Environment Climate Protection
Credit Suisse addresses the challenge of climate change at various levels. We take account of environmental and climate aspects in the areas of product development and risk management, and our operations have been greenhouse gas neutral globally since 2010. We are also engaging in dialogue with stakeholders to gain insight that can help us develop sustainable business practices.
The Paris Agreement to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change entered into force in 2016. Its aim is, among other things, to limit the rise in the global temperature to well below 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels. As a global financial institution, we recognize our share of responsibilities in combating climate change by supporting the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient global economy, and we contribute to climate protection at multiple levels. We consider the protection of biodiversity an integral part of our sustainability commitments.
Our principles and our approach to climate protection are set out in our "Statement on Climate Change", which describes how we intend to address climate-related risks, mobilize financial resources and reduce our own environmental footprint.
Products and Services
In the area of renewable energy, Credit Suisse is involved with a significant number of debt, tax equity and equity financing transactions, opening up sources of capital for companies active in this field. Our expertise is diversified across various renewable energy technologies, including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biofuels, fuel cells and energy efficiency. Energy efficiency in buildings is also an important component in the global response to tackling climate change. We also offer real estate funds focused on sustainability.
Moreover, Credit Suisse supports the Green Bond Principles and is a partner in the Climate Bonds Initiative. Both of these initiatives seek to mobilize investments in the capital markets for environment and climate-related projects.
Ecosystem services are closely linked with climate change as changes in the climate have an impact on ecosystem services, and changes in ecosystems impact on the climate. Recognizing the need for capital in conserving ecosystems, Credit Suisse has continuously expanded its activities in the area of conservation finance.
Client transactions that could pose a risk to the environment, the climate, biodiversity or human rights are analyzed through our internal risk review process. We apply our own sector policies and guidelines to set out the environmental and social standards that we expect clients to observe. These guidelines take into account standards developed by international organizations such as the UN and the World Bank and cover areas such as oil and gas, mining, power generation, controversial weapons, and forestry and agribusiness, which covers pulp and paper as well as palm oil production. In 2017, we consolidated our guidelines on power generation, which include restrictions on the financing of new mining projects to extract thermal coal and new coal-fired power plants. We also updated our due diligence framework for shale operations and engaged in discussions about how to more explicitly reflect the rights of indigenous peoples in company policies. Furthermore, we reviewed our risk assessment process with regard to the protection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
We are committed to minimizing our own operational climate impact. Credit Suisse therefore first achieved global greenhouse gas neutrality in 2010. To remain greenhouse gas neutrality, we pursue a four-pillar strategy based on operational efficiency improvements, investments, substitution and compensation. In 2017, we again took action on a number of fronts to continue implementing this strategy. As a result, we reduced our global net greenhouse gas emissions by 41 percent (99,400 metric tons of CO2 equivalents) over the past two years.
Credit Suisse participates actively in discussions on how to promote a more sustainable, climate-friendly approach to business, and we exchange knowledge with a variety of organizations and expert groups.
In Switzerland, for example, we have for a number of years been hosting the Lifefair Forum event series that explores topics such as climate-related issues. At these events in 2017, experts from the business community, the political arena and NGOs engaged in discussions about digitalization and mobility, future energy, logistics and sustainability.
Participation in CDP
CDP represents more than 800 institutional investors with invested assets of around USD 100 trillion; its aim is to provide guidance to investors on climate-related opportunities and risks for companies. Credit Suisse has participated in CDP since 2002. In 2017, more than 6,300 companies worldwide disclosed information on their climate strategies and greenhouse gas emissions. Credit Suisse was assigned grade B for its performance score (rating scale: A to D-). Further information on Credit Suisse's disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions can be found on the CDP website.
Raising Employee Awareness of Environmental Issues
The need to make responsible use of natural resources is set out in our Code of Conduct. We actively inform employees about environmental issues and give them the opportunity to make a personal contribution to environmental protection.
Earth Hour: Credit Suisse participated in WWF's Earth Hour again in 2017 by switching off the lights in a number of office buildings globally. During this symbolic annual climate initiative, thousands of cities, towns and buildings worldwide turn off their lights for one hour.
bike to work: In 2017, Credit Suisse participated in the "bike to work" campaign for the tenth time in 2017, with 79 teams of employees in Switzerland cycling a total of around 118,566 kilometers – which is approximately equivalent to circumventing the globe three times.
Sustainability Network: Around 1,900 employees worldwide were signed up to our regional Sustainability Networks as of end-2017– an internal platform that enables them to take part in a range of sustainability events.
Training: Credit Suisse, together with various service providers, conducted 11,000 hours of training on environmental management and health and safety to 8,100 employees in 2017.