The sustainability evolution

Client demand for sustainable and impact investment opportunities has grown significantly in recent years, and we believe this trend is poised to accelerate further in the future. At Credit Suisse, we strive to create and facilitate investment products and services that generate environmental and social benefits as well as financial returns, and to support the changing needs of our clients, regulators and the markets in which we operate.

Climate change may very well be the greatest challenge of our lifetime, presenting tangible physical and valuation risk for investors, but it also offers significant returns potential from the inevitable shift to a low-carbon economy. Not only do we view climate risk as a material issue that needs to be integrated into our mainstream investment process, but also we seek to offer our clients opportunities to gain exposure to the sectors that are expected to benefit from this transition, such as green energy, sustainable and regenerative food production, smart cities and water access. In addition to the groundswell of interest in environmental factors, 2020 was the year that social themes came to the fore. Such social themes, including access to basic goods and services, for example healthcare and education, and diversity and inclusion, featured prominently on investors’ agendas.

That is why, in July 2020, we established the Sustainability, Research & Investment Solutions (SRI) function at the Executive Board level, which allows us to accelerate and embed our sustainability efforts throughout all client segments. This new function is dedicated to supporting divisions across the bank in delivering innovative products, content and solutions to our wealth management, corporate and institutional clients. Our aim is to be a leader in our core competencies, providing bespoke advisory services to private and corporate clients, to develop proprietary sustainable investment solutions, to produce thematic industry research and to deliver best-in-class house views. Furthermore, we have set bold new objectives in line with our ambition to become a leader in sustainability – committing to at least CHF 300 billion of sustainable financing over the next ten years – while assisting our clients in their energy transition.

The key themes we use to guide our sustainable product and solutions focus are Disrupt for progress, Transition to better and Protect the future.