Dear reader,

This is already the third edition of the Sustainability Report (SR) of the Banque Cantonale de Fribourg!

It will enable you to learn about the latest directions taken by the Bank in 2023, the effects of which will be felt in the coming years. It is important that you know how the Bank concretely integrates the issue of sustainability in its business model.

In 2023, the Bank’s Board of Directors appointed me as the person responsible for taking environmental, social and governance issues into account in the Bank’s policies. It is now my responsibility to oversee the Bank’s implementation of ESG standards, which implies monitoring specific risks related to ESG, regulations, human resources and social engagement.

2023 will have been a year of preparation for the compliance of two new guidelines issued by the Swiss Bankers Association. The first relates to credit and seeks to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. It implies that the Bank may provide advice on real estate financing in order to encourage owners to consider the energy efficiency of their buildings while ensuring that the value of the property is maintained or improved. It is essential that taking sustainability into account does not come into conflict with the objective of profitability – on the contrary. The second guideline concerns the integration of ESG preferences and related risks in investment advice and asset management. In practical terms, this means that each investor can now express an interest in ESG and the associated risks in their financial investments. It will be interesting to evaluate in the next few years the impact of these two instruments on the choices made by the Bank’s clients, and thus on sustainability.

In terms of social engagement, the Bank is an essential partner that supports a large number of cultural associations, foundations, sports clubs and leisure clubs. It will continue to build on this momentum, which is highly appreciated by its beneficiaries. Equality between women and men is a constant concern within the company. The application of a fair, transparent and consistent job-based salary policy has enabled the Bank to receive the «Fair-ON-Pay+» certificate, which attests to its practice of equal pay for men and women. At the management level, the next generation of women is on the way:  today more than half of the employees undergoing postgraduate training are women. The encouragement of women’s access to senior positions in the field needs to be stepped up in order to achieve a more ambitious goal.

The ESG commitment is one of the four core values of the Banque Cantonale de Fribourg, together with trust, competence and efficiency.

We want to succeed together in building a sustainable future!

Dominique Jordan Perrin
Member and head of ESG of the Board of Directors