Governance for sustainable products and services

In addition to leading the bank’s focus on developing and implementing its sustainability strategy, the Sustainability Strategy, Advisory and Finance (SSAF) unit within Sustainability, Research & Investment Solutions (SRI) is also responsible for setting internal standards relating to governance for sustainable products. This includes our efforts to ensure we lead with credibility by embedding a centralized review of certain new products and client engagements that relate to the environmental, social and governance (ESG)/Sustainability theme to ensure we do not overstate or misrepresent our credentials in this area. This work is closely linked to the bank’s existing RRRP and complementary to the bank’s risk framework, which set out prohibitions on a sectoral/industry basis.

In addition, the SSAF is responsible for applying critical governance around our goal to provide at least CHF 300 billion of sustainable financing to support transition strategies (renewables, Green/Blue/Transition bonds, low-carbon energy solutions and UN SDG-aligned financings) over the next ten years. Over the course of 2021 we intend to release guidance on the Sustainable Activities Framework methodology we have developed to illustrate how we count transactions towards this target and provide insight on the associated criteria. This is complementary to the work we have already published on how we apply ESG criteria across investments (the Credit Suisse Sustainable Investment Framework) in an effort to bring transparency to this fast-evolving space.

In addition, we are aligned with industry best practice by following the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Impact Management Principles for any impact-related product, which includes external assurance by a third party. We also follow the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) for any Credit Suisse self-issued green bonds, which are also subject to third-party assurance review. Our commitment to good governance and third-party assurance is designed to ensure that we lead with credibility in this area.