Co-developing the CSR Framework Conditions
International business relationships have become increasingly interlinked due to globalisation. Products and services are often produced in a value added chain with many links and in various countries. During this process, they are subject to various economic, ecological and social framework conditions and standards. It is therefore important that companies can rely on internationally recognised guidelines.
As an active member of international organisations (e.g. OECD, UNO, ILO, Switzerland promotes the development and updating of effective and transparent CSR standards. Its aim is to create coherence, proportionality and harmonisation.
Raising Awareness amongst Swiss Companies and Providing them with Support
The implementation of CSR creates challenges for companies, and particularly SMEs, in Switzerland and abroad. On the one hand, companies must find their way through a multitude of CSR tools, on the other hand, their implementation requires information, learning processes and cultural change. The Swiss Confederation supports companies in the implementation of CSR by providing information, initiating and supporting dialogue forums and supporting public/private partnerships, for instance. The Swiss Confederation integrates responsible corporate actions in its own relevant activities so as to create a role model.
Promoting CSR in Developing and Emerging Countries
The progressive globalisation and worldwide sharing of workloads also affects developing and emerging countries. Inclusion in the global economy coupled with increasing demand for products with an environmentally-friendly and socially responsible production process along the entire value added chain provides impulses for increasingly sustainable production processes.
The Swiss Confederation's international cooperation supports these countries and their companies in their efforts to be integrated in the international markets in a sustainable, development-friendly, environmentally-friendly and socially responsible manner.
The Swiss Confederation maintains a dialogue with these countries on topics relevant to CSR and supports projects to improve good governance (e.g. in the public finance sector and tax administration or with regard to employment relations). It provides support to the companies in these countries regarding their efforts to improve working conditions, resource efficiency, compliance with human rights, corporate governance and anti-corruption measures. The Swiss Confederation supports economic activities that are of great relevance to development, particularly through partnerships between public and private players, and by supporting corporate models that include poor population groups, either as producers or consumers.
Transparency increases the credibility of the CSR measures and promotes the spreading of good practices and the dialogue between companies and stakeholders. Companies' sustainability reports enable shareholders, customers, investors, employees, non-government organisations and other stakeholders to assess the companies' activities regarding the various aspects of CSR. The Swiss Confederation actively supports the promotion, harmonisation and proportionality of sustainability reporting and related tools.