Foreword by the Chair of the Executive Board
The financial sector has a special responsibility and opportunity to shape sustainability. It does so through its own behaviour and investment strategies, when advising clients and investing the client funds entrusted to it, and when taking sustainability into account in financing. SZKB’s activities have a direct influence on sustainability in the Canton of Schwyz as well as among its clients and other stakeholders.
Based on its long-standing understanding of its role and policy mission, SZKB is committed to the sustainable development of the Canton in all dimensions: in the environmental area, in social development and in good corporate governance. Sustainability, as well as intergenerational thought and action, is the underlying idea behind the initiatives of Strategy 2023ff. The employees of SZKB embrace sustainability on a daily basis and are always striving to become better and better, encouraged along the way through training. SZKB is a reliable partner for employees, clients and suppliers.
SZKB consistently implements regulatory requirements and supports the ambitions of the Federal Council, the supervisory authority and the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) of creating a sustainable financial centre. Along the way, the Bank takes guidance from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SZKB is providing a further signal of its dedication to transparency with the Sustainability Report, which is being published for the first time for 2022.
SZKB is also using innovative products and services to support the transformation to a sustainable future. With its Ethical Funds that have been available since 2009, for example, SZKB offers a solution that clearly differs from that of other financial institutions and meets the highest standards.
However, SZKB is also required to constantly reduce its own environmental footprint as a company. In this regard, SZKB has decided that the focus of the measures is to first be on reducing CO2 emissions. The Bank does not want to simply buy its way out by taking compensatory measures such as purchasing CO2 certificates or planting a few trees. SZKB optimises and minimises its own impact on the environment. It does so through mobility management that promotes electromobility, by reducing printed matter and switching to recycled paper and by replacing fossil fuels with alternative energy sources in the branches.
SZKB’s sustainable action is not just about helping the environment. SZKB assumes responsibility as an investor, as a service recipient, as a client, as a financial services provider, as an employer, as a business enterprise and as a sponsor and promoter of sport, culture and tradition.
In the area of social responsibility, SZKB is also an exemplary employer that ensures equality of opportunity and that has created transparency with new rules and regulations for personnel and remuneration. In 2022, the Bank also provided 146 person-days of community service and commitment in the Canton as part of the «Change of Perspective» programme.
Finally, SZKB sets high standards for itself in the area of good corporate governance. Transparency and openness are the values that guide SZKB. As an independent institution under Cantonal public law and as an institution with a state guarantee supervised by the Cantonal parliament, SZKB fully adheres to these values in its reporting and accountability.
You can read all about it in this Sustainability Report. A guiding principle of SZKB is sustainability in the sense of being geared toward long-term thought and action for the good of this generation and the generations to come. If sustainability is an endorsed value, then it needs to be pursued with full, lasting commitment to the good of the future of the region – as a shared objective of our common home.