Environment Biodiversity & Natural Capital
Credit Suisse's efforts to support sustainable development include our commitment to preserving biodiversity. We recognize the vital need to protect the broad range of species on our planet and to safeguard natural ecological processes. Biodiversity is under threat due to the overexploitation of land, the destruction of habitats, climate change and the impacts of invasive species.
The term "biodiversity" denotes the variety of life and its processes. It includes the diversity of living organisms, the differences between them, and the ecosystems and communities in which they exist. Both ecosystems and the biodiversity contained within them provide valuable services to humankind and business: They supply food and medicine derived from plants, they filter pollution and store CO2, and they regenerate soils and recycle nutrients. The methods used to determine the value of this natural capital, as well as the economic costs of species loss and a reduction in the capacity of ecosystem services, need to be further developed. As a financial services provider, Credit Suisse believes that such financial valuation methods are vital to adequately assessing the risks and returns of the economic activities and investments that are dependent on those services.
Projects and Activities
At Credit Suisse, we view the protection of biodiversity as an integral part of our sustainability commitments. Biodiversity-related issues are considered in Credit Suisse's risk management processes, and it covers this topic in its sector-specific policies and guidelines. We also address the issue of environmental sustainability and sustainable land use in our dialogue with stakeholders. In March 2018, for example, we contributed to a regional policy dialogue in Bangkok with government representatives, development agencies and the private sector. Organized by The Center for People and Forests, it focused on ways of mobilizing opportunities for forest landscape restoration in South Asia. Credit Suisse contributed to the publication "Connecting Finance and Natural Capital: Supplement to the Natural Capital Protocol" – and took part in its official launch in April 2018. This gave Credit Suisse the opportunity to share examples of how it addresses natural capital risks in its transactions while creating opportunities in this space through its products and services.
In order to preserve the natural habitats and processes that are vital for the survival of human beings, animals and other species, significantly more capital will be required than has so far been deployed. Credit Suisse has long been a pioneer in the conservation finance space and is continuing to expand its activities in this fast-growing environmental finance market focusing on the generation of long-term and diversified sources of revenue that can play a major role in ensuring biodiversity conservation and the health of natural ecosystems. In 2018, Credit Suisse held the fifth Annual Conservation Finance Investor Conference in New York City as well as its first Impact Roundtable in Lisbon that centered on marine conservation and the Blue Economy, whose aim is to create investment opportunities focusing on business models that have – among other things – a positive, long-term impact on the health of oceans. This provided a platform for a selected group of ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) clients to engage in a discussion with leading global experts in this field. Furthermore, Credit Suisse has expanded its role as advisor to UHNW clients in conservation finance, and is one of the founding members of the cross-sectoral Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation (CPIC), which aims to bring more private capital into this space. Also, Credit Suisse included the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 14 ("life below water"), which focuses on conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marine resources, in Credit Suisse's own green bond framework that was launched in 2018. More information on the topic can be found here.
Credit Suisse has acted as a technical advisor to the Zoological Society of London’s Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit (SPOTT) since its inception, and in 2018 it joined the Technical Advisory Group for the newly launched SPOTT Timber, Pulp and Paper (TPP) tool. It currently assesses 50 timber and pulp producers on the public disclosure of their policies, operations and commitments to environmental, social and governance (ESG) best practice. Credit Suisse also supported the needs analysis for the expansion of the SPOTT platform, which was completed in 2018, while being involved in the planning work to further expand the platform to include the natural rubber sector in 2019.