Approach & Reporting Message from the CEO and the Chairman
Message from the CEO and the Chairman
Urs Rohner, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Tidjane Thiam, Chief Executive Officer, on Corporate Responsibility.
In October 2015, we announced a new strategy for Credit Suisse. Our ambition is to be a leading private bank and wealth manager with distinctive investment banking capabilities. To support this strategy, we introduced a simplified organizational structure that enables us to better understand and respond to our clients’ needs and to bring each of our businesses closer to its market. In December 2015, we completed a capital raise to ensure that Credit Suisse has the strong capital base needed to successfully implement its new strategy and invest to remain competitive.
Since the beginning of 2016, markets have been quite volatile and the future evolution of the world economy quite uncertain. Even in these challenging times, we must remain focused on our core principles and priorities. A responsible approach to business is essential to operate successfully and to create long-term value for our clients, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders. We believe that for corporate responsibility to be more than just a declaration of intent, it must be embedded in the organization. To ensure that we continue to contribute to a culture of integrity and compliance at every level of our company, we established the new Executive Board level position of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs Officer in October 2015. Compliance and integrity are also central to our Code of Conduct, which clearly defines a set of ethical values and professional standards that are binding on all employees and members of the Board of Directors.
As a global bank operating in today’s interconnected world, we recognize the need to carefully weigh our actions and to consider the broader economic, social and environmental impacts of our activities – ensuring that short-term interests do not undermine our longer-term goals. We believe that a responsible approach to business also includes a commitment to upholding key international agreements. For example, Credit Suisse was an early signatory to the UN Global Compact, which prescribes universal principles relating to human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption efforts.
Environmental and climate protection considerations play an important role in the way we conduct our business. 2015 was a key year in global efforts to tackle climate change, and we have set out our principles and our approach to climate protection in our “Statement on Climate Change”. Before engaging in client transactions, we conduct a Reputational Risk Review Process to identify potential environmental and social risks and apply internal policies and guidelines. We have also continued to expand our range of investment products and services that incorporate economic, environmental and social aspects in response to the growing demand from clients. At an operational level, Credit Suisse continues to take measures to promote the efficient use of resources, reduce our environmental footprint and comply with green standards.
Amid growing calls for a transition to a more sustainable economy, the UN presented its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. Credit Suisse actively participated in the international discussion about the SDGs and published the report “Aiming for Impact: Credit Suisse and the Sustainable Development Goals” to help raise awareness of this topic and show how companies can pursue business objectives while contributing to sustainable development. We also held discussions about the SDGs with employees and other stakeholder groups.
In addition to these activities, our social commitments range from our strategic partnerships – which leverage our financial contributions and the skills and expertise of our employees – to financial support for charitable institutions and contributions to disaster relief efforts. In 2015, our activities in Switzerland included the launch of the association “Check Your Chance” to help combat youth unemployment in our home market. At the same time, we continued our global initiatives in the areas of microfinance and education that are designed to drive inclusive growth and to help people to help themselves.
Trust forms the foundation of our business. One of the ways we can inspire confidence in our stakeholders is by maintaining an understanding of their specific needs and interests and of what they expect from us as a bank. The Corporate Responsibility Report is designed to be part of our stakeholder dialogue and to offer insights into the way we fulfill our diverse responsibilities.