The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Home / case studies / Case study: How Credit Suisse helps fight climate change

Case study: How Credit Suisse helps fight climate change

As one of the world’s leading financial services providers, with corporate, institutional and government clients in approximately 50 countries around the globe, Credit Suisse recognises its share of responsibilities in combating climate change by supporting the transition to a low-carbon global economy.  Tweet This!

This case study is based on the 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report by Credit Suisse published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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For Credit Suisse, developing and supporting measures that contribute to a more environmentally sustainable, climate-resilient world economy, is a key priority. In order to help fight climate change Credit Suisse took action to:

  • issue and put into effect a Statement on Climate Change
  • implement the Credit Suisse Cares for Climate initiative
  • improve the energy efficiency of buildings

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report Credit Suisse identified a range of material issues, such as a culture of compliance and conduct, company performance and strategy, quality and range of services and advice, human resources and talent management. Among these, helping fight climate change stands out as a key material issue for Credit Suisse.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Credit Suisse engages with:   

Stakeholder Group Method of engagement
Clients ·    Annual global survey

·    Regular conferences and events for clients

·    Relationship Managers

Shareholders, Investors and Analysts ·    Investor Relations

·    Annual General Meeting

·    Quarterly reporting

·    Annual report and accounts

·    Research

·    Conferences, e.g. the annual Asian Investment Conference

Authorities and Politics ·    Public Policy

·    Regulatory Affairs

·    Regular exchange of information

·    Working groups

·    Trade and business associations



·    Corporate Communications

·    Media Relations

Employees and Trade Unions ·    Employee surveys

·    Town hall meetings with senior managers

·    Credit Suisse Staff Council

·    European Works Council

Suppliers ·    Ongoing dialogue

·    Supplier Code of Conduct

NGOs and IGOs ·    Sustainability Affairs

·    Corporate Citizenship

·    Discussions and events

·    Participation in global initiatives

Local Communities ·    Corporate Citizenship

·    Discussions and debates

·    Support for employees who hold a public office

·    Employee volunteering

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Credit Suisse carried out a structured survey among clients, investors and analysts, policymakers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), local community organisations, suppliers, academia, sustainability professionals and employees.

What actions were taken by Credit Suisse to help fight climate change?

In its 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report Credit Suisse reports that it took the following actions for helping fight climate change:

  • Issuing and putting into effect a Statement on Climate Change
  • Credit Suisse presents its principles and approach regarding climate protection in its “Statement on Climate Change”. This statement describes how Credit Suisse will address climate-related risks, mobilise financial resources and reduce its environmental footprint.
  • Implementing the Credit Suisse Cares for Climate initiative
  • In the context of the Credit Suisse Cares for Climate initiative, Credit Suisse has been operating on a greenhouse gas neutral basis at all its global locations since 2010. This is according to Credit Suisse’s strategy to reduce, substitute and offset greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, Credit Suisse participates in the dialogue on the development of strategies for sustainable, climate-friendly business practices by, among others, hosting the Lifefair Forum event series in Zurich. In 2016, this event series explored climate aspects in discussions with representatives from businesses, the political arena and NGOs on climate-friendly investments and sustainable foods.
  • Improving the energy efficiency of buildings
  • As a leading real estate investment manager with a global portfolio of properties worth more than CHF 43.1 billion, Credit Suisse seeks to join global efforts to tackle climate change by improving the energy efficiency of buildings. Accordingly, Credit Suisse Real Estate Investment Management implements a five-year program that aims to enhance the energy efficiency of approximately 1,000 buildings in Switzerland and reduce CO2 emissions by around 10 per cent. Additionally, Real Estate Investment Management operates the “greenproperty” quality seal, applied to approximately CHF 3 billion of real assets by the end of 2016. Real Estate Investment Management also has a portfolio with 200,000 square meters that are certified according to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 302-4 Reduction of energy consumption

2) Disclosure 305-5 Reduction of GHG emissions


Disclosure 302-4 Reduction of energy consumption corresponds to:

Disclosure 305-5 Reduction of GHG emissions corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Business theme: GHG emissions
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Business theme: Ocean acidification
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Business theme: Forest degradation


80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.

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1) This case study is based on published information by Credit Suisse, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:




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