Sustainable Finance

While corporates are increasingly feeling the pressure from all stakeholders to commit to sustainability in all its forms, this also creates significant opportunities. Sustainability demands from clients, shareholders and regulators are disrupting all industries. The transition to a more sustainable society requires capital, and it is our goal to partner with our clients to help them fulfil their sustainability ambitions.

As well as transitioning towards environmentally friendly business models, businesses must be more inclusive to achieve true sustainability. It is our desire and responsibility to harness the power of finance to address pressing social and environmental issues and create a future that is fair, inclusive and sustainable for all.

In 2020, we made a public commitment to provide at least CHF 300 billion of sustainable finance by 2030. To establish a credible and multi-dimensional framework underscoring our ambition, we have created our bespoke Sustainable Activities Framework (SAF) which defines the methodology governing activities that qualify as sustainable and aims to provide transparency, rigor and accountability when assessing whether individual transactions should qualify towards our commitment. The SAF has been developed in partnership with leading internal and external subject matter experts and has been externally verified, as well as receiving endorsement from the Climate Bonds Initiative.

We hold ourselves to a robust standard of accountability when tracking our progress towards our sustainable finance commitments. It is fundamental that our sustainable growth and progress should be clear and transparent to all our stakeholders. Given the rapidly changing nature of the sustainable finance landscape, we anticipate the SAF will evolve in tandem with market developments, and we will aim to align with industry best practice. Our goal is to maintain a robust and credible framework that defines green, transition and social finance activities and to encourage our clients to consider these factors when engaging with us. These categories and their underlying criteria were developed in partnership with a leading consulting firm and industry experts, as part of our efforts to align with industry best-practice guidelines, including those listed below.

Our SAF is:

  • Grounded in industry best practice and widely accepted classifications and guidelines, such as the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities, International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) Green and Social Bond Principles and Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) taxonomy
  • Wide-ranging, covering green, transition and social finance activities, with specific reference to themes such as biodiversity
  • Aligned with other Credit Suisse sustainability frameworks and the UN SDGs
  • Externally verified with third-party opinion
  • Governed by internal controls, including a transaction-by-transaction review before inclusion towards our commitment of providing at least CHF 300 billion of sustainable finance by 2030.

With the aim of leading our clients’ transition towards a more sustainable future, our SAF has been developed to cover two types of transactions – general use and specific use of proceeds – as per the table on the previous page.