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Credit Suisse Publishes Climate Action Plan for its Investment Areas

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Credit Suisse Publishes Climate Action Plan for its Investment Areas

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Credit Suisse published a Climate Action Plan (CAP), outlining the ambition and approach of Credit Suisse Asset Management and Credit Suisse Wealth Management divisions in support of the transition to a net zero society. The CAP describes how both divisions will seek to achieve net zero by 2050 across their investment portfolios, in support of the Credit Suisse Group ambition to reach net zero by 2050 across its financing activities, supply chain and operations.

As a global financial institution, Credit Suisse recognizes the important role it plays in combating climate change by supporting the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient global economy. In December 2020, the Group announced its 2050 net-zero ambition, underpinned by interim science-based goals by 2030. These commitments were underscored by the Group’s decision to join the Sustainable Markets Initiative and the Net Zero Banking Alliance in 2021. The publication of our CAP adds to this, by inclusion of investment activities on behalf of clients within Credit Suisse Asset Management and Credit Suisse Wealth Management. In March 2022, Credit Suisse Asset Management joined the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative. This commitment sets out a range of actions that are required to accelerate the transition to net zero and achieve emissions reductions in the real economy: engaging with clients, setting goals for assets managed in line with net zero pathways, policy advocacy, corporate engagement, and stewardship.

Emma Crystal, Chief Sustainability Officer at Credit Suisse, said: “As we seek to limit the impacts of climate change, many sectors of the economy will need to adapt and evolve. With a thoughtful strategy and appropriate action, we can lay the groundwork to both manage risk and leverage opportunity for our clients, the economy and society. The Climate Action Plan from our Asset Management and Wealth Management divisions is an important next step on that journey.”

See related article: Texas Places BlackRock, Credit Suisse & UBS on Divestment List for “Boycotting” Fossil Fuel Companies in Anti-ESG Backlash

Grow, engage and reduce as key climate impact levers
With the net zero goal for Credit Suisse Asset Management and Credit Suisse Wealth Management, Credit Suisse Group underscores its ambition to help address climate change and achieve net zero by 2050 across the Group’s financing activities, supply chain and operations. Credit Suisse sees three key areas where its asset and wealth management areas can have an impact on climate.

  • Grow: Credit Suisse aims to invest in decarbonization leaders or businesses around the world that provide solutions to facilitate and accelerate the transition to a net zero economy and society. Such businesses can provide superior growth opportunities and more resilient business models and, as a result, can provide attractive financial returns, creating a favorable dynamic for both society and clients.
  • Engage: By engaging with investee companies and using its voting power at their annual general meetings, Credit Suisse Asset Management aims to encourage those companies to commit to net zero and thereby better protect long-term value for clients as well as helping to accelerate the transition. Impact on the real economy can be achieved through active ownership. Credit Suisse views this as an essential tool in its transition to net zero. The CAP outlines the clear criteria for this engagement.
  • Reduce: Credit Suisse aims to reduce its exposure to carbon-intensive sectors and companies unwilling to transition to net zero. Since the divesting of assets does not immediately have an impact on the real economy, the bank’s first priority will be investing in solutions for the energy transition and engaging with its investee companies to help them set credible transition plans. However, Credit Suisse will also pursue a strategy to reduce its exposure to companies that are unwilling to transition, that fail to respond to the bank’s engagement efforts, and that have substantial exposure to climate-sensitive activities. Both investment arms of the bank intend to reallocate the capital to lower-carbon assets or climate solutions.

To underscore Credit Suisse Group’s commitment to net zero by 2050, the Group has established a dedicated Net Zero Science-Based Targets (SBT) Program to provide oversight and strategic guidance for developing the net zero strategy. The Program is chaired by Credit Suisse Group’s Chief Sustainability Officer.

In responding to the opportunities provided by the CAP:

Steven Bates, Head of Sustainability Analysis and Solutions, Wealth Managment said: “Through our Climate Action Plan we have set out a pathway to accelerate climate action through our investment activity. Our clients have a growing appetite and expectation of us, and we are committed to incorporating greater environmental and social considerations into the decision-making process in our pursuit of net zero. Partnership is critical to our success and fundamental to our approach.”

Jeroen Bos, Head Sustainable Investing, Asset Management commented: “We are committed to supporting the transition to a net zero society together with our clients, stakeholders, and investee companies. We trust that this plan will provide valuable insights into and transparency regarding our approach. Tackling climate change and accelerating the transition to net zero are vitally important for society, and we intend to do our part. The time to act is now.”

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