On Thursday, November 24, 2022, the Communication and Media Studies major, with the support of the Division of Communication, History, and Politics, hosted a guest lecture by Mr. Urs Rüst on “Communicating Sustainability at Credit Suisse.” As part of the activities within the course entitled COM238 Strategic Communications by Professor Alessandro Martinisi, the lecture encompassed points on strategic communication and sustainability in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations.

Though situated within the frame of communication studies, the highly interdisciplinary nature of the topic and information made the subject applicable to other majors. Attended especially by students in the COM238 course, the experiences laid out by Mr. Rüst really did engage a wide range of people, including students from other majors and faculty members.

Introducing his prior experience, Professor Martinisi read along an extensive list of roles held by Mr. Rüst throughout the financial industry. After joining Credit Suisse in 2004, his shift to sustainability occurred within the past few years after a strong push towards sustainability because of the Paris Agreement. His current position is the Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Global Sustainability at Credit Suisse Zürich. His talk covered not only the roles he plays in ensuring sustainability but also the broader scale role of Credit Suisse and their targets for achieving sustainable infrastructure throughout the company, aligned with various global sustainability initiatives.

"Sustainability is an integral part of Credit Suisse strategy. What began with a focus on climate change and the environment now includes some of the most pressing social issues of our age. As this evolution continues, the expectations to the financial sector are also changing. It is key that we continue to adapt our strategical approach to sustainability," commented Mr. Rüst.

Although the lecture’s focus was Mr. Rüst’s role in communicating sustainability at Credit Suisse, from the beginning he clearly explained that the presentation was merely a formality, and dedicated to learning and understanding the thoughts and opinions of students. By opening the presentation to questions, the event became more student-driven. In this way, it became more of a symbiotic relationship, each offering the other beneficial insights. Mr. Rüst answered a variety of questions aimed at all aspects of Credit Suisse and his work ranging from financial and economic to sustainable and environmental.

Mr. Rüst says the next Credit Suisse suitability report will be released on March 9, 2023, where anyone can read about the strategy and efforts made to implement and promote sustainability while continually looking forward to the future.

Written by Britton Morrell '23