Economy & Society Global Commitments

Global Commitments

Credit Suisse and its employees have been committed to fostering inclusive growth by addressing socio-economic challenges for many years. Working with selected partner organizations, we support social and humanitarian projects around the world.

Credit Suisse strives to be a committed partner beyond its core activities and to contribute to inclusive growth and social development. We have therefore entered into long-term strategic partnerships with selected non-profit organizations (NGOs) that have an extensive knowledge of specific local requirements in different countries. Our regional foundations and committees work with over 700 partner organizations globally and are responsible for coordinating grants, donations and the volunteer efforts of our employees.

Credit Suisse is convinced that employee volunteering creates mutual benefits. By participating in the charitable projects run by our partner organizations, we can gain a better insight into the needs of the people in the communities in which we live and work and build mutual trust. At the same time, these activities further enhance the interpersonal skills of our people and promote team spirit – ultimately strengthening our corporate culture.

As part of our social commitment we set three focus themes: microfinance, education and employee engagement.

Employee Engagement 2015


partners receiving both funding and skills-based volunteering support


countries in which our partners are active



Selected Projects 2015

Project Aim Result
Dream Pursuing Mentorship Program

In 2015, Credit Suisse launched its first long-term student mentorship program in partnership with Teach Unlimited Foundation (TUF) in Hong Kong. The 9-month "Dream Pursuing Mentorship" provided a platform for Credit Suisse volunteers to mentor 10 students, aged 16 to 17, from four socially disadvantaged schools in Hong Kong, to help them to develop life and career skills. Mentors and mentees were matched according to their skills, interests, backgrounds and language ability, and have access to support from Teach Unlimited Foundation, as required, throughout the process.

Teach Unlimited Foundation (TUF) was founded in March 2011 and is dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in today's world. Their mission is to improve the education prospects for socially disadvantaged students in Hong Kong by providing additional resources and education support.

Sponsoring this mentorship program with Teach Unlimited Foundation gave our 14 staff volunteers the chance to establish meaningful mentoring relationships with their student mentees. Mentors and mentees had the opportunity to participate in a number of charity activities together over the 9 month period and the student mentees were also able to visit the Credit Suisse Hong Kong office and job shadow a wide range of staff to learn more about their backgrounds and work experience. It was an event that brought our staff and students from the local community together.
Teach for China Credit Suisse has been partnering with Teach for China (TFC) since 2012 supporting the recruitment, training and placement of TFC Fellows in under-resourced schools in rural China. During the 3 year partnership Credit Suisse support enabled TFC to recruit, train and place 21 Fellows in under-resourced classrooms in Shantou, Guangdong and Lincang, Yunnan who went on to provide high quality academic instruction and extra-curricular programming to 4,200 students. Aside from the financial assistance, Credit Suisse has supported this partnership through the skills based engagement of our staff in the Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai offices in a Pen Pal exchange program with students from a TFC supported school as well as a mentorship program for second year Fellows who will be leaving the Program. In 2015, Credit Suisse's partnership with TFC continued to grow with a new grant to support in-country Fellow recruitment. With Credit Suisse's support, Teach For China will have the capacity to recruit over 180 of China's outstanding and high-performing graduates to join the 2016-2018 cohort through implementing activities and events on over 80 of China's top university campuses. These Fellows would go on to reach more than 27,600 low-income and rural students through direct in-classroom instruction during the 2015-2016 school year at under-resourced schools in all of their program regions.
Water Security through Education and Community-Led Water Resource Development Project Credit Suisse in India is working with Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR) on a Water security through Education and Community-Led Water Resource Development project in Paner Block, Ahmednagar district, 186 kms away from Mumbai and 125 kms away from Pune. The Paner Block is the driest block in Ahmednagar district and receives average rainfall of 400-500 mm/year, which is highly erratic and uneven resulting in acute drinking water and fodder shortage. As part of the project that began in March 2015, a three-day volunteering initiative was organized for Credit Suisse staff to understand the Watershed Development and Climate Change Adaptation. Over 50 volunteers signed up for a rural immersion exposure at WOTR's Darewadi Training Centre followed by a sapling plantation drive. The volunteers were hosted by WOTR team at their Darewadi Training Centre and briefed on the water conservation initiatives. Volunteers then on the following days conducted surveys and interacted with villagers understanding their needs and challenges for advanced farming techniques and also participated in a sapling plantation drive at the training centre.
Project Aim Result
City Year UK Pioneer Growth Partnership Credit Suisse has been working with City Year UK since 2010 and became their Pioneer Growth Partner in 2015. As part of this five-year commitment, we are helping the organization to achieve its vision of recruiting 1,000 volunteers by 2020 to support 100 schools in five cities. In addition to our financial and capacity building support, 12 Credit Suisse employees served as mentors in 2015 to City Year UK volunteers, helping them to perform their role as effectively as possible.

