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 Microfinance 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: microfinance, education and employee engagement.

Employee Engagement 2016




partners receiving both funding and skills-based volunteering support


countries in which our partners are active

Employees: Expertise, Development, Commitment

Our employees are an integral part of our commitment to society, dedicating over 195,000 hours of their time and expertise in 2016. 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 2016, 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 2016, our employees around the world dedicated 69,024 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.

Selected Projects 2016

Project Aim Result
The Women's Foundation "Girl Go Tech Program" Career Day (Hong Kong)'

Credit Suisse sponsored The Women's Foundation's 'Girls Go Tech' project through employee fundraising during the 2015 year-end holiday party. On July 8, almost 80 Credit Suisse volunteers hosted a free career information session and IT coding workshop for 42 girls from three underprivileged high schools in Hong Kong.

The event provided the opportunity for our employees to share their personal experience and career advice as well as to connect with the local community. At the end of the full-day event, the students gained an understanding of the different career opportunities available at Credit Suisse and were able to design and develop a website which allows users to search for share prices and build a Foreign Exchange (FX) calculator.
Needs Assessment Workshop (Singapore) Credit Suisse held a workshop for 18 of our existing philanthropy and volunteering partners which involved volunteering our staff skills and expertise to address capability gaps faced by the charities. Close to 15 of our staff volunteered to be trained prior to the workshop to be facilitators on the actual day. These staff came from varying backgrounds (IT, Marketing, Legal, Finance, HR) to ensure that the needs of the various charities were met. The workshop was a success, with great feedback from both the charities and staff. It resulted with six volunteers being matched to four different skills-based volunteering projects that are currently in progress. Each project will take place over four to six months. For example, one such project with Muscular Dystrophy Association of Singapore (MDAS) and two Credit Suisse volunteers from Private Banking Marketing have resulted in their social media to receive increased viewership after the staff assisted with editing their video and providing feedback on how to improve their social media platforms to increase awareness.
Livelihood advancements projects for vulnerable groups – Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR) (Pune and Jai Vakeel School, Mumbai) Credit Suisse supports a livelihood advancement projects for children with special needs in Mumbai and farmers in Pune. Credit Suisse in Mumbai by supporting Jai Vakeel School focuses on inclusive education by providing livelihood advancement guidance to children with learning disabilities. 15 of our staff participated in supporting the children at the vocational guidance training center in packing the products developed by them. Continuing the support being provided to farmers in rural Maharashtra, on the rainwater harvesting and water shed initiative through WOTR, 60 staff members from Pune and Mumbai offices travelled to Ahmednagar District to plant 6,000 saplings over two days in five villages.

The support by the volunteers at the vocational center helped the school in their ongoing pre-festival exhibitions. The school raises funds for the vocational center and stipends for the children with learning disabilities through exhibitions.

The planting of saplings will help green forest cover in five villages and will support over 3,000 families in these villages.

Project Aim Result
City Year UK National Gallery Education Outreach program To provide young volunteers and 50 children from disadvantaged background with a reflective education program.

Through our sponsorship relationship with the National Gallery Credit Suisse was able to facilitate the design and delivery of an education outreach program to young people lead by expert educators from the Gallery. The students and volunteers were introduced to four pieces of art which they reflected on and created their own works based on what they learned. The program also challenged the Gallery to consider its education program and has led to new thinking around working with targeted schools in disadvantaged communities.

Polish Children and Youth Foundation (PCYF)

The Polish Children and Youth Foundation aims to stimulate the comprehensive development of children and young people and to raise a new generation of responsible and creative citizens who consciously shape their own lives and that of their community.

The Credit Suisse EMEA Foundation now funds a social skills training program for teachers and students from vocational schools and technical colleges in Wroclaw and Gdansk.

Between October 2015 and May 2016, a comprehensive program was implemented to develop social skills, including organization, leadership, creativity and entrepreneurship among vocational students (technical colleges and basic vocational schools). The Program has two components:

  • Theoretical: preparation and delivery of 25 lessons, teachers training and development
  • Practical: projects developed and run by the students.

