Credit Suisse unveils SDG-aligned consumer fund to accelerate circular economy shift

Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse has launched a consumer fund aimed at spurring progress towards the targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: Responsible Production and Consumption, as consumer demands for green finance grow.

The fund will cover companies operating in four key sectors: food, urban systems, supply chains and lifestyle. Image: Credit Suisse 

The fund will cover companies operating in four key sectors: food, urban systems, supply chains and lifestyle. Image: Credit Suisse 

Credit Suisse has said it will use monies raised through the fund, called the Responsible Consumer Fund, to invest in businesses whose core purpose is to drive a “paradigm shift” towards more sustainable models of consumption and production. Such businesses could be designing low-carbon products compatible with circular economy principles, or helping to drive a shift away from material goods towards services such as rental or repair.

The fund will cover companies operating in four key sectors: food, urban systems, supply chains and lifestyle. In order to be chosen for backing by the fund, these firms will have had to prove their work to date on delivering against SDG12 and their future potential to continue doing so across a range of Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) indicators including carbon and water intensity.

Going forward, Credit Suisse and its advisor for the fund, Lombard Odier, hope to develop an engagement strategy to ensure that all backed businesses are working as rapidly as possible to deliver a joined-up transition to more sustainable frameworks for production and consumption.

The chief executive of Credit Suisse’s Impact Advisory and Finance (IAF) department, Marisa Drew, said: “This fund is targeted at investors who are keen to align their investing with the topics they are passionate about and which they may already be supporting today with their consumer wallet”.

“This fund should have equal appeal to those investors who see true value creation in backing those companies that are likely to gain market share by being attuned to the shift in consumer sentiment”.

The fund will be launched on 25 November for a three-week subscription period.  

Money talks

The unveiling of the new fund comes shortly after Credit Suisse published its ‘The Responsible Consumer’ report, documenting trends in the environmental, social and ethical demands of consumers in mainland Europe, the UK and the US – and the ways in which these changes are impacting investment.

The report concluded that decoupling economic growth from emissions and waste could create $4.5trn (£3.5trn) in opportunities per annum, as consumers – Millennials in particular – seek out products and services which are compatible with a net-zero economy and with circular economy principles. Key markets in which this benefit could be realised, the report states, include plant-based foods, e-mobility, consumer electronics, health & beauty, and sustainable tourism.

With several other financial institutions tracking similar market shifts, Credit Suisse is one of many firms to have launched a specific, sustainability-aligned fund this year. Blackrock, for example, launched its dedicated circular economy fund in October, after partnering with The Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Elsewhere, Sky is continuing to expand its plastics-pollution-focused Ocean Ventures arm, with recent moves including an investment in TerraCycle’s Loop platform and a partnership with European investment fund Ambienta.


Green finance at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum

edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum returns in 2020, as some of the biggest companies, individuals and organisations championing sustainability gather at the Business Design Centre on 4 & 5 February.

Green finance will be a key discussion point, with speakers including Green Finance Institute CEO Rhian Mari Thomas, M&G Investment's head of responsible investment and ESG Anita McBain and Aviva Investors' global head of governance Mirza Baig. 

Other keynote speakers at this flagship, multi-award-winning event features include Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland; Rebecca Marmot, Unilever CSO; Tom Szaky, TerraCycle CEO and Gilbert Ghostine, Firmenich CEO. For details and to register visit:https://event.edie.net/forum/


Sarah George



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