In September 2015, City Year UK launched its program in a third city, Manchester, embedding the organization as a national charity.

In 2015 City Year UK also became a beneficiary partner of the Credit Suisse Global Citizens Program welcoming a volunteer to conduct an employability research project aimed at positioning City Year UK as a source of high performing graduate level talent for Britain's top employers.

Charity of the Year – Poland To raise funds for the charity of the year, and to engage an increased number of Credit Suisse employees in volunteering opportunities.

In 2015, the partnership with Wroclaw Children's Hospice created 1,327 volunteering opportunities (total 6,043 hours served) and allowed 947 unique individual volunteers to be engaged.

Employees have elected for the Hospice to be the 2016 Charity of the Year, too

Board Training Programme The Nonprofit Board Training Program at Credit Suisse helps high-level employees – and valued clients – to master the art of nonprofit board service. Aim: To have 100 employees trained, and place employees on boards during 2016. To date (May 2016), over 150 employees attended the launch training event, 56 attended additional training, and placements on Boards have begun.
Project Aim Result
City Harvest To support the organization in its mission to help fight hunger in New York City by providing funding and volunteer support. Over 750 Credit Suisse employees volunteered 2,800 hours, helping to repack 375,000 pounds of food in 2015. Credit Suisse was honored for its long-standing commitment to City Harvest at their annual gala in April 2016.
New York Cares To support a range of causes reflective of the talents and interests of our employees. From hands-on projects, including painting murals, to skills-based volunteerism, including mentoring and serving on the organization's governing board, over 1,500 Credit Suisse employees contributed more than 5,000 hours of service to New York Cares in 2015. Credit Suisse will be recognized for its partnership with New York Cares at their gala in 2016.
Harlem Academy To help the school serve bright, motivated students from underserved communities and prepare them for success at top secondary schools and lifelong learning. In 2015, 97% of Harlem Academy students scored at or above the national median and one-third of students scored in the top 10% in the nation. Across the board, students gain an average of 11 percentile points in their first year at the school.
Project Aim Result
Credit Suisse Jeunes Solistes 2015 Recognize the outstanding achievements of young soloists in the field of classical music and provide them with an opportunity to showcase their talents. In 2015, Serb Vojin Kocić became the first guitarist to win the Prix Credit Suisse Jeunes Solistes. In addition to receiving CHF 25,000 in prize money, he made his debut at the Lucerne Festival in Summer.
Swiss Red Cross Support health and integration programs run by the Swiss Red Cross. Around 2,300 Credit Suisse employees took part in 2015 in a blood donation campaign, a driver pool transport service, the "2x Christmas" campaign and the integration project "Mitten unter uns" (In Our Midst), where Credit Suisseemployees support young immigrants in acquiring language skills.

Response to global challenges

Our aim is to implement our global strategy in the area of social commitments as effectively as possible, ensuring that our resources are deployed efficiently and that the projects we support generate long-term benefits. To facilitate these efforts, we cooperate with local partners who understand the conditions in the individual regions and can execute projects that are specifically tailored to local needs.

We regard education and access to financial services as key drivers of growth and an effective means of helping people to help themselves.

Based on the success of the bank's Global Education Initiative, we rolled out a new program focused on financial education for girls in 2014. The program is being implemented by the global organizations Plan International and Aflatoun. Aligned with both the Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative and the core business of Credit Suisse, the program brings together Plan International's expertise in enabling access to quality education and Aflatoun's expertise in improving the life skills of girls and the development of social and financial skills curricula and teaching methods. 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.

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.

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

As an employer, we strive to assume our social responsibilities by encouraging our employees to lend their support to our partners, thus complementing the financial contributions made by Credit Suisse. We offer all employees the opportunity to dedicate up to four days per year on full pay to take part in projects run by our partners in the areas of education, environmental protection, health care and social issues. In addition to their social impact on our communities, these engagements contribute to our employees' personal and professional development and, at the same time, help to strengthen our corporate culture. Moreover, our Global Citizens Program (see page 29) allows suitably qualified employees to use their expertise to make a direct contribution on the ground to projects run by our global partner organizations, mostly in emerging economies and developing countries.

Disaster Relief Fund

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.

In Japan, the Disaster Relief Fund is providing a total of USD 5.5 million to support long-term reconstruction efforts in the Fukushima region. When the Tayphoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November 2013, the Disaster Relief Fund provided USD 630,000 of immediate financial aid.

In April 2015, Nepal was impacted by a strong earthquake, which caused severe damage – particularly to the capital, Kathmandu. Credit Suisse gave employees the opportunity to make donations and subsequently doubled the amount of money they had raised. In total, over USD 600,000 was given to the aid organization Habitat for Humanity in support of its relief efforts in Nepal.