An essential factor in implementing CSR is the involvement and role model function played by the management and business owners. CSR should influence every area of a business and its strategies and form a key component of corporate culture.
Exercising CSR also brings benefits for example when participating in public tenders or using Swiss Export Risk Insurance services.
Due Diligence procedure for SMEs concerning human rights
The brochure (PDF, 14 MB, 11.06.2019) on human rights responsibilities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of SECO and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs gives SMEs a practical overview of the opportunities and challenges of responsible business conduct. It provides international and national guidelines on this subject. It also provides tips for integrating human rights into corporate governance. The brochure provides an overview of the steps required to implement human rights due diligence. It provides specific information for human risk assessment.
In the case of public procurement by the federal government, suppliers must comply with the relevant provisions regarding employee protection and employment conditions in addition to guaranteeing equal pay for men and women. If the service is provided abroad, suppliers must guarantee compliance with the 8 fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organisation as a minimum. Sustainability aspects (e.g. environmental issues) can also be one of the required supplementary criteria. In the event of equal bids by Swiss suppliers, the government also takes into account whether the supplier offers apprenticeships (Federal Act and Ordinance on Public Procurement; SR 172.056.1 and 172.056.11).
The platform Boussole de Durabilité (sustainability compass) keeps enterprises and public procurers informed about sustainable procurement. It contains a database of social and environmental standards and information on developing sustainable procurement management. The ITC Standards Map also provides information about sustainability codices, standards and labels.
The Communauté d’Intérêt Ecologie et Marché Suisse (Community for environmentally friendly procurement in Switzerland) offers specialist information, for example on specific product groups (textiles, cleaning products).
Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV)
When evaluating insurance applications, SERV prioritises OECD Guidelines on sustainable lending to low-income countries, as well as environmental, social and human rights aspects, and anti corruption. In the process, it draws on the SERV’s Guidelines for reviewing environmental, social and human rights issues and above all takes into account the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, including any reports presented by the National Contact Point of Switzerland.