activities support a variety of programs that improve access to education and the quality of educational opportunities. To achieve a sustainable impact, these organizations work with communities and educational authorities at a regional, local and national level. For example, we support the KIPP Foundation in the US, City Year UK in the United Kingdom, and Room to Read in several countries in their efforts to provide new opportunities to disadvantaged young people. As part of our Global Education Initiative, we also partner with Plan International and Aflatoun International on our Financial Education for Girls signature program. As a global financial institution, we see firsthand how important financial skills are to be able to actively participate in the economy and society. The program aimed to improve the financial education and life skills of approximately 100,000 adolescent girls in Brazil, China, India and Rwanda and to encourage them to transition through secondary school. It is aligned with both the Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative and the core business of Credit Suisse.

The Global Citizens Program provides opportunities for qualified employees to go on assignment in-country and apply their professional skills to build the capacity of our partner organizations working in the areas of education and microfinance. Participation in the GCP provides the volunteers with valuable professional and personal experiences that they can apply to their regular work at the bank.

Response to local challenges

The Credit Suisse's Foundation's Disaster Relief Fund provides emergency aid to the victims of natural disasters around the globe. By providing assistance quickly, we try to reduce the suffering of victims and help with reconstruction. The donations made by our employees are also an important source of support that complements the contributions and matching gifts made by the Foundation. To strengthen our humanitarian commitments we also entered into a global partnership with the ICRC in 2008.