The first round of the program involved teachers and students in seven vocational schools in Wroclaw and five in Gdansk. To date 36 teachers (24 in Wroclaw and 12 in Gdansk) have received training and the program has been completed by 516 students (308 in Wroclaw and 208 in Gdansk).

Employee engagement

All workshops conducted by Credit Suisse employees were completed in March and April 2016.

Simulated job interviews conducted by Credit Suisse employees for over 55 students were completed in May and June. Each interview was based on a scenario and lasted for about 30 minutes. On June 15, 2016, Credit Suisse employees took part in the official closing of the first round of the program during which teachers and students received certificates.

Ireland Charity of the Year To select a Charity of the Year for the new Dublin site and deliver a program. In the new Dublin office employees voted to support Pieta House, a non-profit organization which works with people who are in suicidal distress or at risk of self-harm. Local employees immediately engaged with the organization and had raised over EUR 45,000 by the end of 3Q16. Key events included the Wicklow Challenge, a 200km cycle challenge.
Project Aim Result
KIPP To help the network of college-preparatory, public charter schools to prepare students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life. In 2016, KIPP enrolled 80,000 students at its 200 schools. In the communities where they work, they are helping to increase the college graduation rate of 10% four-fold. In an effort to connect employees with the organizations that Credit Suisse invests in, the KIPP AMP Legacy Jazz Ensemble performed at the 2016 Giving Back Awards, our annual employee recognition event. Additionally, several Credit Suisse employees volunteer with KIPP on weekends while others serve as members of the governing board or on the KIPP NYC Associate Council.
Nonprofit Board Service Program and Matching Gifts To strengthen the capacity of non-profit organizations by supporting employees who already serve or are looking to serve on non-profit boards. As part of this work we offer resources to existing non-profit board members, including programming to share best practices and meet other board members, as well as a matching gifts program, which was launched in 2015. Recent analysis of our program has shown that employees who serve on non-profit boards are more engaged and less likely to leave the bank.
Holiday Charity Initiative To bring visibility and funding to organizations that reflect the bank's corporate citizenship priorities – with a particular focus on organizations where our employees volunteer. The Holiday Charity Initiative is Credit Suisse's annual employee giving campaign in the Americas whereby the Credit Suisse Americas Foundation matches employee contributions to select organizations. Since it was launched in 2004, the campaign has raised over USD 18.5 million. In 2016, employees were invited to nominate and vote for organizations to be included in the campaign.
Project Aim Result
Credit Suisse Young Artist Award 2016 Promoting the next generation of talent is important to us. Through the Prix Credit Suisse Jeunes Solistes and the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award, we are providing a platform for exceptional young artists. The Credit Suisse Young Artist Award 2016 was won by percussionist Simone Rubino. The award comes with prize money of CHF 75,000 and the chance to perform in concert with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Lucerne Festival.
Pro Juventute interview skills training We support young people in their last year at school in applying for apprenticeships, with a view to helping reduce youth unemployment. Around 130 Credit Suisse employees have been involved in a pilot project in three cantons, working with more than 600 young people. Due to the positive feedback Pro Juventute foundation is now planning to roll out its interview skills training program in other parts of Switzerland. Credit Suisse will continue to be a key partner in this important project, adding a new dimension to its successful Youth Unemployment Initiative, which has been running since 2010.
150 years of the Swiss Red Cross In 2016, our long-term partner Swiss Red Cross (SRK) celebrated its 150th anniversary. We assisted the SRK with the celebrations. During the year, we launched a whole range of communication measures, such as special video clips to mark the occasion in our branches and on social media, ads and articles in various in-house and external media. As part of the official celebrations to kick off the anniversary year, we organized a VIP event at our Bundesplatz branch in Bern, and staff volunteered to help out with the festivities. The SRK is very well known and liked in Switzerland, so the anniversary year was a great opportunity to support our partners in a slightly different way for once.

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.


Through our Microfinance Capacity Building 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.


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 aims 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.